Bananas aren’t just an excellent fruit for snacking on, but the many benefits it provides can help you with sports performance and recovery. Bananas are an excellent source of energy and may even be better than your traditional sports drink. Here’s why:
Natural Sugars and Carbohydrates
This particular fruit
According to studies, when bananas ripen, the sugars change to become more easily absorbed which is excellent in aiding recovery after sports, whereas if you consume bananas that are still under-ripe, they contain higher levels of resistant starch.
It is a type of dietary fibre that helps reduce the chance of cancer and helps your gut by encouraging your digestive system to increase healthy bacteria. This helps your digestive system stay in good shape.
The average banana contains 20g of carbohydrates which is a considerable amount to have as a pre-workout snack.
Vitamins That Improve Mood and Muscle Recovery
Bananas are rich in Vitamin B6 and provide 15% of your daily intake. Vitamin B6 plays an important role in supporting brain health and helping us maintain a healthier feel. Bananas are also known for being rich in potassium.
This plays an important role in muscle support and recovery. Bananas are also rich in dietary fibre which will help you keep fuller for longer. As bananas are low in calories, they won’t make you bloated or gain weight.
Instead, you’ll be consuming good quality carbohydrates that won’t only help you manage your diet, but also keep you satisfied as a post workout snack.
Sports Drink Replacement
In addition to aiding muscle recovery for post workout and aiding general health, bananas can be used as a pre and intra-workout supplement. Bananas provide anti-inflammatory benefits that you won’t get in sports drinks.
A study published by ‘PLOS One’ in March 2018 says that cyclists ate half a banana with water every 30 minutes during their course as bananas reduce a particular type of inflammatory enzyme known as COX-2. You can’t get this is in any sports drink.
The authors concluded that consuming a banana with plain water during sport or athletic performance provides a better advantage compared to sports drinks, for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. The benefits include better nutrition, anti-inflammatory effects and improved metabolic recovery.
When To Eat Bananas
This fruit can be consumed before, during or after workouts. Having it as a snack 1 hour before your workouts will provide you with energy and fuel for your exercise.
As a post-workout snack, it is recommended to have it 1 hour after exercise for its full benefits. This will aid in muscle recovery as well as promoting muscle growth. You can have this with meals as a porridge, smoothie or have the banana on its own.
Regarding Intra workout supplements, usually, water is all you need. However, if your workout lasts over 90 minutes and you are lifting heavy weights or performing high resistance exercise, then there’s nothing wrong with squeezing in a banana.
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