If you down energy drinks like they’re water, you’ve probably developed a spendy little habit. At nearly $3 per 250 ml can and almost $5 for a 500 ml can, it’s estimated that your sports drink habit could easily cost you close to $3,000 a year, depending on how many you down in a day.
You may be willing to overlook the cost if those drinks truly give you the boost you need to get through the day and get through your workout, but what if there’s an alternative that’s not only better at providing energy but is also better for your health? As it turns out, there is just such a wonder-snack, and you might even have it sitting in your kitchen right now.
Nanas Have Superior Nutrients
Researchers in North Carolina came up with the idea of comparing bananas to sports drinks as an energy source and found some surprising results. Their study not only showed that bananas gave energy drinks a run for their money when it came to delivering energy and nutrients during a workout, but bananas also offered better anti-inflammatory benefits. That element alone is worth its weight in Ibuprofen, as it means less fatigue during the workout and quicker muscle recovery afterward.
Bananas During Your Workout
You may have an open mind and be willing to ditch the energy drinks, but maybe you’ve been told you shouldn’t eat during a workout. Muscle and Fitness points out that, for workouts 60 minutes or longer, it’s actually a good idea to eat during the first part of your workout to ensure you have what it takes to get to the end of it. However, it all depends on how empty or full your stomach is before you hit the gym. If you just ate—let’s say 30 minutes or less—before your workout, then, yeah, it’s probably best to save the snacking for after exercising. On the other hand, if your stomach is relatively empty, you’re gonna need that nana, and it will be a better choice than an energy drink.
Yes, both bananas and energy drinks contain sugars, vitamins, and other nutrients. Even the protein in both are comparable, but energy drinks have long been a concern for health professionals. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, excessive energy drink consumption was found to be related to high blood pressure and altering the electrical activity of the heart. On the other hand, Medical News Today pronounced bananas to be a heart-healthy food filled with safe, natural amounts of vitamins and minerals.
The Best Way to Incorporate Bananas for Energy
Consider this: if you sip on an energy drink while exercising for the energy boost, there is a way to incorporate bananas into a healthy drink that will serve the same purpose. Concoct a shake from a banana, skim milk and/or Greek yogurt, a dollop of almond or sunflower butter, and a dash of dark chocolate. Heck, even add a splash of cold coffee left over from breakfast if you need a little extra caffeine kick. They’re all energy-boosting foods that are healthy and, served in liquid form, will be as satisfying for your thirst as for your energy levels.