Naturalhealthy.xyz – Bananas are one of the most popular pre-workout snacks. They’re not only portable, versatile, and delicious but also rich in carbohydrates and easy to digest.
Plus, they’re highly nutritious and may offer other added benefits for exercise performance due to their content of important nutrients like potassium. This article takes a closer look at whether you should eat a banana before your next workout.
High in carbs
Like other fruits, bananas are a good source of carbs, with about 27 grams of carbs in 1 medium banana. Carbs are either broken down into glucose (sugar) or converted to glucose, which is a main source of fuel for your body.
Consuming carbs can increase glycogen stores, which is the form of glucose stored in the muscles and liver that’s used for energy during many types of exercise. Eating carbs before exercise can be especially beneficial for workouts with a longer duration, such as biking or jogging, as doing so can delay how soon your body has to use its glycogen stores and improve performance.
One study in 11 people found that consuming carbs 15 minutes before running enhanced endurance and increased time to exhaustion by nearly 13%.
However, because they’re relatively high in carbs, bananas may not be ideal as a pre-workout snack for those on a low carb or ketogenic diet.
Easily digestible energy source
In addition to supplying a good number of carbs in each serving, some of the carbs in bananas are fiber. Fiber can help slow the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream, providing your cells with a steady stream of glucose to help you power through your workout. Ripe bananas are also rich in simple carbs and low in fat, making them easier to digest than many other foods.
In fact, bananas are often recommended for those experiencing digestive issues like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. For this reason, bananas may be a good choice as a pre-workout snack, as they can provide your body with long-lasting energy without weighing you down or causing stomach upset.
Rich in potassium
Bananas are an excellent source of potassium and provide about 10–14% of the recommended daily value for this nutrient in just one medium banana. Potassium is an important mineral that regulates blood pressure levels, maintains nerve function, and controls fluid balance. It also helps support muscle health and muscle contractions.
In fact, low levels of potassium can cause muscle cramps, which are characterized by sudden, painful contractions of the muscle. Given that potassium is excreted through sweat, it’s important for those who are physically active to consume plenty of potassium-rich foods and beverages to replete your electrolytes.
One study in 230 women found that those who experienced muscle cramps generally consumed lower amounts of potassium. Eating a banana prior to working out can help you meet your needs for potassium to promote muscle function and prevent cramps.