Raisins Rival Sports Chews for Boosting Athletic Performance

When preparing for a workout, eating raisins may provide you with the same energy lift as sports chews or energy bars.

raisins boost performanceResearchers from California-Davis University compared how natural supplements and commercial carbohydrate supplements impact endurance running performance.

The research was published in the Journal of The International Society of Sports Nutrition.

The researchers conducted three randomized trials set one week apart. Runners were asked to eat sports chews, raisins, or drink water before exercising.

When participants ate sports chews or raisins, they averaged one minute faster in a 5k run than when they only drank water.

The study also showed that consuming sports chews or raisins resulted in higher carbohydrate oxidation and better running performance than just drinking water.

"Raisins are a great alternative to sport chews as they also provide fiber and micronutrients, such as potassium and iron, and they do not have any added sugar, artificial flavor or colors," said James Painter, Ph.D., R.D., and nutrition research advisor for the California Raisin Marketing Board. "As an added bonus, raisins are the most economical dried fruit according to the United Stated Department of Agriculture (USDA), so they are cost effective and convenient for use during exercise."

This is good news for sports-minded individuals who want to fuel their workout, but prefer to consume natural products whenever possible. Raisins aren't just for kids – they're a healthy snack the whole family can enjoy. Next time you're looking for an energy boost, you may want to consider the simple raisin.


  1. E. Applegate, G. Casazza, S. Cicai, B. Davis, K. Hockett, B. Too (2012). Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2012, 9:27 doi:10.1186/1550-2783-9-27.

By Ian Duncan

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