Benefits of bananas for runners


May 4th 2021 ・ 4 min reading

Running is one of the most popular – and practiced – sports worldwide, with almost 60 million people running, jogging or trail running in the USA alone. With more and more people keen to find ways to improve their health and fitness, this number will only increase! Runners are looking for a healthy lifestyle, and they are super conscious of the benefits of the foods they eat – so considering what to eat before running is important.

The right foods can help make a successful run, which is why Chiquita’s uniquely tasty, top-quality bananas are a hugely popular pre- and post-run snack. So, whether you run the odd mile every now and again or are in training for a marathon, read on. Below, we’ll have a closer look at why runners love bananas.

Pre-run fuel

Eating before a workout is an important part of the run – pre-workout meals have to provide the carb boost that runners need, while not sitting heavy in their stomachs, and the healthier the snack the better! Bananas contain exactly what runners want to eat before a run: high-quality fuel in a small, tough (and attractive) yellow carry case, along with a range of healthy vitamins and minerals.

What to eat for energy

Understanding what to eat before running is key to great exercise, and to a good race. Bananas are a perfect source of the energy they need to perform well and replace the body’s glycogen stores, as well as the vitamins and minerals that are sweated out during a run.

Benefits of bananas for runners

Vitamins and minerals

Figuring out what to eat before running means thinking hard about the nutritional benefits of the food you are going to eat. One of the main reasons why bananas are a popular pre-workout meal for runners is that they contain generous amounts of several vitamins and minerals which are important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and are therefore ideal for runners.

To start, bananas are rich in vitamin B6, which helps to convert carbohydrates into usable energy. Running is an aerobic sport, so having a good source of easily accessible energy to eat before a run is important. And don’t forget that a banana will help to maintain the same glucose levels as a sports drink!

One of the main reasons that runners love bananas before a workout is their generous helping of potassium, which is an important mineral: it’s an electrolyte that helps fluids and nutrients to move across cell membranes. Keeping the balance in the body is key to preventing muscle cramps and stitches. When you run, you sweat, and lose electrolytes, so having a natural source of these essential nutrients at hand is a great idea.

There is also a good amount of both soluble and insoluble fiber in bananas, particularly when they are under-ripe. So, when you’re looking at what to eat before running, eating a banana before a workout means that the energy from those sweet, delicious carbs is released slowly and steadily.

Bananas are also a respectable source of magnesium, and (fun fact!) half of the magnesium in your body is found in your bones. Since running is high impact, that little bit extra found in your favorite snack is very welcome!

More good news for runners seeking a healthy lifestyle is that bananas contain no cholesterol, salt or fat. If you want to eat for energy, but also want to make sure you’re not consuming hidden fat or salt, the humble banana is your friend.

Benefits of bananas for runners

The post-run cool down

Runners are also conscious of the need to consider the best food to eat after running. If you eat a banana shortly after a workout, within 15 minutes of finishing your run, you can quickly replace carbohydrates and minerals used up during the workout. This is particularly important if you’ve been on a long run or are running in when its hot outside.

A delicious, cool banana smoothie is also the perfect reward when you’re chilling out after a good run. If you are thinking about what to eat to restore your energy, or even a different way to get all that banana goodness before your run, we have lots of great, healthy recipes on our website.

Chiquita bananas are the perfect partner for your exercise, so when you’re thinking about what to eat before your run, don’t forget to pick up a bunch at the store and include them in your running routine today!

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