Bananas are the perfect food for working out. But often, the questions come up of whether it’s better to eat bananas before working out or after working out.
In actuality, there is no right or wrong answer to whether you should eat bananas before or after you work out because there are great benefits associated with eating bananas before a workout as well as there are great benefits to eating bananas after a workout.
It all comes down to how you want bananas to aid in your exercise efforts.
In general, the benefits associated with eating bananas before a workout can help improve workout performance. The benefits of eating bananas post work out can help with post-workout recovery.
Therefore, if you primarily want bananas to aid in your workout performance, you will eat them before your workout. If you want bananas to aid in your post-workout recovery, you will eat them after a workout.
Also, no rule says you can’t do both eat bananas before and after you work out.
However, like any food, you don’t want to overindulge in bananas. Because if you overeat any food, you will overload on the calories and nutrients that that food provides.
A good number to stop at would be 2 or 3 bananas a day.
Below are the benefits associated with eating bananas before and after a workout.
As you read you will see that some of the very things that make bananas beneficial to eat before a workout also make them beneficial to eat after a workout.
Benefit of Eating Bananas Pre-Workout:
1. Provide You Longer Lasting Energy
Bananas can be a great food to eat before a workout session because they can provide longer-lasting energy, which can help keep you energized through a workout session so that you get the most out of it.
The reason bananas can provide longer-lasting energy has a lot to do with their sugar and fiber content. Sugar provides energy. Fiber slows down the body’s ability to absorb sugar. So instead of getting a quick sugar rush of energy, the energy is delivered at a slower, more subtle pace when you eat a banana, and therefore the energy lasts longer.
2. Glycogen Store
The body stores energy in many ways. Glycogen store is when the body takes glucose from carbs, converts it to glycogen, and stores it for future use. It is primarily stored in the muscles and liver. It’s the body’s go-to energy source once exercises reach a certain level of intensity. Studies have shown that a high percentage of energy comes from glycogen stores once physical activity reaches a certain level of intensity and the body needs more oxygen.
Also, studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between glycogen and how long you can exercise at a certain intensity.
This means it’s always good to have your gas in the tank in terms of glycogen storage. Eating bananas helps ensure that you have stored energy.
3. Fill You Up
Bananas can fill you up at relatively little calorie expense. As a single banana can be very filling and contains only 105 calories.
That makes bananas a great option if you’re working out to lose weight and looking for food that can keep you full while you work out that is also low in calories.
Banana’s ability to fill you up at relatively little calorie expense has a lot to do with its water and fiber content. As water and fiber can be very filling to consume, and water has no calories, and fiber has almost no calories. Bananas are made up of 83 percent water, and a single banana medium-sized bananas (7 to 77/8 inches) contains 3 grams of fiber.
Contents in bananas that do have calories are found in minimal amounts; therefore, as a whole, bananas are a low-calorie weight loss-friendly food.
4. May Help Prevent Cramping
Cramping is often caused when muscles aren’t contracting properly. Potassium is the mineral used to help send electrical signals that help muscles contract. When you exercise, potassium is lost as it is sweated out. That is why getting plenty of potassium in advance of working out can help prevent cramping.
Helping to prevent or mitigate cramping in the first place will ultimately speed up the post-workout recovery on the back end.
Summary of Eating Bananas Pre-Workout
Eating bananas before working out can help you from going hungry when working out, help keep your energy levels up throughout the workout, and help prevent cramping while working out. All these benefits can help with your exercise performance.
Benefit of Eating Bananas Post-Workout:
1. Relatively Low Calories / Can Help With Post Exercise Hunger
Bananas can take care of post-exercise hunger, and at about 100 calories single banana is relatively low in calories.
Therefore, if you are working out to lose weight, eating a banana after your workout will help take care of your post-exercise hunger without adding back on a lot of calories that you have worked so hard to lose.
Bananas’ ability to be filling and yet low in calories has a lot to do with their water and fiber content. Many studies have shown fiber to be weight loss friendly (1)(2)(3), and many studies have shown water (4)(5)(6) consumption to be weight loss friendly.
2. Can Help With Post Exercise Fatigue
After a hard workout, you may feel exhaustion and fatigue, and you may feel like your energy is totally zapped. Bananas are a great food to take of post-exercise fatigue.
And as just mentioned, bananas are low in calories, so when they help with fatigue, they do so at little calorie expense.
3. Can Help Replenish Electrolytes Helping To Reduce Post Work Out Cramping
As mentioned earlier, bananas can help reduce cramping during a workout. However, cramping is not something that you have to worry about during a workout. It can also be a problem post-workout as well.
As mentioned before, the body uses electrolytes to generate electrical impulses (ib) for doing things like contracting muscles. Working out can deplete a lot of your electrolytes which can cause post-workout cramping.
Bananas can help replenish the body with two important electrolytes, which are potassium and magnesium.
4. Good For Protein Shakes
A protein shake can be perfect food to consume to after a workout.
Made correctly, a protein shake can fill the body up by taking care of hunger and replenishing the body with some much-needed nutrients while being enjoyable to drink. Bananas can make a great addition to a protein shake. Adding banana to a protein will give the protein drink a fruitier, sweeter, and more colorful taste.
Bananas don’t just complement protein shakes from a taste standpoint; they also complement protein drinks from a nutritional standpoint. The two important things the body needs after a workout are protein and carbs. Protein helps with tissue repair, and carbs can help with replenishing glycogen stores as already mentioned, once exercises reach a certain level, a lot of energy comes from glycogen. However, the body doesn’t store glycogen in large amounts in glycogen store.
Protein drinks are a great source of protein, and bananas are a great source of carbs, so when you blend them, you give the body some of the nutrients it needs to most: protein and carbs.
Summary of Eating Bananas Post-Workout
Bananas are great post-workout because they serve as a low-calorie, filling, and healthy food that will help the body recover, rejuvenate, and replenish after a workout.