Can’t get enough bananas? We know how important they are in any athlete’s diet, sometimes the first port of call after a workout. Banana’s can be eaten either before or after a workout, and contain plenty of nutrients to enable your body to recover quicker.
Why are banana’s good for athletes?
Good for blood pressure and bone strength. Banana’s contain potassium, which supports a healthy blood pressure and bone strength. Being low in potassium can also cause fatigue and weakness, not what you need when you’re building up your strength for 2019!
They help you focus. Amino acids such as tyrosine are in bananas, which can make you more alert, able to focus and give you that extra motivation you may need in the off-season.
Plenty of vitamins and minerals are in bananas. In particular, vitamin B-6, iron and vitamin C. Being low in vitamin B-6 makes it harder for your body to release energy from nutrients. So, athletes need more B-6 than others due to long training periods and higher energy requirements. Iron is also essential to include in an athlete’s diet, as iron deficiency can cause weakness and fatigue. Iron is also used to transport oxygen during exercise. Taking vitamin C with iron enables your body to absorb more of the iron, so banana’s are a perfect fruit to ensure you’re having both.
Improves muscle recovery. Banana’s contain magnesium, which relaxes the muscles and aids in muscle recovery.
Slow releasing energy. The carbohydrate found in bananas gives you slow releasing energy, making them great to eat before a long workout, or include in any nutrition you take on long training sessions.
Now we have established why this great tasting fruit is going to help you smash your off-season training, see below for our top five recipes containing banana.
Banana and Peanut Butter Sandwiches
A quick post-workout snack, also a yummy breakfast option.
- 1-2 pieces of granary bread (we prefer brown or multi seed for additional nutritional value)
- Peanut butter (smooth or crunchy depending on preference) – Don’t go cheap here, as the budget brands contain palm oil which is bad for the environment and your body too!
- 1 x banana (sliced)
- Toast the bread and spread a generous amount of peanut butter on it.
- Add the sliced bananas.
Top tip: Drizzle some honey on the bananas and put them under the grill before you add them to the sandwich for a warm, and sweeter filling. This also works without honey!
Banana and Coconut Flapjacks
Eat these before or during a long ride for a slow releasing energy boost!
- 100g coconut oil
- 3 ripe bananas
- 200g oats
- 100g honey
- 2 tablespoons of Cacao nibs
- Pre heat the oven to 180C
- Mash the bananas until they are as smooth as you can make them.
- Melt the coconut oil and honey and mix with the bananas.
- Mix in the oats and cacao nibs, and pour into a casserole/oven dish.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the flapjacks turn a golden colour.
Banana and Blueberry muffins (as featured in the Zone3 recipe book)
A lower calorie, low sugar option containing only fruit sugars. We advise you to make a batch, ready to eat throughout the week.
- 150g blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 3 x ripe bananas
- 2 x large eggs
- 1-3 cups of gluten free oats (depending on how concentrated you want the muffins to be)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees
- Mash the banana in a mixing bowl until it turns to a liquid consistency.
- Mix in the eggs, letting in air to help it rise in the oven
- Add the oats and blueberries and mix
- Transfer to a muffin tray and bake for about 15 minutes or until the muffins are well baked (this will depend on the size of your muffin tray).
- Let them cool and serve hot or cold
Top tip: The same recipe can be used to make pancakes. Add all the ingredients as usual apart from the blueberries, and fry cups of the mix in a pan. Use the blueberries to sprinkle on top your stack of pancakes.
Peanut butter and Banana Smoothie
This recipe is ideal for a fast breakfast, or straight after a workout with some added protein powder.
- 1 x banana
- Half a cup of gluten free oats
- 1 heaped teaspoon of peanut butter
- Ice cubes (as desired)
- Half a cup of milk or milk substitute (we recommend almond milk)
- To mix it up, additional ingredients such as protein powder, cacao nibs or blueberries can be added
Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
For those chilly mornings where you need some warming up before tackling the cold!
- 40g porridge oats
- 250ml milk/milk substitute/water
- One banana chopped up into pieces
- Handful of pecans
- One tablespoon chia seeds
- Optional: dark chocolate
- Mix the porridge oats with the milk (pro tip: add sliced banana at this stage to infuse your porridge with yummy banana taste)
- Cook on the hob until all the liquid is absorbed by the oats.
- Mix in chia seeds and top with pecans and dark chocolate for a little sweetness.
Banana Frozen Yoghurt
A great treat to have after a long day of work and training.
- 5 very ripe bananas
- 850g Greek yoghurt (plain)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Optional: Pinch of cinnamon and 100g honey
- Blend the bananas, Greek yoghurt, vanilla extract and cinnamon in a blender or food processor until smooth. You can save some cut up pieces of banana to add in after this if you like pieces of banana in the mixture.
- Pour into a container (a loaf tin or old ice cream container are great for this).
- If using honey, swirl through the mixture now.
- Cover the container and place in the freezer until done.