If you exercise, drink a lot of sports drinks, but are looking for an alternative, a banana might reasonably replace sports drinks for carbohydrates to fuel exercise and speed recovery, according to a new study comparing the cellular effects of carbohydrates consumed during sports. The most digestible and portable form of carbohydrates is sugar, whether glucose, fructose or sucrose, and for athletes, probably you, this sugar frequently is provided through sports drinks. But sports drinks are not a substance found in the natural world and can contain flavorings and chemicals that some of us might wish to avoid. So a few years ago, researchers at the North Carolina Research Campus of Appalachian State University in Kannapolis, looked into fruits as a healthier alternative to sports drinks during exercise and found that a banana, with its all-natural package, provides comparable or greater anti-inflammatory and other benefits for athletes than sports drinks. So, if you’re looking for an inexpensive and neatly packaged alternative to sports drinks, bananas, apparently, look pretty good.
(Source: Gretchen Reynolds, New York Times; Image: New York Times)