Nutrition: Raisins - An Inexpensive Alternative to Sports Gels
Nutrition: Raisins - An Inexpensive Alternative to Sports Gels

Nutrition: Raisins - An Inexpensive Alternative to Sports Gels

Dick Moss, Editor, Physical Education Update.com

Athletes looking for a quick and easy source of pre-exercise nutrition sometimes ingest sports gels. These gels, are, literally, a goopy gel that you squirt into your mouth. They are packaged in small plastic pouches that look something like hotel shampoo packets.

The main selling points of sports gels are that they provide a quick energy boost but do not cause intestinal problems.

But they are extremely expensive. Fortunately, there is an alternative that is readily available and is only one-fifth the cost…raisins!

Research has shown raisins to be as effective as gels when used as a pre-exercise energy booster.

The Raisin Advantage
In a 2004 study, trained cyclists who ingested a 300 calorie snack 45 minutes before an exercise test performed as well on raisins as they did on sports gels. And, like gels, none of the subjects experienced intestinal discomfort after eating the raisins.

Raisins don't require refrigeration, take up little room in a sports bag, and provide vitamins and minerals not found in sports gels.


Reference: Nancy Clark (MS, RD), "Sports News from the 2004 ACSM Meeting." Active.com, 6/14/2004. http://www.active.com


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