A simple banana.
Who would have thought that this yellow wrapped fruit could pack such an important punch for runners who are both rookies and veterans. Don’t believe me? Look below at all of the benefits of this magnificent fruit – the banana!
Bananas Lower Blood Pressure
The average bananas contains at least 450 milligrams of potassium, a known blood pressure reducer. Potassium is shown to help reduce the effects of sodium in the body (large amount of sodium can increase blood pressure). Since bananas have a very, very low amount of sodium (about 1 mg) it doesn’t add more sodium to your body.
Why is this important for a runner? A healthy and happy heart is very important in exercising in any form. By lowering your blood pressure you can help better your performance while running by make your body more efficiently. This also lowers the chance of a heart attack while putting your body through the stress of running.
Easy to Digest
Although, like most fruits, bananas pack some fiber (which can make you feel bloated while running) it is minimal compared to its other fruit friends. Bananas are also recommended for people with gastrointestinal issues – a runner’s nightmare.
As a runner, you need carbohydrates as instant energy while you are out on your runs. There are plenty of carbohydrate options out there, however as we mentioned before, bananas are low in fiber and pack a significant amount of carbohydrates. This will help you get the necessary carbohydrates for your runs without ruining your stomach with any problems.
Helps Absorb Nutrients
You may have heard of probiotic bacteria, a friendly bacteria in your digestive track that helps you break down food. What happens when these friendly guys are happy and healthy? Well, your body has the ability to absorb and break down even more nutrients from your food. This means, calcium and other vitamins/minerals will not pass through you, and you will be able to reap the benefits!
What food helps keep the probiotic bacteria healthy (and helps produce more)? Bananas!
Runners who are starting a new, healthier diet should include bananas to help absorb more of the nutrients from the healthy foods they are eating.
Helps Repair Skin
Looking to help get rid of acne? Just rub a banana peel on your face!
Honestly, there have been loads of people who have found a new way of helping repair injured skin (from blisters, scars, warts, wrinkles, acne, bruise, etc) just by massaging the area with a banana peel.
Have a blister on the bottom of your foot from running that 5 mile run the other day? Why no make it heal a little bit faster by massaging the area with a banana peel.
The peel of the banana contains both Vitamin C and K which have both been shown to help repair skin.
Muscle Strength and Cramps
Low potassium in the body has been known to decrease the muscles ability to perform (weakening the muscle) and can also produce cramps due to this weakness. Weak muscles and cramps can not help a runner perform on race day, or during training.
Bananas may not be the only source of potassium out there but combined with the other elements above, they can help provide the needed daily allowance of potassium that you body needs to perform efficiently.
Know any other useful uses for bananas as a runner? Comment below!