As I have gotten more into long distance running and racing, I have become no stranger to the various energy gels and chews out on the market. I have taken my fair share of energy gels while getting in my long runs or racing half marathons to get a boost of energy, carbs, and sugar into my body and keep me going. As much as people complain about the taste of energy gels, I have never minded them. Sure I don’t necessarily enjoy them, but I don’t mind the flavor and they give me the boost I need on a run or during a race.
But as I have transitioned my own body to a diet made up of primarily whole foods and less packaged foods, I have thought about the ingredients I am consuming through the energy gels and chews. Let’s be real, those energy gels and chews certainly have their fair share of ingredients that are less than stellar. Sure they provide the fuel and energy I need to get through those last few miles, but I don’t always feel comfortable putting them in my body.
Here and there, I don’t really mind having an energy gel during a race or a long run, but as I train for longer distances more often, I don’t want to constantly be putting those gels and chews in my body. I have a busy race calendar coming up this year and that means a lot of opportunities to take in energy gels.
But it just doesn’t feel right.
So in my quest to adopt a more whole foods, natural diet, I have sought out what to use to regularly replace energy gels and chews.
Enter: MEDJOOL DATES.
Wait, what? Medjool dates as a replacement for energy gels?
Nope, I am not kidding. Medjool dates are a powerhouse nutritionally!
Benefits of medjool dates
Medjool dates are an all-natural energy boost. Each date provides energy that our active bodies need everyday. Dates contain a high level of fiber to slow the absorption of natural sugars (AKA- no sugar spike, which means no crash). Dates provide sustainable energy for the long run.
Dates are also packed with potassium that help our bodies to recover from our workouts. On top of eating dates before and during a run, I love eating them after to pack in the potassium for a quicker recovery between workouts.
And let’s be real, dates are much nicer to the wallet than those energy gels and chews 😉
Why I am making the switch to natural fuel
On top of medjool dates providing a sustainable energy source for long distance runs and saving me some $$$, medjool dates are… medjool dates. When you compare the ingredient lists between energy gels to medjool dates, you can see why making the switch to natural fuel is worth a shot.
Energy gel ingredient list:
Maltodextrin, Water, Fructose, Leucine, Potassium Citrate, Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Valine, Sea Salt, Natural Flavor, Green Tea (Leaf) Extract (Contains Caffeine), Gellan Gum, Isoleucine, Sunflower Oil, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Potassium Sorbate (Preservative)
Medjool date ingredient list:
So when I eat a medjool date to provide my body with the fuel to keep me going, I know exactly what I am putting in my body. No unknown ingredients I need to Google, just one simple ingredient. And as we’ve talked about, that one simple ingredient is one heck of a powerhouse nutritionally!
Natural Delights Medjool Dates
I am excited to announce that I will be working with Natural Delights Medjool Dates this year on Lean, Clean, & Brie. I cannot wait to share more about how I use medjool dates as a natural fuel source for long distance running. On top of sharing how I use medjool dates before, during, and after my runs, I will be sharing recipes to use dates with. Believe it or not, you can use dates in a ton of different ways… and I am going to share those ways with you. As much as I love just snacking on a plain medjool dates, there are a ton of creative ways to add them to an athlete’s diet! I will also be sharing my journey in race training for various half marathons and a marathon I have coming up this year. So make sure to follow along to see how I use medjool dates to provide me the energy I need to keep on going.
- How do you fuel your long runs?
This post is sponsored by Natural Delights Medjool Dates. Through my partnership with the brand, I receive compensation and product. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Lean, Clean, & Brie!