Bazilian, W., Sabate, J., Haddock, B., & Rajaram, S. (2004) Pre-Exercise commercial sports beverage versus almond-raisin beverage on exercise performance in male runners. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36(5), Supplement abstract 1178.

This study compared the effects of two isocaloric beverages on substrate availability and endurance capacity: almond-raisin (AR) beverage (whole food, mixed macronutrient) and a commercial sports beverage (CHO-only and electrolytes). Trained male runners (N = 10) ran to exhaustion at 70% VO2max twice, separated by two weeks. After a fasting blood sample, Ss drank one of the test beverages, rested for 60 min, and began the trial. Serial measures were collected including blood samples, respiratory exchange ratio, heart rate, and perceived exertion in 15 30-minute intervals. Time to exhaustion was recorded at the end of each run.

Time to exhaustion was similar between both conditions. A significant blunting of insulin was observed during the AR trial. Free fatty acid concentrations were significantly higher in the AR group through 60 min, although the between trials effect did not remain significant through 30-min post-exercise. Serum glucose and lactate concentrations, respiratory exchange ratio, heart rate, and perceived exertion were similar between the conditions.

Implication. The pre-exercise almond-raisin beverage showed favorable responses in insulin and free fatty acid concentrations during exercise. The almond-raisin beverage may be considered a practical alternative to commonly used commercial sports beverages for endurance exercise.

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