Banana is one of the best recovery foods after a tough work out. This explains why bananas are offered up after most of athletic events. Further more, they are also popular for providing energy before & during races & competitions.
Have you ever wondered, why bananas? Read on this article to learn why banana is one of the most ideal foods for working out and fitness and when to eat them relative to training.
10 Reasons to Eat Bananas For Fitness
What the bananas have to do with fitness? They not only taste good & are easy to eat; they are also full of nutrition & easy-to-digest sugars and more complex carbs for both quick as well as long-lasting energy. Here are the top ten reasons you need to include bananas in your diet for fitness & heath.
Easy to Eat & Pre-packaged
Bananas are the great packaged food. They come in an all-natural, handy carrying case. They are tidy. You can just throw one in your bag without worrying about it making a mess. You won’t even need a napkin & you are assured the banana will remain clean until the time you peel and eat it.
Though, Bananas are Sweet, Yet They Won’t Spike Blood Sugar
If you’re following a paleo, keto, or any other low-carb diet, you don’t have to keep bananas off your diet. Though, bananas are high in sugar, but being WHOLE fruit they also contain a significant amount of fiber. Being complex carb and also due to the presence of significant amount of fiber, the absorption of sugar from bananas is slow, thus although you get energy – yet there will not be any unhealthy spike in your blood glucose levels.
Bananas are Easy on the Digestive Tract
Digestive issues can occur when we work out, particularly during a strenuous training session or an athletic event such as a race. To fuel those workouts, we require something that’s easy on the stomach. Bananas fulfil this criteria because they contain high amount of fiber & thus promote gut health & are easy on your digestive track.
Bananas Help Reduce Cramps
Muscle cramps are painful & can cause a setback during an event or a workout session. What causes cramps is not COMPLETELY understood, but it is believed to be related to electrolyte like sodium and potassium imbalances. Bananas can restore our sodium & potassium levels.
Banana is particularly a good source of potassium, which is vital for good muscle function. Just ensure to eat one with water as dehydration can also start off muscle cramping or make it worse.
The Ideal Recovery Food
There’s a reason why you are offered bananas after marathons or even every 5k. The banana is a perfect recovery food for a number of reasons such as it replenishes glycogen & energy stores; the fiber averts a spike in blood sugar level; it contains complex carbs as well as electrolytes; and when you’re feeling a little drained after pushing your body vigorously, a banana is easy to eat and digest.
A Good Energy Source for Endurance
For any workout, but particularly for long training sessions or endurance events, you require regular replenishment of macronutrients for energy. Without adequate replenishment, you will hit a wall and your performance suffers. Bananas are a good source of complex carbs that help restore declining energy/glycogen levels. They’re really easy to eat, even in the midst of an athletic event or workout.
More Manganese to Tap Energy
A banana contains fifteen to 20 percent of the recommended daily allowance for manganese. This trace mineral is essentially needed for efficient metabolism and to access energy. You require sufficient manganese to extract more out of the food you eat. Bananas contribute to this process.
Bananas are Affordable by All
This is one of the inexpensive, but nutritionally dense foods that you can buy at the grocery store. You might be able to buy them for as little as 50 cents a pound, depending on the location & market. Though organic bananas cost more, but still are reasonably within your reach – if you are on a budget.
Stimulate Dopamine to Protect Muscles
Like other fruit, bananas also help stimulate the release of a brain chemical called dopamine. This plays an important role during a workout because dopamine provides protection against free radicals, which are activated when human body is doing something physically demanding. Dopamine helps trigger and boost up antioxidant activity to fight muscle-damaging free radicals.
Get Much More Than Carbs, Fiber & Potassium
Bananas are not only good for carbs, fiber, & potassium, but you also get various other nutrients from this versatile package of food. They also provide considerable amounts of vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese, and vitamin C.
When to Eat Bananas – Before or After a Workout?
Now that we have understood we should eat more bananas, but some important questions still need to be answered about incorporating them in our diet. Like when to have them – Before workouts or after? Or should we eat bananas during a workout? Here are some simple guidelines.
(i) Have one banana about thirty minutes before a workout session for easy-to-digest fuel.
(ii) Eat a banana after strenuous workout sessions or events, immediately or up to thirty minutes later for refuelling & recovery.
(iii) During a challenging, long workout session or a tough, endurance athletic event, eat half of a banana every fifteen to 20 minutes.
Of course, too much of even a good thing is not good. Though, bananas are great for fuelling & recovery, but take care not to overdo it. Remember, this is a sugar & carb source, so LIMIT bananas intake on recovery or rest days to avoid gaining weight. One or two bananas a day are enough, though more on tough workout / endurance day is acceptable.
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Recipe Ideas – Best Ways To Eat More Bananas
There is no simpler snack than a raw, plain & unprocessed banana. While working out or recovering soon after an athletic event, a banana is all we need. Bananas can also play an important role in our overall, healthy diet. If you’re tired of eating a plain banana, there are many ways to mix things up & still get all the health benefits of banana:
(i) Blend up & freeze bananas. The consistency is just like ice cream, and it’s naturally sweet.
(ii) Add frozen or fresh bananas to smoothies for a rich, thick texture.
(iii) Try using bananas as sweetener in baked good recipes.
(iv) Bake breakfast muffins adding bananas instead of sugar for a quick, healthy treat.
(v) Make banana-peanut butter whole-grain toast for a tasty snack providing both protein as well as healthy carbs.
(vi) Dip bananas in melted dark chocolate & freeze for a healthier energetic snack, particularly on hot workout days.
Useful Related Post: 24 Health Benefits Of Banana
So, now you can see how perfect are the bananas as workout food. For healthier eating habits, include bananas in your diet.