Every runner knows that one of the keys to beating your personal record (PR) is to keep improving and finding techniques and ways to keep your energy level from hitting the wall. Hitting the wall happens when glycogen depletion starts to take affect during a run. There are a multitude of ways you “hit the wall”, but pushing it back and further delaying your glycogen depletion is a critical step in improving your times. Keeping your energy level even throughout your run is optimal.
How does the sweet medjool date play into all this? Well eating a healthy and all natural diet has proven to help in preparation for a marathon. Training with high natural foods will keep your running weight in check. Medjool dates are low-glycemic, high in fiber and rich in potassium. The low-GI provides a slow, consistent supply of glucose (muscle energy) via the blood stream. This allows you fight back the glycogen depletion that I mentioned about earlier. Studies have shown that low glycemic foods have proven enrich an athletes progression through his or her workout. And the same is for those pounding concrete. Simply put, dates will give you the carbohydrates you need while providing a constant flow of glucose to your blood stream to fuel your muscles.
Not only the glucose level, but the carbohydrates that dates contain is also critical managing peak performance. Carbohydrates fuel your muscles and contain electrolytes that keep you hydrated and in addition will reduce cramping. It’s said that runner’s need 32 to 65 grams of carbohydrates for every 60 minutes that they run over 75 minutes. In a 26.2 mile run you are needing substantial carbs to maintain optimal performance. Medjool dates offer 21g of carbohydrates per ounce. Just three or four dates will be the fuel needed to get you through a long run. Starting to munch on the dates no later than 30 minutes into your run will ensure you maintain the right level of glycogen. Many elite runners eat every 15 minutes. Try breaking your timing up to find out what works best for you.
During your next outing try them and see how you feel. People do react differently to types of fruits, so giving them a try is a good start. If you already have a regimen in place, be sure to take some water with you to help absorb the fruit. Drinking some water while eating the dates will ensure you avoid an upset stomach.
Finding a good consistent method to fueling while running will give you a baseline to how your body is responding. Dates are readily available in stores or online. Having to change up your gel packs and protein bars every race because you are not sure what sponsor donated the goodie bags is not going to improve your run times. A consistent reliable fuel is going to yield more consistent reliable results. Fight back “the wall”, go ahead…get hooked on dates.