Bananas are nutritious, delicious, inexpensive, and can be eaten every day. Eating three bananas a day will give you lots of energy, boost your training, and improve your health. Bananas are stacked with nutrients, antioxidants, and minerals. They are a favorite energy source for athletes because of their potency and consistency having carbs, protein, potassium, and magnesium. They are perfect for eating to replace energy quickly during your game to continue high performance.
Here are the nutritional benefits of eating three bananas a day.
One medium-sized banana (120g) contains:
- 106 calories
- 27g of carbohydrates
- 3.2g of fiber
- 1.4g of protein
- 400mg of potassium
- 35mg of magnesium
- 0.4g of fat
Bananas Contain Potassium and Magnesium
Three bananas a day provides 1200mg of potassium per day. You need about 4000mg of potassium each day to avoid deficiency. Also, three bananas will provide 105mg out of the 450mg of magnesium required each day as well.
Potassium and magnesium are essential minerals
- Regulate blood pressure and blood sugar
- Maintain nerve function
- Contract the heart and muscles
- Make the heartbeat regularly
- Control fluid balance
- Rebuild muscles
Potassium and magnesium are significantly lost through sweating. Since the banana is easy to eat and digest quickly, it makes it the perfect choice before, during, and after training and competition. Bananas are a perfect tasty sweet snack and the best and fastest way to maintain energy and refuel. You don’t need sugary athletic energy drinks.
Bananas Are High In Carbs
Bananas are an excellent source of carbs. They have simple and complex carbs. Simple carbs are broken down into something called glucose (sugar). Glucose is used as immediate energy for your body. And, complex carbs are stored as something called glycogen. Glycogen is used and broken down later when your body needs energy. Given your training and performance needs, it is a perfect sideline or halftime snack. And, perfect for parents while working on eating healthy.
What is most interesting about the banana is how it releases energy- glucose, a simple sugar. The dietary fiber in the banana regulates how fast glucose is absorbed. This is important because it provides a steady release of glucose (simple sugar) rather than a large release. A large release of glucose spikes your blood sugar very rapidly. And, foods like processed foods and foods with little to no fiber cause this to happen. The faster and higher your blood sugar goes up, the more tired you will be when it drops back down. This is not healthy for your body.
Bananas Are Anti-Inflammatory
Sports drinks are overrated when compared to bananas. They are significantly cheaper than sports drinks and do a better job refueling and speeding recovery. A study was performed on bananas and sports drinks and refueled during and after training. They found that eating bananas act comparably or better than an anti-inflammatory. They found that eating bananas and drinking a sports drink before and during the workout prolonged the energy and duration of the training and at a higher intensity.
Interestingly, eating a banana after the workout sped up recovery more than the sports drink. Both of them were effective at decreasing the levels of inflammation in their body after the training. The banana and the sports drink were able to reduce an enzyme called COX-2. It is an inflammation enzyme that is produced during training. Surprisingly, the inflammation was significantly reduced from eating a banana. This significant reduction of COX-2 was not seen from drinking a sports drink.
Bananas Are Antioxidant
Free radicles are produced from exercise, digestion, creating energy, as well as burning energy and nutrient breakdown. Although exercise produces free radicles, the body enhances the mechanisms in which they deal with free radicles that increase defense and protection.
Bananas contain an antioxidant called catechins. Catechins are a special antioxidant because they can cross over into the brain to affect the nervous system directly. The banana’s ability to accomplish this makes it an excellent source to combat brain disorders, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, aging-related issues, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis.
Bananas are the best choice for athletes and can be eaten pre, during, and post-workout training and competition. They provide your body with longer-lasting energy without making you feel heavy. Sports drinks have artificial flavors and synthetic ingredients that can upset your stomach and intestines.
Bananas are all-natural and have the perfect amount of nutrition to support your training and, at the same time, your health. They are one of the best training snacks. When you are competing and training, you need to find powerful snacks, not meals, to replace energy. Meals take too long to digest, and digestion will interfere and inhibit your performance and training. So, Go Bananas!
Read More: What to Eat If You Hate Bananas