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The rise of the pronut, the protein-rich doughnut

A snack that's designed to be tasty and super-healthy...

Could the next trend in sports and health-conscious nutrition be the rise of the pronut, a gluten-free, protein-rich doughnut? It’s a snack that’s designed to be much more healthy than the deep-fried, sugar-laden variety.

Hands up who likes doughnuts. 

Yep, thought so. That’s pretty much everyone. But eating a load of typical doughnuts on a regular basis probably won’t do you a whole lot of good, even if you’re getting in a full week’s training on the bike. A glazed chocolate creme doughnut from Dunkin Donuts, for example, contains 360 calories, 19g of fat, 44g of carbs, and just 4g of protein. 

A pronut, on the other hand, is designed to be a healthy alternative. 

An Australian company called Pronuts that has been around for a few months now reckons that one of its standard pronuts is under 80 calories, contains less than 1.5g of carbs and 3.8g of fat, and will give you 7-8g of protein.

Many other people have been sharing their recipes online, and some claim that their own pronuts contain more protein. 

The recipes typically include protein powder and gluten-free flour, they avoid allergens and animal products, and keep levels of refined sugar low.

The glaze, if there is one, will often contain something like peanut butter or coconut oil, and more protein powder. The preparation time is usually around 10mins and the baking time 10-20mins. Oh yes, ‘baking time’; you don’t deep fry pronuts. 

We couldn’t tell you what pronuts taste like because we’ve not had the chance to give them a go yet (I’d have a crack but I don’t have any chia seeds to hand), but here’s one pronut recipe that you can try for yourself. 

Dave Smith,’s resident coach, said, “The amount of carbs and protein don’t really make it an ideal post-exercise snack. I’d generally recommend 40g carbs and 10g protein if you want to accelerate recovery - though that’s not always essential.

"The ingredients seem pretty sound in that there appears to be nothing nasty in there. So as something to eat if you want something to eat, fine, but as a recovery snack, stick with more nutrient dense options."


Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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