Why This Dietitian is Bananas About Bananas for Runners

Oh the banana, a staple food in a runner’s diet.  Finish a race, free banana, before a run, eat a banana. Want a snack? You guessed it banana.  Bananas have become synonymous with runners.

The question is why so?  Are bananas nutritionally sound for runners?  Should you choose to eat bananas regularly as a runner?

This article will review the nutrient breakdown of bananas, why they are a great food item for runners, and some ideas of how to eat them.

Let’s learn more!

Bananas on yellow background

Nutrition breakdown of bananas

When you think about the nutrition of bananas I can almost guarantee the first thing you think of is they are high in potassium.   Although this is true, they also have tons of other nutrients and vitamins that make them a great food for runners.

Bananas are a fruit, and as most fruits they are mostly made up of carbohydrates.  Carbs are your friend as a runner.  Carbs=energy and energy=happy runner.

Bananas also include fiber which will help keep you feeling fuller longer.  They have electrolytes such as the aforementioned potassium and magnesium, and are a good source of Vitamins B6 and C. 

How runners can eat bananas

Bananas are a pretty versatile food item.  You can eat them for breakfast for some pre-run fuel, as a snack, in a smoothie, or after your run.  

The carbohydrates in bananas make them a great option to add in to your pre-run fuel.  Some examples of this are:

  • Toast with peanut butter and bananas
  • Yogurt with bananas
  • Banana and peanut butter
  • Chia seed pudding with banana
  • Banana smoothie bowl
  • Oatmeal with bananas
  • Plain banana with a sports drink

Bananas can also be used post run when your body needs both carbohydrates and protein. Pair a banana with a protein source and you have an ideal post run snack!

Why are bananas a good choice for runners?

All of the points made above reveal why bananas are a good choice for runners, but as always there is more.

Bananas are very easy to carry around, and have their own built-in packaging.  They are delicious and mesh well with a wide variety of foods.  Finally, bananas are often sentimental to runners, as they are almost always provided at any race.

The big picture

Overall, bananas are an awesome choice for runners.  They are versatile and contain carbs and many important nutrients for runners.

They can be eaten before or after your run.  There are many ways to enjoy bananas.  And they bring a sentimental value to running.

Add bananas into your running nutrition training plan, I promise you won’t regret it!

As always, happy running! 🙂

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