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Food for 1 sport

Catherine Fellows gets on her bike to find foodstuffs more energy-efficient than leftovers and grass.

I have a friend of the intrepid variety who swears that Power Bars take him higher. Just at the point when it feels like his intended summit is backing off, he whips a Power Bar out of his pocket, tears off the wrapper and begins to chew. Within minutes he is surging up the mountainside like the conqueror he believes he has become.

Power Bars are just one of an increasingly available array of specially designed snacks and food supplements aimed at sports people. But how do these mega-foods with names like Sumo wrestlers perform? Do they have more muscle than your average Mars Bar? And ifso, are they only worth bothering with if you are extremely serious, or can they be equally valuable to the Sunday bike-rider and the occasional hill walker?

Sports foods fall into three broad categories. The first provides a concentrated form of protein, and is aimed at bodybuilders and those in training who want to increase or maintain muscle tissue. Many of these bars and drink mixes derive their protein from milk and soya. The massive tins of concentrated dried milk and egg on sale at Weider (branches in Glasgow and Edinburgh), for example, give 20—30g of protein per serving which 5 is the maximum the body can utilise at a sitting (there are 97g of protein in a large loafofwholemeal bread). According to Weider‘s manageress, Helena Crawford, the advantage of these over steak and raw eggs is that


you know exactly what you are putting into your body, and you do not develop monstrous eating habits that will be hard to kick once you have achieved your perfect, substantial physique.

The second type of supplement gives a quick energy boost. They are high in carbohydrate, usually sugar. The danger with ordinary sources of glucose, like toffee. is that while they can give you an energy spurt, ifyou

are sustaining a high level of activity for longer than half an hour after you have eaten, you will feel more exhausted than you were initially. This is because, confronted with a high concentration of glucose in the blood, the body produces more insulin, the hormone which transfers glucose to the body cells. Insulin is long-lasting it will outlive the impact ofyour Kendal mint cake and

E keep reducing your blood sugar


levels. Since the brain is directly fuelled on glucose from the blood, it is vital that sufficient levels be maintained. Power Bars, for example, claim not to provoke this ‘hypoglycaemic rebound’ effect because their sugar source is fructose.

The third category is also designed to combat yo-yo-ing blood sugar levels. They are the isotonic drinks whose principal function is fluid and


Jim Kerr, chef at Rogano in Glasgow, presents a particularly sumptuous pudding:

MOUSSE BRULEE 5 eggs, separated 1/: tsp vanilla essence 2% tbsp caster sugar

l 2% tbsp granulated sugar


5 tbsp water 1 pint double cream 3 leaves gelatin You will require about 8 medium sized ramekins or souffle dishes, an electric mixer and a poker or something similar to scorch the finished puddings.

Soak the leaf gelatin in some cold water and set aside. Heat granulated sugar and 3 tbsp of the water gently in a

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Jim Kerr oi Hogano's cooks up a treat

small heavy saucepan. Meanwhile whip the egg yolks, caster sugar and vanilla in the electric mixer until white and thick: turn down the motor and leave running while you hand whip the cream until thick but not stiff. Keep this refrigerated.

When the caramel mixture has turned light brown, remove from heat and add extra water and then squeezed-out leaves of gelatin. Swill pan gently until gelatin has dissolved and with the motor on the mixer still running, add this to egg yolks. Carefully empty this

. rniirtura into the whipped cream.

Wash and chill the mixing bowl and whisk the egg whites with a pinch oi salt until stiff. Fold these carefully into the other mixture until well blended. Spoon into rameklns, making sure that they are brim-full to facilitate scorching. Refrigerate for several hours, and just before serving dust with icing sugar, and scorch criss-cross with a very hot poker- do it swiftly and don't press too hard. Serve immediately.

Bogano Seafood Bar and Restaurant, 11 Exchange Place, Glasgow, 041 248 4055.

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