Three Key Benefits of Eating Bananas | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Three Key Benefits of Eating Bananas

February 8, 2011

Must See Nutrition Videos

If athletes could incorporate only one food item into their daily diets, bananas would be a serious contender. Portable, self-contained, healthy, inexpensive, versatile—this delicious fruit is a no-brainer. Below, we break down a few reasons why.

Benefits of Eating Bananas

Pre-Workout Boost
Bananas not only have one of the highest carbohydrate counts of any fruit [from 25 to 50 grams], they also release their energy in three separate increments. Bananas contains three different types of sugar—glucose and fructose [both simple carbs], plus sucrose [a complex carb]. After eating one, you get a quick and powerful boost of energy, which is then followed by a steady release of complex carbs into the bloodstream.

Fuel Suggestion: 1 medium-sized banana, 30 minutes before practice or game.

Replenish Muscles Post-Workout
During intense exercise, your glycogen supply is depleted, which is why experts recommend consuming a sports drink during a workout—for an energy refill. The banana's greatest benefit could be its large amount of potassium—an electrolyte that promotes muscle growth, boosts the immune system and facilitates calcium absorption, which in turn helps build stronger bones.

Fuel Suggestion: 1 large banana with two tablespoons of peanut or almond butter

Relieve Stress and Amp Up Brain Power
When your body and mind are stressed, your potassium levels are lowered due to an uptick in your metabolic rate. A banana can help restore your system's natural balance. It can even have a calming effect due to its concentration of tryptophan, an amino acid essential for protein synthesis and the release of seratonin, a neurotransmitter that helps the body regulate appetite, sleep patterns and moods.

Fuel Suggestion: 1 cup of oatmeal with 1 scoop of protein powder, topped with 1 medium-sized banana

A banana's natural, potassium-fortified kick, combined with much-needed carbohydrates, makes it an ideal fuel source and healthy snack any time of the day.

Source:  livestrong.com, lifemojo.com
Photo:  ifoodtv.com
Maddy Lucier
- As an associate editor for STACK, Maddy creates lifestyle, social media, gear and nutrition content for our audience of athletes. She played volleyball and basketball...
Maddy Lucier
- As an associate editor for STACK, Maddy creates lifestyle, social media, gear and nutrition content for our audience of athletes. She played volleyball and basketball...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Living Near Fast Food Could Increase Your Odds of Obesity

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

Why You Need Dietary Fiber

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

STUDY: Eat More Fruits and Veggies, Live (Almost) Forever

The Boston Cannons'

The Case for Red Meat

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

5 Non-Boring Ways To Eat Chicken

How to Eat Organic Without Breaking the Bank

5 'Healthy' Side Dishes That Are Worse Than French Fries

Tips for Healthy Weight Gain

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

How to Deal With Your Sugar Cravings

The 6 Worst Foods for Athletes

Small Change, Big Difference: 5 Foods You Should Buy Organic

Diet Changes: 5 Tips to Help You Stick to Your Plan

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

10 Athlete-Approved, High-Protein Healthy Cereals

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

5 Ways to Fuel Your Early Morning Workout

Brown Rice vs. White Rice: Does It Really Matter?

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

Spice Up Your Healthy Cooking With These Lively Combos

3 Nutrition Mistakes Endurance Athletes Make and How to Fix Them

10 Easy Ways to Eat Real Food

The Cheat Meal Day: Why It's Not So Smart

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

5 Nutritional Power Combos for Athletes