Friday, 25 February 2011

Food Friday: Go for raisins, not sport gels

How much do you spend per month on average on sports gels if anything? well whether you do or not just do not throw away money on expensive sports gels because raisins have the ability of delivering the same energy boost that a sports gel would, and with raisins you get a nutritional advantage over sports gels because raisins provide all those vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. All that and more for loads less money than you would have to fork out for a pack of energy gels. So the verdict is that snacking on a handful of raisins before you go out on that long bike ride provides you with the boost that is guaranteed to help you

If you see the chart below both a 90g serving of raisins and 3 packs of 30g sports gels supply about the same amount of carbohydrates, still looking at the chart below you will see that raisins beat sports gels in potassium levels, antioxidants, iron, copper,manganese,  protein and other nutrients. Raisins also provide less of what you do not need in that diet plan, like excess sodium and slightly more calories and some sports gels can even contain caffeine which would not be of any help to the blood flow to the heart whilst exercising

Sports Gel
(Three 30g packs)
(about 90g)
Fat g
Cholesterol mg
Sodium mg
Potassium mg
Fiber g
Protein g
Iron mg
B6 mcg
Phosphorus mg
Magnesium mg
Copper mcg
Manganese mcg

If superior nutrition value is still not enough to make you ditch the gels in favor of the natural and delicious raisins, I am not sure what will and I would also love to hear from you telling us all why. But there is something else to remember, the fact that raisins deliver the same performance results for a fraction of the price, so whether you are into biking, running, tennis, football or any other sport, stick with raisins for an economical and nutritious energy boost

Finally how about using raisins as a topping, can you sprinkle sports gels over that nice warm early morning porridge? Not quite, but when you have raisins the possibilities are endless, so the next time you have a bowl of porridge or oat cereal, or on top of anything you fancy, add some delicious raisins for an added boost

As always thank you for reading, and remember, comment


  1. I've never tried the energy gels, heck it's very rare I even have an energy drink, usually the nearest I get is adding some sugar into the bottle... I'm not a great example I think, on my last 3 long rides mid-ride food has included sausage rolls, a pork pie and snickers bars! I suspect the latter's the best in terms of energy and speed of getting it where it's needed. The other thing I tend to take with me on longer rides is a bottle of cola, it's a handy energy boost and the sugars are soon burned off (besides, at this time of year it's really nicely chilled by the air flow!)

    On a slightly more serious note, the nice people at Graze do nice compact packs of healthy things mainly dried fruit and nuts which are good and they give some variety than just raisins (shameless plug alert) if you go to they'll even send you a pack free (there's 4 items in a pack so 1 fruit, 1 nuts a flapjack and something else is the rough mix) Well worth giving them a try, the packs fit nicely in a cycling top too! (end of shameless plug)

  2. Hi Ian many thanks for the comment first of all

    Those snickers bars and cola will do you good for the short term quick release energy I guess, if you are looking to go out on much longer endurance rides though you may want to get some low gi food in there too

    Just been on that Graze website, looks good, what are the price to amount of food you get like though? because I guess you are paying for the premium fruit and them selecting it and the nice packaging it comes in? or are the prices not too bad, whatever the prices are like though it looks like some lovely stuff, I was looking at some of the flapjacks on there and got some ideas on what to put in my flapjacks the next time I make them and I occasionally make my own home made ones

    Again thanks for the comment, all the best

  3. It's £3.49 per box delivered, the fruit packs are usually 1 of your 5 a day, some packs can be 2 of the 5, by weight it's around 40g per pack (and 4 packs in a box) The flapjacks are great too! :)

  4. Hi
    Having just read your raisins vs sports gel article I do have one thing that raisins lack. For all the positive components that are in the raisin it lacks the sodium which is pretty important to keep cramp at bay. On a long endurance cycle ride on a hot day sweating heavily strips sodium from the body which results in cramp. The high potassium is positive but you still need the sodium. But for short rides the raisin is a very good fuel food pre workout.