Now some researchers at Appalachian State University have discovered that bananas are actually as helpful as carbohydrate type sports drinks like Gatorade, without all that sugar, and other additives. It's certainly a better choice than grabbing a bottle of unnaturally blue colored, sugary liquid. Dr. David C. Nieman of the Human Performance Lab at the North Carolina Research Campus at Appalachian State in Kannapolis said:
"We wanted to see which was more beneficial when consumed during intense cycling -- bananas or a carbohydrate sports drink. We found that not only was performance the same whether bananas or sports drinks were consumed, there were several advantages to consuming bananas."
Trained cyclists were the guinea pigs for the study, one group was given a carbohydrate drink the other some banana:
For the study, trained cyclists consumed either a cup of carbohydrate drink or half a banana every 15 minutes during a 75-kilometer simulated road race lasting 2.5 to 3 hours. Blood samples taken from the cyclists before and after the exercise were analyzed at the NCRC Metabolomics Laboratory for more than 100 metabolites -- molecules associated with metabolism.
Unlike the sports drink, the bananas provided a much healthier alternative, and a few additional benefits that the drinks did not.
The bananas provided the cyclists with antioxidants not found in sports drinks as well as a greater nutritional boost, including fiber, potassium and Vitamin B6, the study showed. In addition, bananas have a healthier blend of sugars than sports drinks.
"Bananas come prepackaged with fiber, nutrients and antioxidants," said Nieman, adding the research translates to any exercise.
"The mode of exercise is not the issue. I think there are a lot of athletes who don't like the thought of drinking carbohydrate sports drinks, which are essentially flavored sugar water," he said. "This type of research shows that you can have healthier carbohydrate sources before and after exercise that will support athletic performance just as well as a sports drink," Nieman said.
I know which I would choose, if I was heavily into sports, which I'm not.
It should be noted that the study was funded by Dole, but even so, why wouldn't you choose a healthy banana over Gatorade?
Source: Science Daily