Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Keeping It Simple: Raisins

Now please don't get me wrong. This is not a post on raisin bashing. I certainly love raisins myself. In fact, I ALWAYS add raisins to my oatmeal every morning for breakfast. Raisins can also make other foods more delicious such as trail mixes, salads, savory dishes, and yes, I have had some in lumpia...Filipino egg rolls! 

Anyway, on to the "inspiration" for this post. I had received an email from a certain someone from a certain food company. This kind lady informed me that there was a new study that came out in a reputable sports journal stating that raisins were found to be comparable as chews for endurance runners. The kind lady only provided me with the abstract of the study, but it was sufficient to make a few judgement calls. It would have been nice if this study had more than eleven participants. Eleven is too small of a study to say "WOW"! I would like to see this exact same study performed during marathon events and not just for 80 minute runs plus a 5K time trial.

Now I personally love my chews and chomps and can't imagine running long distances without them. I never thought of raisins as a replacement for the chews. The more I thought about it, I started to like the idea, but said to myself "As much as I love raisins, they  do take more effort to chew than just regular softer chews. Who wants to expend extra energy on chewing something a little bit more chewy when running or biking...especially during the in between hydration intake times of fluid when I can be a little bit dehydrated?" However, that's just me, and maybe other people wouldn't mind and do just fine.

Then going back to what are essential during an endurance run or ride, there are three things that come to mind in addition to fluid intake and hydration status. They are the intake of carbohydrates, potassium, and sodium. Chews and chomps have carbohydrates, potassium, and sodium. Raisins do have carbohydrates and yes, a whopping amount of potassium (more than the chews), but it sadly falters in the minute amount of sodium. That's where the buck stops  for me. However, maybe if I salted the raisins before I go on my run or ride and before eating them, then it may be alright. (or along with a sports drink). Okay, 'nuff said.:)

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