Half-time strategies. The Fig Roll
Remember these ? The Fig Roll….
Fig Rolls are not a new idea, thought to have been invented by the early Egyptians, they have been mass produced and sold as a biscuit since 1891. Initially sold in America as Fig Newtons, they now come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are sold all over the world.
Why are they good for sport.
- They are easy to buy
- They travel well and don’t mind being scrunched up in a sports bag
- They have a 50:50 mix of simple and complex carbohydrates (fast and slow release) and soluble fibre, giving a good energy profile.
- They contain fructose and glucose
- Figs are a good source of potassium (electrolyte), calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and copper.
- They also contain sodium (electrolyte), iron, zinc (immunity) and selenium (immunity).
- As well as antioxidant Vitamins A, C, E and K
- B Vitamins (important for energy production)
- & Choline (prevents fatigue).
I have written in the past about the ergogenic effects of real foods (Ergogenic Aids & A New Ergogenic Aid), and there is increasing evidence of benefit. However in reality you would have to eat a lot of fig rolls at half time, to see a measurable effect. But talking to sports people, there is a back lash against manufactured synthetic sports snacks and most people would prefer to eat real foods. There is very good evidence that a small amount of carbohydrate taken in half time is beneficial to second half performance and a mix of sugar / carbohydrate types is also known to be an advantage. Fig rolls tick all these boxes and are surprisingly natural.
If you are still not sure, rumour has it that Fig Rolls are a favourite in the Manchester United dressing room.
There are lots of brands of fig roll. The seven I checked are all very similar but don’t be tempted by the apple or strawberry equivalent, although very possibly yummy they have 23 ingredients, not many of which are remotely natural and its the fig rolls 30% content of fig paste that accounts for the majority of their benefits.