An Athlete's Guide to Dried Fruits

Did you know dried fruits are ideal for athletes? It’s true. Dried fruits like raisins, dates, figs, and apricots are loaded with magnesium. Magnesium is sometimes referred to as “the salt of inner peace.” It relaxes muscles and helps prevent cramps. Pretty groovy.

One thing to be mindful of when eating dried fruits is they are very calorie dense. A healthy serving size of dried fruit (¼ cup) is about 110 calories. And this serving is much smaller in size than its fresh fruit counterpart. Removing the water from fresh fruit to dry it shrinks it to a fraction of its original size. For example, 1 cup of grapes is the nutritional equivalent of ¼ cup of raisins. So while a healthy serving of grapes is about the same size and volume as a tennis ball, a healthy serving of dried fruit is only about the size and volume as a golf ball. Quite a difference.

With portion sizes in mind, try incorporating dried fruit into your balanced diet! I recommend athletes eat 2 servings of fruit (dried or fresh) each day. Opt for the natural stuff, and not the brands coated with added sugar—fruit is sweet enough on its own. Or, if you’re REALLY into dried fruit—and DIY—you can buy a dehydrator and make your own, maybe even gift them to your coaches or teammates! Nothing says love like a bunch of homemade raisins, right?

You get some dried fruit! You get some dried fruit!

You get some dried fruit! You get some dried fruit!

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Mike Bewley, MA, CSCS, C-SPN, USAW-I is a guest contributor to the Volt blog. He is a Strength and Conditioning Coach at Clemson University, a specalist in sports nutrition, and the founder of online nutrition platform NutraCarina.