What Athletes Eat: Sara Hall's Marathon-Training Chocolate Pancakes

Middle-distance runner Sara Hall made her 26.2-mile debut just this spring, but her marathon-ready pancake recipe comes from her husband, Ryan Hall, who holds the U.S. record in the half-marathon. The couple digs into these hotcakes daily -- but they've recently had to bump up the quantities, because they adopted four Ethiopian sisters earlier this month. They shared the tasty, kid-friendly recipe.

Courtesy of Sara Hall, Getty Images

When: Every morning

Place: My house in Flagstaff, Arizona

What I'm eating: Chocolate teff Muscle Milk pancakes with Kerrygold butter and buttered coffee

Whose recipe? My husband, Ryan, made up the pancake recipe as a breakfast that would keep him energized through the long-mileage mornings of marathon training, but that would also sit well in his stomach. The buttered Bulletproof coffee is kind of a trend thanks to fitness coach Dave Asprey, but people have been putting butter in coffee for centuries, as we have seen in Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee.

Why I'm eating it: We eat them every single morning, even when we travel, because we are so addicted. I actually get out of bed every morning excited about it! It gives me that super-chocolaty flavor I crave, plus a bit of caffeine to wake me up. I like to flip the pancake, take it off the heat after about 20 seconds and begin eating it directly out of the pan. It is still gooey in the middle, which makes it strikingly similar to a molten lava cake. I top it with 1 tablespoon of Kerrygold grass-fed butter. The pancake absolutely does not need syrup -- it is very sweet!

Blending your coffee with butter creates a delicious froth, and I feel like the fat prolongs the effect of the caffeine because you digest it slower. Plus, the fat gives you sustained energy because it makes you digest the carbs from the pancake slower.

The recipe:
1/2 cup teff flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
dash Himalayan sea salt
1 scoop Muscle Milk light chocolate protein powder
Splenda or stevia to desired sweetness (taste the batter before you make it)

Mix all of the dry ingredients, then slowly stir in enough water to achieve pancake-batter consistency. Pour all of the batter into a 10-inch heated skillet over medium heat. Flip when air bubbles appear all over the pancake.

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