While most people think that a banana can be a perfect post-workout snack, it can also be the best pre-workout food. Bananas are not only nutritious but they are also delicious. They are convenient, easy to digest, and packed with nutrients that can help improve performance and recovery from exercise.
Here’s why bananas are one of the best foods you can eat before and after your workout:
- Eating bananas can help replenish muscle glycogen. Bananas are high in carbohydrates and once you eat carbohydrate-rich foods before and after exercising, they can promote the release of the hormone called “insulin”. This can help transport sugar from the blood to muscle cells, where it is stored as glycogen. And not only that, it can also help your muscle cells become more insulin-sensitive, making it easier for them to replenish their glycogen stores after training.
- It can help your body use protein efficiently. Since bananas are carbohydrate-rich foods, when eaten alongside a protein source immediately after training, it can help your muscles recover more effectively from resistance-based training. It’s because carbohydrates can help stimulate the muscles’ ability to absorb or use protein, which in turn can help increase muscle building while limiting its breakdown.
- Bananas are rich in potassium which is responsible for the proper functioning of the muscles. According to health experts and nutritionists, an adult who works out in the gym or jogs needs at least 4,700 milligrams of potassium a day. Since all stress falls on the muscles during exercise, potassium is used up and must be replenished after your workout.
- Bananas can help reduce inflammation. Besides being rich in carbohydrates, bananas also contain good amounts of beneficial compounds, such as dopamine and polyphenols. When these other compounds are combined with carbohydrates, they can help prevent excess inflammation from occurring after training, which can promote faster recovery.