If you are looking for a healthier and more wholesome way to replenish your energy during exercise, you may want to go with the classic snack, peanut butter’s best friend, banana.
Sounds like a smart snack to me! Exercise scientists at Appalachian State University’s Human Performance Lab compared eating bananas to drinking a sports beverage as a source of fuel and electrolytes. The researchers had a group of trained cyclists eat either half a banana or a cup of a sports beverage every 15 minutes during a 75-kilometer simulated road race. Based on the analysis of more than 100 blood metabolites, the researchers determined that performance was equivalent in both the banana eaters and the sports beverage drinkers, but there were additional benefits attributed to the bananas. Bananas provided a far superior nutritional profile including more fiber, more antioxidants, more vitamins and minerals, and a healthier blend of sugars.
The researchers concluded that bananas could be used as a healthier form of carbohydrate and electrolyte replacement before, during, or after exercise. Once again, Mother Nature comes out on top!
(PLoS ONE online May 2012) Speaking of bananas…have you tried this recipe below?
This recipe is decadently delicious and great for you. Try it a small serving, cooled version for a great snack!
A single serving of quick cooking steel cut oats. (now available in a few brands from the standard grocer)
½ large ripe banana or 1 small banana
2 tsp smooth peanut butter or almond butter
2 heaping tbsp of Greek plain non-fat yogurt
1 tbsp cocoa powder
Dash or two of cinnamon (optional)
Prepare the oatmeal according to package instructions. (I use the microwave.) Add the banana and use the back of a fork to mash it up and then stir it into the oatmeal. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until well blended. You can pop it back into the microwave if you want it hotter. Feel free to add any other fruit or to top it with some nuts, wheat germ, hemp kernels or ground flax. The banana, nut butter, and cocoa powder are essential though – together they create a flavor combination that will give your taste buds a real treat.
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