The Benefits of Bananas Over Sports Drinks for Workout Recovery and Weight Loss
Is a sports drink your go-to beverage after a run, workout, or long day out in the hot sun? You may be surprised to discover that sports drinks are bad for your health. These high-sugar products promote weight gain and contribute to metabolic disease. Instead, choose a banana paired with a glass of water for a healthy, more efficient way to recover and replenish your body.
Recharge Your Electrolytes With Bananas
Your body needs electrolytes in order to maintain proper muscle function. Cramping, fatigue, and nausea result when you become depleted in these nutrients, which escape from the body through sweat.
Not only does a banana contain higher amounts of potassium than a sports drink, but it is also free of harmful ingredients like sucrose syrup, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial dyes like red 40 and blue 1.
Resistant Starches Are a Healthier Choice
The starches contained in bananas are called resistant starches. Unlike other starchy foods like potatoes, bananas are slowly digested. Much of the starch remains undigested and goes on to feed essential probiotics before passing from the body.
The glycemic index (GI) measures how quickly a food or drink will elevate your blood glucose levels after it is consumed. For example, on a scale of one to 100, table sugar has a GI score of 64. Gatorade has a score of 78, which is 22 points higher than a banana.
The higher a carbohydrate boosts blood glucose levels, the more fat-storing insulin is produced. A diet that consistently includes high-glycemic foods leads to weight gain, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes.
Research Doesn't Match Health Claims
Those who produce sports drinks make exaggerated and misleading claims regarding the benefits of their products. Research hasn’t provided any compelling proof that there are any advantages to consuming these beverages. Companies use studies that are biased, poorly executed, or entirely fabricated in order to market the healthfulness of their drinks.
According to British Medical Journal investigative reporter Deborah Cohen, companies have scientists on their payrolls who develop unfounded hydration guidelines to sports medicine organizations. These guidelines have been passed along long enough to become common health advice.
There’s a reason why your sports drink is so tasty: it’s loaded with sugar and little else. These products are bad for your health and contribute to weight gain. Their reported benefits are unproven, and can’t match the advantages found in a simple banana and a glass of water.
Englyst, H. N., and J. H. Cummings. “Digestion of the Carbohydrates of Banana (Musa Paradisiaca Sapientum) in the Human Small Intestine.” The American Society for Clinical Nutrition, Inc 44.1 (1986). Print.
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“Nutrition Facts Bananas, Raw.” Self Nutrition Data. Web. 10 June 2012.
“Glycemic Index.” Diabetesnet. Web. 25 July 2012.
Petrochko, Cole. “Little Backup for Sports Drink, Product Claims.” MedPage Today. N.p., 18 July 2012. Web. 25 July 2012.
Bankhead, Charles. “Too Much Water Bigger Threat Than Too Little.” MedPage Today. N.p., 18 July 2012. Web. 25 July 2012.