Going bananas?

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Many trainers have conflicting arguments on bananas, so what’s it all about?

Firstly, we can look at what is actually in the average 120g banana:

From the data above we can see that the fruit offers quite a lot in terms of minerals like potassium. Potassium is essential for all cell, tissue and organ function in the body. Pretty important stuff.

There isn’t a great deal of protein or fat in a banana, with the main bulk being carbohydrate, and herein lies the debated issue. Because a banana is mostly carbohydrate, many trainers believe that it will cause your blood sugar levels to spike. In theory, this spike will then cause hunger and cravings for more carb snacks. Not good if you’re trying to control your weight!
However, there are also many trainers who swear by bananas, using them as a healthy source of energy. With about 105 calories per average banana, they offer around the same amount of energy as a typical snack bar but are far more nutrient dense. So if you are in control of your nutrition, you can use bananas as a snack throughout the day to give you a small boost.

My own personal opinion of bananas is that they’re an excellent snack to have. I usually have a banana before or after my workout, or even whilst cycling if I’m going a long distance. However, I’m not trying to alter my weight or change my body fat so perhaps my diet is quite unrestricted compared to other peoples. I guess it really does depend on the individual in question. For the average person I don’t really think eating bananas should be an issue, but obviously if you’re a bodybuilder trying to get your body fat % down then more thought will be needed.
The amount of macronutrients (carbs, fats, proteins) each person needs is always an individual thing, so it’s best to go off your own recommended amounts.

Do you have any comments on the banana debate?

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About Author

As a physical education graduate and qualified personal trainer, Mathew is very knowledgable when it comes to fitness. Outdoor training is a personal favourite of Mathew's but he also has a high degree of gym based experience. Location: Carlisle

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