Dates: Workout food with added benefits

Dates are a source of glucose from the date-palm tree found in hotter climates and in the Islamic world abundantly. There are many varieties of dates with Medjool dates being from the most widely known and tasted of the varieties. As a Revert Muslim, I’ve found myself adapting my palate to new foods with Dates being one of them. Being an athlete, it only makes sense to open your palate to new foods that will help you in your training and performance goals. So in this article, I suggest you include dates in your pre- and/or post-workout meals. 

Medjool Dates

Pre- and Intra-workout

When we’re training or engaged in exercise our bodies use different energy systems depending on the type and duration of our exercise. When training with weights the preferred energy system is the Anaerobic Glycolytic System which uses carbohydrates in the form of muscle glycogen as fuel. The amount of glycogen that can be stored in our bodies is limited to around 100 – 120g in your Liver and 400g in Skeletal muscle (for a person weighing 70kg) so keeping this fuel source topped up with a food such as dates would help do this. 


On the glycemic index, Dates came in around 46 – 55 which makes them low Gi (below 55 is low gi). This means that eating dates will release glucose in a way that won’t spike insulin thus avoiding a crash. They also help you to feel fuller since they also contain fibre. After your workout, eat a few dates until you can have a full meal post-workout.

 100g serving provides the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 277
  • Carbs: 75 grams
  • Fibre: 7 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Potassium: 20% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 14% of the RDI
  • Copper: 18% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 15% of the RDI
  • Iron: 5% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 12% of the RDI

The Added Benefits:

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Al-’Ajwah is from Paradise and it contains a cure for poison. Truffles are a form of manna, and its liquid is a cure for the eye.”

(Graded Hasan – Jami at-Tirmidhi – Hadith no. 2066 – chapter 22).

Eating for performance doesn’t mean you have to resort to processed, chemically engineered foods. Rather, our creator has provided everything we need to do what we have been created for. Training, performing on competition day and coming home a winner can be done with a balanced and naturally sound diet. Pre-workout, Dates will provide a steady stream of glucose while you train and after your workout, Dates provide that fast source of glucose that will help you stay energised until you have a full meal. If you’d like some help to take your training to the next level [Email Here].

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