1. They’re packed with slow-burning carbs
“Carbohydrates are the main fuel for our muscles during moderate-to high-intensity exercise. Like cars, we can’t keep going without gas in the tank,” explains LA-based sports nutritionist Jeff Rothschild, R.D., C.S.C.S.
One Medjool date contains about 66 calories and 15 grams of sugar, which means there is a lot of energy packed in one small serving. And those carbs all come in a low glycemic form. “Having a low GI means the release of glucose into our bloodstream will be slower and smoother than a high GI carb, which allows for steady energy over a workout,” he adds.
Kissane suggests noshing on dates to top off your glycogen stores before any activity that’ll eat up carbs for fuel—namely power workouts, strength training, high-intensity interval training, or endurance runs or rides. Aim for two to four dates, 30 minutes before heading into the gym.
(Skip em before low-intensity exercise shorter than 90 minutes, though, Kissane adds, since the high-carb content will prevent your body from burning fat for fuel.)
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