But are they a good post-workout fuel? (Spoiler alert: yes!)
Let’s peel back the facts on why bananas make a healthy and ideal after-exercise snack.
The benefits of nomming on ’nanners are extensive, truly.
Nutrition facts: 1 banana
- 89 calories
- 23 grams carbs
- 2.5 grams fiber
- 12 grams sugar
- 5 grams glucose
- 360 milligrams potassium
- 9 milligrams vitamin C
- 27 milligrams magnesium
- 75 grams water
Speeds up glycogen recovery
Eating carb-rich foods like bananas after a workout sesh allows your body to release your hormone insulin. Insulin then helps move sugar from your blood into your muscle cells, where it’s stored as glycogen, according to a research review.
The same research review above showed that it also increases insulin sensitivity in your muscles, which makes it easier for them to replenish glycogen stores after you hit the gym.
Full disclosure: Most peeps can replenish muscle glycogen stores in full before their next-day workout by simply eating a carb-rich diet — bananas or not. You also don’t necessarily need to nosh immediately after exercise to reap recovery benefits.
But if you plan to work out intensely, multiple times within 24 hours, the more carbs (especially nutritious, filling ones like bananas), the better. Eating higher quantities of carbs right after exercise can aid in recovery. That way, you have enough energy to go hard in your next sesh.
This combo cocktail of compounds may help prevent excess inflammation and promote a faster recovery post-exercise. So, if you’re used to your muscles acting achy after a cycle sesh, a banana might ease the swelling, according to a research review.
Helps kick cramps
Muscle cramps can sometimes signal an electrolyte imbalance, especially one onset by low magnesium or potassium levels. Certain health conditions, menstruation or excessive sweating can also trigger this imbalance.
There’s a reason why sports drinks contain electrolytes like, potassium and magnesium. After a hard workout, many athletes need to replenish these nutrient sources to recover properly. Bananas provide a similar recovery effect because they’re rich in potassium and magnesium.
Bananas aren’t strictly a cooldown snack. Here are the deets on eating nanners before, during, and after your workout.
Before a workout
A research review showed that you can hit your peak workout…