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If you want a better nutritional boost while exercising, go bananas. New findings from Appalachian State University’s Human Performance Lab in North Carolina show that trained cyclists who participated in a 75-kilometer simulated road race lasting 2.5 to 3 hours did as well when they ate bananas instead of drinking sports drinks.
Every 15 minutes during the race, some of the cyclists ate half a banana while others drank eight ounces of a sports drink. The investigators took blood samples from the cyclists before and after the race and then analyzed them for 100 compounds associated with metabolism. They found that the bananas provided higher amounts of fiber, potassium and vitamin B6 as well as several antioxidants not found in sports drinks, and a healthier blend of sugars.
Bananas should work equally well for maintaining nutrients and electrolytes during any other type of exercise, the researchers concluded.