Hear Us Out: Bananas Are the Perfect Pre- and Post-Workout Snack

If you’ve just returned to the gym after months of extended lockdowns, you might feel like a bit of a fish out of water, or maybe even a banana out of its skin. It’s all a little unfamiliar, you’re finding your workout routine harder than it was before, and you don’t have the same energy you used to.

This is exactly how I felt when returning to the gym for the first time after months of exclusively only going on walks around my local neighbourhood. Energy is considered the key to getting the most out of post-pandemic life, research has found that almost three-quarters (74%) of Australians feel they will need more energy post lockdown.

With this in mind, you might be searching for a pre- and post-workout snack to give you the natural boost you need to get back into your gym routine. According to dietitian Susie Burrell, bananas are the perfect natural pick me up both before and after a workout and will give you long consistent energy during your session. Here’s why:

Bananas Are Great for on the Go

It’s important to make food decisions that are both quick and nutritious when you’re on the go. If you’re the sort of person who likes to knock out your gym session first thing in the morning, bananas double as both the perfect breakfast and pre-workout snack.

“Thanks to their natural carbohydrates, vitamins and potassium, bananas are a great way to get your morning off to the right start so you can win the day,” Burrell said.

“Bananas are naturally convenient and make the perfect nutritious on-the-go breakfast. They’re also incredibly versatile, perfect for slicing and adding on to a slice of multigrain bread or making a delicious smoothie.”

They Give You the Energy Boost You Need

Many of us are looking for a good pick me up both pre-workouts to give you the long, sustained energy you need during a session, as well as post-workout to help us recover. And according to Burrell, bananas are the perfect energy source for both scenarios.

“Bananas are the perfect quick and easy snack for before and after a workout. Bananas are a rich source of vitamin B6 and natural carbohydrates, which helps with providing long lasting energy. They’re also a great source of potassium, which helps support muscle health before your workout,” she said.

“Bananas are also a great food for recovery, as their natural carbohydrates help with replacing muscle fuel stores after exercise.”

They Aid in Recovery Post-Exercise

You may not know that bananas are often referred to as the perfect food for athletes. This is because of their combination of easily digestible carbs, and potassium and magnesium that act as electrolytes which are often lost during exercise according to Healthline.

“Bananas are jam-packed with natural goodness that gives you the fuel you need to do the things you want to do! They provide the body with a healthy dose of carbohydrates, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C, and they have absolutely no fat,” Burrell said.

“They’re full of natural carbohydrates and B6 to provide you with feel-good, long-lasting energy, while giving a feeling of fullness. They’re also high in magnesium and folate for healthy muscles and mind, as well as fibre for good gut health.”

This means refuelling your body post-exercise with a banana may also reduce muscle cramps and soreness. It’s a win win.

You Don’t Need to Consume a Lot to See the Benefits

No one wants to be chowing down on a huge meal prior to heading to the gym, leaving you feeling full and sluggish. That’s why bananas are great because you only need to eat one before working out and one after working out to see the benefits.

“I’d recommend eating one or two bananas a day and having one whole at a time to enjoy their full health benefits. Just one medium banana will give 10% of your daily potassium needs, 2.4g of fibre, 15% of your B6 and 10% of your folate needs,” Burrell said.

“I’ll usually have one in the morning with breakfast or for a mid-morning snack to start my day off right. I’ll also sometimes have one in the afternoon if I’m in need of an extra boost.”

They’re Good for You Long-Term

Another reason bananas are great before and after an exercise session is because they are good for you long term. In short, you can’t eat too many bananas over your lifetime.

“We know that diets that are packed full of fresh fruits like bananas and brightly coloured vegetables are healthier and associated with longer, and healthier lives which is a great reason to load up on nutrient rich, whole foods like bananas,” Burrell said.

They’re Versatile and Can Be Enjoyed in Different Ways

Bananas are wonderful as they are because they lend themselves to being eaten on the go and are easy to pop in your gym bag. But now that we know how good bananas are for you, what are some different ways we can enjoy them aside from exactly as they are? Burrell has a few favourites.

“Bananas are one of my go-to foods and I love eating them in a variety of ways. If I’m looking for a healthy snack to go, I’ll grab a banana and enjoy as is,” she said.

“I also love using them for some healthy baking, such as my delicious banana zucchini bread or brekkie muffins, or in my favourite banana and choc-almond smoothie.”

To find out more about why bananas are the perfect pre-workout snack, visit https://australianbananas.com.au

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.