A banana is a super fruit for runners. Providing enough energy to make it through the hard yards.
However, simply grabbing a banana before you head out will not give you the true benefits that come from this superfood.
When and how many bananas you should eat before your run is something we want to look at today.
Why should you eat a banana before a run?
Bananas are packed full of goodness. Bananas are heavy on Carbohydrates and Fibre, providing you with that kick-start energy you need. A rich source of Vitamin B6, a healthy dose of Potassium, and a side of Vitamin C.
Typically 100g provides 20.3g of Carbs, 18.1g of natural sugar (the good kind), and 1.4g of Fibre. Compared to other fruits, the lower water content and high natural sugar make an ideal snack to fuel your body.
If you’re calorie counting a typical banana only has 100 calories. Add to this banana’s tendency to be packed with resistant starch, a banana will keep away hunger a lot longer than a Mars bar will.
How long before a run should I eat a banana?
Typically it takes 30-60 mins for a banana to digest into your system, giving you the maximum benefit before a run. This gives enough time for your body to break down the banana, ensuring you gain the greatest benefit.
Should I only eat a banana before my run?
This is a tricky question, which comes down to you and your run. For short runs, bananas are a great source of energy that will help you power through. However, for longer runs, you will find your legs ache and your body yearning for food.
Ideally, you should partner your banana with some healthy nuts and some water. The high amount of natural sugar, paired with the lower water can bite you on the bum, in your long runs. Check out our article regarding eating peanuts before a run
How many bananas should I eat before my run?
How many is too many, well when it comes to bananas that number is actually very low. 1 or 2 bananas depending on the length of your run should give your body all the energy it needs. Although, as we said before, for longer runs you should pair this with a healthy snack like peanuts, to balance out the higher sugar count.
What drawbacks are there to eating a banana before my run?
While often described as a superfood, bananas, unfortunately, face their own kryptonite. Unfortunately, it’s all the healthy stuff inside, which can imbalance your insides.
The high sugar count can lead to a sugar crash a few hours later. Pairing a banana with some healthy fat can balance that out. Again we must stress healthy fat, a deep-fried portion of fries. Peanut butter, porridge, or some yogurt, are a match made in heaven, with a banana.
Additionally, the lower water amount in a banana will hit you later in your run. You should drink water before your run or bring a bottle with you, so you can go for longer and stronger.
The last thing you want while your feet are moving is your tummy rumbling. Those rumbles in the stomach you get, when your body screams, I need FOOD!
Now feel confident you go longer and further without hunger striking.
You may even beat your run record after loading up on the right foods. Check out how far you should be running in 30 mins.