Sugars & sports
Your body can store and use energy in two ways, namely in the form of fat and in the form of glycogen. Carbohydrates are stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen, which comes from glucose. This stock is not as large as the fat stock, which is recorded as body fat. However, the glycogen burning is a lot faster than the fat burning and your body prefers this when you are exercising (intensively). With prolonged intensive exercise (45-60 minutes) the glycogen stock can eventually run out.
 Which sugars are the best to consume? Natural sugars are a good source to replenish glycogen stores. These sugars are also called intrinsic sugars because they are ‘stuck’ in the structure of the food, for example in fruit. These sugars are bound to other nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and fiber. This ensures a constant supply of energy and thus a gradual rise in blood sugar levels, so that the glycogen stores are also gradually replenished in the liver and muscles.
. Dates contain a lot of energy due to the high carbohydrate content. The intrinsic sugars of dates are mainly bound to fibers and minerals, making it a good source of sugars during exercise! Due to the fibers and minerals, the sugars are broken down slowly enough not to cause a high blood sugar peak, but they are the ideal source of sugars to provide enough energy during intensive sports performance. In addition, the minerals magnesium and iron that are present in dates also contribute to a good sports performance. Magnesium is important for proper muscle function and iron contributes to oxygen transport in the body.
 Your body can then theoretically switch to fat burning, but that burning is too slow to provide sufficient energy for sports efforts. Several studies have shown that the intake of sugars before and during sporting efforts can improve performance. That is why it is important to have (a lot of) available glucose in your body during exercise, in order to optimize your performance.
 It is also important to pay attention to your diet after exercise. During an intensive workout you use (almost) all the stored glycogen in your body, you lose moisture through sweating and your muscle and red blood cells are broken down. Research has shown that consuming carbohydrates (sugars) after training has a positive effect on recovery time and therefore also later training performance. This is because carbohydrates can quickly and effectively replenish glycogen stores and thus accelerate muscle recovery.
Curious about the effects that dates have on your sports performance? Order one of the date products below and find out for yourself!
 Beelen, M., Burke, L.M., Gibala, MJ., en van Loon, J.C. (December 2010) Nutritional strategies to promote postexercise recovery. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 515-32. DOI: 10.1123/ijsnem.20.6.515
 Keast, D.R., O’Neil, C.E., Jones, J.M. (2011, June). Dried fruit consumption is associated with improved diet quality and reduced obesity in US adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2004. Nutrition Research, 31, 6, 460-467. DOI: 10.1016/j.nutres.2011.05.009
 Kenniscenturm Suiker & Voeding. (n.d.). Suiker en sport. Geraadpleegd op 31 mei, van https://www.suikerinfo.nl/suiker-en-sport-1
 Van Loon, L.J.C. (n.d.). Suiker en sportprestaties. Geraadpleegd op 31 mei, van https://www.kenniscentrumsuiker.nl/actueel/115-suiker-in-perspectief/mentale-en-fysieke-conditie/nieuwsbrief-inhoudsopgave/361-suiker-en-sportprestaties
 Vitamine informatie bureau (n.d.). 10x sportvitamines en -mineralen. Geraadpleegd op 31 mei, van https://www.vitamine-info.nl/nieuwsartikel/article/10x-sportvitamines-en-mineralen-536/