The humble banana has been a favourite with sports enthusiasts for energy and endurance. They contain potassium and other nutritional benefits and are low in calories. Some recent research conducted at Appalachian State University’s Human Performance lab has found other benefits.
The researchers wanted to know which gave the most benefit either a banana or a sports drink, when eaten before intense cycling.
To their surprise, they found that performance was roughly the same, although there was advantages to bananas. They gave the cyclists antioxidants which aren’t in sports drinks, as well as a nutritional boost which includes vitamin B6, potassium, and fibre.
During the study, cyclists had either a drink or 1/2 banana at 15 minutes intervals. Over a simulated race, which was 75 km, which lasted for between 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Blood samples were taken from the cyclists and were measured for metabolites. These are associated with metabolism. The exercise is not the actual issue.
It would seem there are lots of athletes, or other people who don’t like consuming sports drinks, which are mostly just flavoured sugar water. In comparison bananas are far cheaper than buying branded sports drinks, which essentially are sold through clever marketing and celebrity approvals.
This coincides nicely with my shopping. I did yesterday, as I happened to buy some bananas. And I do like bananas when I remember to buy them.