DRIED FRUITS : A BETTER PRE-WORKOUT SOLUTION
Nowadays we hear a lot about pre-workout drinks. People like the idea of getting an energy boost before a workout. Unfortunately there are also some ingredients in these drinks that may not be the best for your health. In addition, many of their supposed benefits are not backed by research. Also, why would you want to resort to stimulants or other questionable supplements when natural approaches can get the job done safely?
Dried fruits (or regular) have been used for centuries for an energy boost and a source of quick fuel. They are probably the richest natural foods on earth in simple sugars. And unlike protein and starchy carbohydrates, they require only minimal digestive energy and time. And unlike white sugar or pre workout supplements that can, these simple sugars do not rob you nutritionally or contribute to the mid or post-workout "crash". Instead of that, dried fruits supply you with valuable minerals in concentrated form. Minerals that can sometimes be drained during a hard workout.
A FEW TIPS FOR USING DRIED FRUITS
1. Soak them in water for 2 or more hours before eating them. This will help digestion. And if there's any liquid left over after soaking them, don't throw it out! Drink it. This is the best quality mineral water you're likely to find anywhere and it's also pretty tasty!
2. Don't buy sulphured fruits. Most health food stores and organic grocery stores should have these. If you can't find them, make sure to get the darker coloured dried fruits like raisins. Sometimes, golden raisins get their colour (at least partially) from added sulphur dioxide to help preserve them.
3, Also don't buy sugar coated dried fruits. They are available, but you have to ask and look into it.
TYPES OF DRIED FRUITS
OK! Let's get to it! There are many different dried fruits available, but I'll cover my three favourites.
FIGS - You may or may not know that Roman Gladiators were vegans! Their diet was primarily beans, wheat, barley, AND figs. Chemical analysis has actually shown that figs and human milk are similar in composition! I never saw that one coming, but it's true. There are two main types. Black Mission figs (higher in calcium) and Brown Calimyrna (sweeter). If you really want a treat, try slicing the figs and putting it in applesauce. A tasty and high energy boost.
DATES - Throughout history, there have been tribes in Africa and Asia who survived for months almost entirely on dates and milk or dates and oranges. I'm not saying that's ideal, but they've actually been shown to provide a complete protein. There's not much of it, but whatever there is in there is easily digested and assimilated. There are quite a few varieties of dates, but probabvly the two most common ones are the Medjadool (the bigger ones) and the Degleet Noor. The Medjadool dates have a creamy taste to it while the Degleet Noor dates have more of a sweet buttery taste.
RAISINS - These are the most commonly found dried fruits and they're great! They're very rich in iron and they're delicious. In addition to putting them on your cereal, another way to use them particularly as a high energy drink (actually two high energy drinks) is to soak a cup of raisins overnight in water. In the morning, pour the water from the raisins into another container. There's your mineral rich water (drink number 1). Now take the soaked raisins and put them into a blender along with either water or an organic fruit juice. (drink number 2). Either of these can be used by itself or as a base for some protein powder if you wish.
So remember that nature has provided us with natural pre-workout supplements which are far tastier and healthier than pre-workout supplements. Tasty, nutritious, energy boosting, and you won't have the mid or post workout crash. It doesn't get much better than that!
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