There is an ideal fruit for improving your fitness that you may have never heard of - dates. If physical exercise is an inextricable part of your daily routine, you had better include some dates in your diet. They will help you while doing sports in a powerful way and increase your athletic performance.
Dates are very famous for their various health benefits. They are very nutritious and are recommended for almost everyone except for diabetics. And if you are a sporty person or an athlete, dates can be an even more crucial ingredient to include in your diet. Why are they so highly recommended as an ideal workout fuel? We will find it out in this blog.
As a sporty one, you may know what they need to fuel their body for physical activities more efficiently - it’s by getting carbohydrates. And you get it from sugar, fiber, and starch. So, the best way to boost your sports performance is to eat sugar. But it’s also vital what type of sugar you consume as they differ in some characteristics.
For example, we may think that we can stock up on carbohydrates with just sweets or processed food. But actually, they contain refined sugar, which gets absorbed into the bloodstream very quickly. It can make us powerful in the beginning, but we will spend our energy supplies in a short time. But what do dates do? Here are five benefits of this fascinating fruit that can help us during our sports performance.
- They Contain Slow-Burning Carbs
Whether you are doing moderate or high-intensity physical training, your muscles need some fuel to go through it. That fuel comes in the form of carbohydrates. And if you don’t want your muscles to give up in the middle of the workout, the carbs you consume should be in low glycemic form. Why?
When we get low glycemic carbs, the glucose will release into our bloodstream more slowly and smoothly. It means that we won’t spend all our energy at once and then get tired but will use it gradually during the whole process.
Dates are one way to help us do this as the carbohydrates they contain all come in a low glycemic form. Besides, they have a vast amount of energy in one serving. Consuming just one date, we get 15 grams of sugar and 66 calories. Thus, three to four dates are enough to consume 30 minutes before a workout to power us. They will give us a high level of energy to start our activity. But if we plan to exercise for a long period, we can also eat some during the break and get rid of fatigue to continue our training more energized.
- Dates Contain High Amount of Potassium
Another great thing you can discover about dates is that they are an excellent source of potassium. Let’s clear out what it is and what influence it can have on our sports performance.
It is a mineral and an electrolyte that our body needs significantly to help our muscles work. We get the amount of potassium our body needs from the food we consume. It regulates the work of muscles responsible for our heartbeat and breathing. And this a crucial factor to consider while exercising - by consuming dates, we get potassium that improves our heart rate, blood pressure, etc.
Another benefit of potassium is the fluid regulation in our body. The problem is that when we get lower potassium levels inside the cells than outside, we can have muscle cramping and weakness. This is the reason why athletes are recommended to include some drinks in their diet that contain potassium. Bananas and some other fruit can also be a great way to get the potassium your body needs. But what refers to dates, they can wholly replace all of them as they contain 281 milligrams per serving, which is 50 percent more of this vital mineral and electrolyte by weight than bananas.
- Dates as a Provider of Vital Vitamins
Dates are also a fascinating provider of B vitamins that are really important for those who are serious about keeping their fitness. Among those B vitamins include B3 and B6 - B3, niacin is a crucial ingredient for our muscles. It significantly improves the functionality of our muscular system and helps to boost our psychomotor capabilities.
Besides, it plays a high role in converting carbohydrates into energy and also improves the production of red blood cells with the help of which oxygen is sent to our muscles.
Along with B vitamins, dates also can provide us with vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, and iron. And that is not all about their beneficial properties: they also contain fiber, which is again essential for our body; they are rich in glutamine. The latter is an amino acid necessary for the formation of glutathione antioxidants.
So, if you are doing sports, you should take into consideration also your muscle's properties. And dates can be a highly effective way to improve their strength and functionality.
- Dates can Replenish Your Power after a Hard Workout
The carbohydrates that dates contain not only can help you provide energy during the process of your workout but also will replenish your force after it. It's important to mention that after hard physical training, your muscles become sensitive to insulin and maximize the capacity of storing glycogen.
Consuming some dates after a workout, you actually store energy for the next training, be it tomorrow or in two days. Besides, they stimulate an anabolic or building phase during which your body gets stronger and recovers after an energy-consuming workout.
- Dates are a Natural Sweetener
Another significant factor to include dates in your diet is that their sweetness is natural, and they contain no added sugar. This fantastic fruit contains such natural sources of sugar as fructose, glucose, and sucrose. In fact, they are so sweet and yummy that they can be easily used as a substitute for white sugar.
Unlike the other dried fruit or sweeteners that are processed and contain refined sugar, dates are 100% natural. That is why they will help you stay fit and not gain too much fat but of course when you eat them in moderation. You can easily use this "nature's candy" for making morning snacks such as energy bars, oatmeal balls, or enjoy it in many different ways.
Here are some recipes for dates to make your breakfast menu a little bit diverse.
Different Ways to Enjoy Dates
In this blog, we get introduced to some ways dates can benefit you if you are doing sports. However, dates have several other health benefits about which you can read in our blog, "Health Benefits Of Dates: Why You Should Eat Them Regularly." (Here the hyperlink for this article).
Now, when you have learned how dates can boost your sports performance and be a fascinating substitute for refined sugar, you may be seeking recipes with dates to incorporate them into your diet. While you can keep them in your bag and consume 3 to 4 dates a day, it can bore you to eat them, in the same way, all the time. So, here are some recipes to make your dates consuming-process more diverse.
Vegetable Salad with Dates: Mix some chopped dates in your favorite vegetable and cheese salad just to give it some uniqueness and make it more tasty and nutritious.
Paleo Bacon Date Bites: Another fascinating recipe that can give you a lot of energy for the whole day. And you can make it with just four ingredients - dates, bacon, sesame oil, and sesame seeds. To make it, at first put the dates in the food processor and pulse a few times, then add the cooked, extra grease patted off, cooled, and crumbled bacon, sesame oil, and continue blending them. Press the mixture in a baking pan to give the whole mixture a rectangular shape, sprinkle some sesame seeds and freeze for up to 40 minutes. Then you can cut them in your favorite size and shape and enjoy.
Enjoy Dates with Cheese: Here is another fantastic and extra quick recipe with dates. It can be a healthy snack to start your mornings and to get some energy for the workout. Just take some dates, cut them in half, and stuff the halves with some fresh cheese. You can also top them with a nut or almond, as you prefer.
Date Paste: Another great way to use dates is to make a date paste just by blending them with water. You will get an extra tasty and sticky mixture that later you can use instead of sugar for different recipes. Besides, you can also try to make or buy date syrup and date sugar which you can also use for various recipes instead of refined sugar to make your diet more healthy and energizing.
As we have discovered, dates have several benefits to offer professional athletes or just people who like sports. They are an additional source of energy and can be healthily incorporated into their diet. They boost muscle health, give post-workout energy, help recover faster, and are just a healthy natural sweetener to be used instead of refined sugar.