Consuming carbohydrates (via foods or beverages) during lengthy workouts or races has been shown to have advantages. It can help athletes continue at a high intensity and recover more quickly when the trial is over.
A new study found that bananas can reduce inflammation and provide other benefits at least as well as sports drinks. Twenty competitive cyclists completed 75-kilometer trials on several dates. They consumed only water for one of the trials; on other days they also had 8 ounces of a sports drink or half a banana every 30 minutes.
Blood work showed much lower markers for inflammation when the sports drinks or bananas were consumed. The bananas also suppressed an enzyme that is known to intensify inflammation.
The downside is that bananas may cause bloating.
“Bananas vs. Sports Drinks? Bananas Win in Study” by Gretchen Reynolds, The New York Times, www.NYTimes.com, 4/4/18
“Metabolic Recovery from Heavy Exertion Following Banana Compared to Sugar Beverage or Water Only Ingestion...” by D.C. Nieman, PLOS One, 3/22/18