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Raisins as Effective as Sports Chews for Fueling Workouts

If you’re active, chances are pretty good that you’ve probably encountered some form of gel, goo, or sports chew. These products are touted as a convenient way to stay fueled on a long run, ride, hike, or other endurance activity. But they’re also kind of strange. There’s just something unnatural about the taste and texture of these products.

Well here’s another great reason to go natural! A study just published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that raisins are as effective as sports chews for fueling workouts.

For the study, researchers at the University of California-Davis evaluated the effects of consuming commercially available carbohydrate supplements (sports chews), natural carbohydrate supplements (raisins), and water alone during physical activity.

Study participants completed an 80 minute run followed by a 5k (3.1 mile) time trial. Participants were able to complete the time trail about one minute faster when they consumed sports chews or raisins compared to water alone.

There was no significant difference in performance for the sports chews versus the raisins – both promoted about the same level of carbohydrate oxidation.

Although the study was (predictably) funded by the California Raisin Marketing Board, raisins do seem to be a more natural, economical, and wholesome alternative to fuel prolonged physical activity.

Image Credit: Cary Bass/Flickr