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Bananas Instead of Sports Drinks

Advantages to consuming bananas over sports drinks

Bananas vs Sports Drinks

New study advises consumers that there is no need buy chemical laden, sugary sports drinks in order to replenish electrolytes and carbohydrates during or after exercise but instead, just eat a banana.  It not only offers the same performance enhancement as sports drinks, but ramps up on nutritional advantages as well. Bananas are loaded with antioxidants, plus fibre, potassium, B6 vitamin. Something not found in the man-made sports drinks. Over all, a healthier blend than sports energy drinks at a far better price.

A recent study conducted in Appalachian State University’s Human Performance Lab pointed out additional benefits.  A long time favourite energy source for endurance and recreational athletes, bananas are easy for runners, hikers or cyclists to carry.

The study required trained cyclists to consume either 1 cup of carbohydrate drink or half of a banana every 15 minutes during a 2.5 to 3 hour 75-kilometer simulated road race. Blood samples were taken from the cyclists before and after the exercise and analysed at the NCRC Metabolomics Laboratory for over 100 metabolites – molecules associated with metabolism.

Bananas or a Carbohydrate Sports Drinks?

The scientists’ goal was to see which was more beneficial when consumed during intense cycling – bananas or a carbohydrate sports drink. They found that not only was the performance the same whether consuming bananas or sports drinks, but  there were several advantages to consuming bananas. Bananas provided the cyclists with a nutritional boost of antioxidants as well as a healthier blend of sugars, fibre, potassium and Vitamin B6.  Not found in sports drinks.

Healthier Choice of Carbohydrate Source Before, During and After Exercise

Personal trainers should note that this research translates to any exercise. The mode of exercise is not the issue, but the healthier source is. Many athletes do not agree with drinking carbohydrate sports drinks, which are essentially chemical flavoured sugar water. This type of research shows that you can have healthier choice of carbohydrate source before, during and after exercise that will support athletic performance.