This sh*t is bananas
We often find ourselves reaching for a banana to gives us a quick energy boost before a workout or pre-ordering The Sh*t at the Cold Pressed Juicery before class, but do we know why we do it? Sure, they taste good and are pretty convenient (they come in their own package after all), but it turns out that they can actually help athletes boost their performance when they eat them before, during or after workouts.
Recent research by PLOS One has shown that cyclists who munched on half a banana every 30 minutes during a 75-kilometer ride had fewer markers of the inflammation that will slow recovery and can lead to injury than those who merely drank water or sports drinks. An earlier study they conducted also showed that eating a banana every 15 minutes during exercise can help sustain performance as well as drinks specifically designed for athletes. Two points for nature!
A banana contains 30 grams of carbohydrates, which are essential for supporting all muscle activity. They also help maintain the central nervous system and activity, which aids in keeping reflexes intact. This makes it less likely for athletes to fall and twist an ankle. Bananas as a source of carbohydrates are the only ones that lower the expression of COX-2, a gene that causes pain and inflammation that result from tissue injury, which is common during exercise.
In addition to being a great source of energy, bananas are also packed with 450 mg of potassium and 15% of the vitamin C you need for the day. Potassium will help regulate blood sugar and maintain proper heart function, as well as balance fluid in your body’s cells, preventing muscle cramping and encouraging muscle growth and development. Vitamin C will help you strengthen your muscles, tendons and ligaments and aid in the synthesis of adrenaline during physical training.
So, now you have all the science, what’s the bottom line? Eat half a banana within two hours of smashing a Ro’ride to help sustain your energy levels and reduce recovery periods afterward. Your body will thank you.