As a trainer, one of the most frequently asked questions I get is "What can I eat before I workout?" or "What can I eat that will give me energy before I train?" Many athletes will drink caffeine drinks or pre-workout liquids while others will consume a protein shake or high-energy gels. All of these options are good options because they are high in simple carbohydrates and convenient BUT they can also become very expensive on a daily basis, especially if you use them before, during, and after workouts.
I was reading this article and I want to share this interesting finding with you. A San Diego State University study showed that raisins had the same effect as an energy gel/liquids for increasing blood sugar and preventing fatigue during endurance exercise. They did this by comparing the effects of raisins or energy gels/liquids with the same caloric content on blood sugar metabolism and exercise performance in endurance-trained cyclists (four men and four women). The subjects rode for 45 minutes at 70 percent of maximum effort and then took a 15-minute maximum performance test. No differences existed between treatments in power output during the performance test, blood sugar, insulin, lactate or blood fats.
Raisins are an inexpensive pre-exercise carbohydrate source that gives you the same results as other pre-exercise energy boosters. The way I see it...this gives you another option to work with that is not so expensive, but most importantly allows you to add some variety to your pre-workout regimen.
Journal Strength Conditioning Research, 21:1204-1207, 2007.