Monday, September 8, 2008

Looking for a Hot Date?

Krista Answers Your Questions:

Krista - "This may sound like a silly question... but why dates" (from Precision Nutrition - Krista's Team Blog)

Dates are real food sources of simple carbohydrates and thus, great for post workout or pre-workout for the carb tolerant or those aiming to do a very high intensity or long duration workout.

It is a rich source of minerals and A and B vitamins. It is also high in fibre. Fresh dates are a bit lower in sugar and calories than dried dates but much more expensive and harder to find.

I was fortunate to have found fresh dates at Zehrs about 20 minutes from where I live both in the bulk section (along with dried) and in a large container (a bit fresher).

I use fresh dates as I am approaching my contest as a carb source on higher carb days or post workout. I use dried dates as part of my carb up the days before or day of my bodybuilding contests.

I often recommend dates as energy food for endurance and other athletes. They are particularly great for young athletes or those avoiding too many supplements. They are a good source of magnesium (and again carbs), so my youth hockey players and martial arts or boxers often use them during and after training.

They are also high in non-heme iron from plant sources so it is wise to eat them with meat (that contains heme iron) and a source of Vitamin C which enhances absorption of iron. So dates, lean beef or bison and pineapple as a first meal post workout... perfect!

Avoid dates dried with sulphites as they can affect your mineral balance negatively and some people are sensitive to them.

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