Many new runners don't know what to eat pre or post-workouts. You can never go wrong with a light snack like bananas if you don't know what to eat. If you are wondering, are bananas good before a run? Yes. It's because they are delicious and easily digestible, among other reasons.
Besides being portable and easily carrying bananas on the run, it also has the nutrients your body needs to restore the energy you will expend in your run. Consider these other benefits of bananas on your following workout menu.
Rich in carbs
Bananas are, like many other fruits, high in carbohydrates. One medium banana has around 27gm of carbs.
Carbs are helpful to your body because they can be converted or broken into glucose, a reliable energy source.
Carbs are also an excellent way to get glycogen into your body. Glycogen is the glucose stored in the muscles and liver to help the body fuel its energy when exercising.
Eating a banana before exercising will help you have longer workouts without feeling tired. Aerobic and cardio exercises like jogging, biking, and rowing, require endurance, and if your glycogen stores are full, you will easily convert them to energy.
A recent controlled study shows that carbs taken 15 minutes before your run improve endurance and reduce exhaustion by almost 13%. But the downside of bananas as a pre-workout snack is that it isn't the best for people on a ketogenic diet (Low carb diet).
Easy to digest
Bananas are easy to digest, making them among the top pre-workout carb sources. Bananas are also a rich fiber source, and this is helpful in digestion.
Fiber helps slow sugar absorption in your bloodstream and keeps providing your body cells with a constant supply of glucose. As you now know, glucose provides power and energy during workouts.
Ripe bananas have low fat but also provide a simple carb source that you can ingest and digest easily with other foods. Experts recommend bananas for people experiencing digestive concerns like diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
Bananas in every meal are advised because they help your body break down, causing fewer stomach upsets.
Source of minerals and vitamins
Bananas also provide your body with vitamins such as vitamin B6, which converts carbohydrates to helpful energy. When you are on outdoors running, you require accessible energy.
You can quickly get this from eating a banana instead of a sports drink.
Rich in potassium
Your body requires its daily value of potassium, and eating one medium banana can give you up to 10-14% of the value you need. Potassium is among the valued electrolyte-providing minerals your body requires to transport cells and nutrients across body cell membranes.
Potassium keeps your body balanced, and this helps it prevent stitches or muscle cramps when on the run. However, running and other exercises make you sweat and lose these electrolytes. Bananas are among the natural sources you can use to replenish electrolytes in your body.
Potassium has many other uses and includes maintaining nerve function, regulating blood pressure levels, and fluid balance. In addition, potassium is among the best sources of muscle health.
The risk of having low potassium levels is muscle cramps which can be sudden and so painful to hinder your running. You excrete potassium through sweat when you are actively running or working out. One medium banana can replenish your body with potassium minerals.
Rich in magnesium
The bones contain over half of all the magnesium in your body's bones. So to make your bones stronger, you need plenty of foods that provide magnesium. For example, bananas provide the magnesium necessary for your bones, making you endure high-impact runs and workouts.
Runners need to live a healthy lifestyle, which comes with understanding the proper diet. For example, bananas are the best fruits to consume because they have 0% cholesterol, fat, or salt. Imagine having all the energy you can get without the risk of consuming fats, salts, or cholesterol.
What's the Best Time to Consume a Banana Before I run?
Timing your consumption before running is an important part of your training. You don't want the discomfort of running with a bloated stomach. Bananas are a fast-acting carb and sugar source that boosts your energy.
Another benefit is you can eat the banana unaccompanied or with other meals and still have the energy you need to run. But eating a banana unaccompanied at least 15-30 minutes before your run is the best.
If you have time before your run, like 30-60 minutes, you can take a banana with other energy-giving foods. The reason is to give your body enough time to start digestion and fill your glycogen stores.
The more time you have before a run, you can be creative and explore your nutrition. Topping your banana diet with foods like granola, hemp hearts, and nut butter is advisable because of their rich source of usable energy-giving nutrients.
Feel free to have other combinations, but ensure that you have at least more than an hour for easy digestion and a comfortable run.
Bananas as a Post-run Food
In the same way, it's essential to consider your diet before running; you should also have a post-run food/snack. 15 minutes after you finish your workout, it's advisable to consume foods that can replenish the lost energy. What other better food than bananas?
Long runs will consume most of your energy, especially during a hot day. So as you cool down, consider eating a banana because we know it's fast-acting and easily digestible, therefore almost instant replenishing energy.
You can consume bananas in many ways, including having a cold banana smoothie. The internet is full of creative energy-giving diets and banana recipes.
Bananas offer both insoluble and soluble fiber. Are bananas good before a run? Definitely, it's a no-brainer that you need instant energy before and after runs. Bananas prevent muscle cramps which are common for runners, and are also sweet. You can eat them ripe, cook them or make them into a banana smoothie.
There are more benefits to including a banana in your regular diet, even if you aren't an active runner. 0% cholesterol, fats, or salts are at the top of the list.