Dates as Pre-Workout and Post-Workout Snacks

  • Are Dates Good for Pre-Workout?
  • Do Dates Help You Build Muscle?
  • What are the Benefits of Dates Post-Workout?
  • What are Some Other Things to Love About Dates?

Bodybuilders, CrossFitters, cyclists, you name it, we all sometimes struggle with finding the optimal pre and post-workout snacks. There are so many options out there, but what is the right one for you? You can always go to a supplement store and let the salesperson guide the way through the aisles. But would you rather go about getting the benefits more naturally through food? If so, dates could be a great choice for you. These little fruits have an amazing nutritional content! They can help fuel your body and deliver a sustainable source of energy to maximize your results, whether it be in the gym or during a workout at home. You can buy them in bulk at many grocery stores, and they last for a very long time. Now that your interest is piqued, let’s go ahead and dive in!

Are Dates Good for Pre-Workout?

Dates are amazing pre-workout snacks! With a single date containing only 66 calories and 15 grams of sugar, it is an energy-filled, low-calorie bite. Each one has 50 grams of low glycemic carbohydrates, which means it won’t spike your blood sugar. This ensures you won’t crash during your workout; your energy should sustain itself until you have finished up with your stretching! Another pre-workout bonus is that they also contain electrolytes. A single date has a potassium content greater than one serving of a sports drink. This will help regulate your heart rate and blood pressure during the workout. If you are planning on doing a high-intensity workout, aim to eat 2 to 4 dates about 30 minutes before you start!

Do Dates Help You Build Muscle?

Yes, they can! Dates are high in protein, providing the amino acids that are essential for building muscle. Dates also contain iron, giving your blood circulation a boost. This means much-needed oxygen will be efficiently carried to your muscles during any workout. The high carbohydrate content mentioned before helps power your muscles, allowing for them to be utilized more effectively and grow more efficiently. When dates are eaten with protein after workout, they can activate the anabolic phase. This encourages muscle to grow at a faster and stronger rate.

What are the Benefits of Dates Post-Workout?

In addition to what dates can do for you before and during your workout, and during, there are even more reasons to list them as your post-workout snack! Since dates are so high in carbohydrates, they are amazing at aiding in recovery. They also help restore energy levels faster. Their high potassium content also helps prevent muscle cramping. Since potassium lessens the effects of sodium, the more of it you consume, the more sodium you lose through urine. Most bodybuilders might go for bananas for potassium, but dates can offer a sweeter alternative with a lower glycemic index. You also don’t have to worry about them going bad nearly as fast! Just some food for thought.

What are Some Other Things to Love About Dates?

Yes, dates can be amazing for helping you out before, during, and after your workouts. But should you eat dates on your rest days? The answer is yes! Dates are rich in nutrients that aid in overall body function. Some examples other than potassium and magnesium are fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin B6. Dietary fiber is helpful for your digestive system, and the antioxidants in dates can lower inflammation and even help with chronic pain. Vitamin B6 is helpful in converting food into iron and energy. Also, dates are considered a natural sweetener. This makes them a great option for satisfying your sugar cravings instead of indulging in cookies or ice cream! They can also be added to recipes for smoothies, oatmeal bowls, energy balls, and salads. A lot of us eat them straight as well, as they need no preparation and can be grabbed when you’re on the go! But don’t worry, despite how sweet these little fresh fruits may be, you don’t have to be concerned because they do not spike your blood sugar levels.

Overall, dates are simple and tasty snacks that can transform the way you train. They can be cheaper than a lot of supplements, and they are more natural as well. Whether you decide to utilize them as fuel for your workouts, or you just want to add them in recipes because they taste so good, dates will always deliver numerous benefits to the body.

So now that you have all the juicy details, what do you do next? To start using this delicious food daily, go ahead and make sure you have 2 to 4 dates ready to eat 30 minutes before your workouts. You may also eat dates after your workout along with your source of protein to put your body in a building-up state. Lastly, if you ever have a sugar craving, consume these to prevent indulging in something with high amounts of unhealthy sugar. Using these three guidelines every day will help you transform your physique and health!

Thank you so much for taking the time to expand your knowledge by reading this article! We also would like to remind you that it is important to consult your doctor before making any important changes that could impact your health.


Dates are an energy-dense food. So, consuming them before and after a workout can give you lots of benefits. If you are planning on doing a high-intensity exercise, aim to eat 2 to 4 dates about 30 minutes before. After working out, you can still eat dates because they are great at aiding in recovery. One more best thing about dates is they help power your muscles!

Scientific Information

  • Amino Acid – building blocks of protein.
  • Blood Pressure – the force that drives the blood through tissues, and it is determined by cardiac output and total peripheral resistance.
  • Electrolytes – minerals essential for basic life function such as maintaining electrical neutrality in cells, generating and conducting action potentials in the nerves and muscles. 
  • Potassium – an electrolyte that produces  a high osmotic pressure to maintain cell volume.
  • Sodium an essential nutrient involved in the maintenance of normal cellular homeostasis and in the regulation of fluid and electrolyte balance and blood pressure.
Written by:

Christine VanDoren

Certified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist

Reviewed by:
Registered Dietitian
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