Athletes and weekend warriors have infinite choices when it comes to fueling up before a workout, from sports drinks to gels and chews to something a little more natural, like fruits or even honey. Now a new study measures the humble raisin against sports chews, and finds that they do just as good a job at keeping you energized.
Researchers at the University of California Davis tested 11 male runners, with each subject completing three time trials over the course of three weeks. Divided into three groups, subjects either drank water before a race or snacked on either raisins or sports chews.
Scientists found that both raisins and chews improved running performance equally, while water did not enhance the workout. Subjects experienced only mild gastrointestinal problems with both food options. Findings were published this month in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
The research follows another recent study that pits bananas against sports performance drinks for mid-workout energy boosts. The study, published in May in the peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE, found that the yellow fruit holds its own, as long as you don't mind feeling a little bloated.