While sports chews give you a bit of a boost while working out, these can get very expensive when consumed regularly over time. But researchers from California-Davis University identified a natural and affordable alternative in a recent article published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition: raisins!

The study authors conducted trials involving runners to compare the impact of natural supplements and carbohydrate supplements (sports chews) on running performance. The participating runners were divided into three groups. One group got raisins as workout supplements, another got sports chews, and the third just got water.

After running three trials with seven-day breaks in between, researchers found that raisins and sports chews helped participants run a 5-kilometer course around one minute faster than those who had just gotten water.

MedicalNewsToday.com quotes Dr. James Painter, who serves on the California Raisin Marketing Board as a nutrition research advisor, who said, "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. As an added bonus, raisins are the most economical dried fruit, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, so they are cost effective and convenient for use during exercise."

So the next time you hit a gym, grab a bottle of water and a box of raisins to boost your workout. Getting healthy doesn’t have to be expensive.

(Photo by Christina B. Castro via Flickr Creative Commons)

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