For runners, especially long-distance runners, the most efficient way to fuel your body when running is by consuming simple carbohydrates. The body can only store up to 2,000 calories of glycogen, but at least 50,000-60,000 calories of triglycerides (body fat). For runs longer than 90 mins, or more intense short runs, the body will start to get depleted of glycogen and you might start to feel like your body is crashing. In the past few years, the nutrition trend amongst runners and athletes is to follow more natural, clean-eating diets, vegetarian, Paleo or Keto diets. They are also reducing their sugar and carbs intake, focusing on avoiding any processed sugar, and simple carbs, and even grains. All the clean diets, high protein, healthy fat and low carb diets can be very efficient for some runners, but for others it can only be beneficial for a short period of time. Each individual has a different metabolism, some runner’s body can process carbohydrates more easily, others their body is happier with more healthy fat and protein. But everyone can benefit from avoiding processed sugar and foods. We can all get our energy fuel from natural sources. During long-distance training or races, runners should still rely on sports nutrition, easy to digest and simple sugar supplements. But for the daily diet, runners can find some nice carbohydrates in fresh fruits and vegetables and some healthy carbs. One of the most delicious, healthy, full of nutrients source of natural sugar is Medjool dates. Medjool date are a whole fresh fruit, one serving or two dates has 33 grams of carbohydrates (from fruit sugar). Dates are also high in fiber; one serving provides 15% of the daily fiber intake. Medjool date is a low Glycemic Index (GI) fruit, which helps to slow down sugar absorption into the body. This results in a steady source of energy, with no crash like other simple or processed sugars. Dried dates are one of the few dried fruits can don’t contain any preservatives or sulfate. Dates can be dried naturally. Pre-run fueling: To eat just two dates before a run, added to your pre-run breakfast or just as pre-run fueling can make a big difference in giving you a great boost of natural energy without crashing. Running fuel: When running a long-distance trail run, pack a few dates and use it as some great natural energy boost to keep the sugar levels more stable. Post-run recovery: Dates are a great source of potassium (281 mg) per serving. That is 50% more than in a banana. The carbs and potassium in Medjool dates are very beneficial for runners and athletes for recovery. The carbs in dates will refill the body’s glycogen levels, it will also replenish potassium and rebalance all the electrolytes lost during the run. Dates are full of other nutrients like B vitamins (muscle building B6), niacin (critical for converting sugar into energy), vitamin A, calcium, iron and magnesium. Adding a couple of dates to your recovery smoothie will have many benefits. Use dates instead of sugar: Dates are not only useful for training, but also for an every day diet to help eliminate processed sugar for baking and cooking. By using dates instead of sugar, you get all the benefits from the nutrients found in the fruit. The easiest way to use dates for cooking, is to soak them in hot water for a few minutes and use a blender to make it into a date paste. Add it to smoothies, use it to make energy bars, or add it to some healthy baking recipes. Use Medjool dates to top some breakfast bowls; oats, yoghurt, or even add it some nice salad recipes. Enjoy the yummy energy boost!
Train Hard, Eat Right, Feel Great!