Why Do Runners Eat Bananas? 3 Amazing Reasons

why do runners eat banana

Have you wondered why do runners eat bananas before and after running? Read on to find out.

Bananas are deliciously sweet and easy to eat on the go; it's not hard to imagine why runners eat bananas. Runners also consume bananas because they're a great source of carbohydrates, an important pre-run fuel, without being too heavy. Plus, they help to replenish the potassium lost during the run.

Health Benefits Of Bananas For Runners

A banana is a nutritionally-dense fruit that offers a lot of nutrition. Even better, one medium-sized banana has just 112 calories. Here are the other nutrition facts for bananas.

  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbs: 29 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Riboflavin: 7% DV
  • Vitamin B6: 22% DV
  • Vitamin C: 12% DV
  • Potassium: 10% DV
  • Magnesium: 8% DV
  • Copper: 11% DV
  • Niacin: 5% DV
  • Folate: 6% DV
Why do runners eat banana - health benefits of banana
Bananas are good for runners due to its nutritional benefits

Potassium

Potassium is an essential electrolyte that works similarly to sodium. If you run regularly or do heavy exercise, you run the risk of potassium deficiency. This can result in an irregular heartbeat or muscle cramps. 

When you lose potassium, it needs to be replaced. After a run, a banana can help to replace the potassium you lost. 

Magnesium

Because runners exert extra pressure and force on their bones, it's important to ensure that they have enough magnesium. Bananas are an excellent source of magnesium. 

Vitamin B6

We need energy to run. Vitamin B6 is involved in hemoglobin synthesis, energy metabolism, white blood cell synthesis, and oxygen transport to the cells. 

Runners need a little bit more vitamin B6 because of the amino acids and glycogen they use for fuel when they run. 

Fiber

The parts of a banana that can't be digested are known as roughage. Roughage and fiber support gut health. You can reduce the risk of runner's trots when you get plenty of fiber in your diet. 

Bananas As Pre-Run Fuel

What you eat before you run can play a huge role in how well you perform. For a pre-workout meal, you should consume plenty of carbs. However, you want to eat foods that don't weigh you down and bloat your stomach. 

Bananas are a great addition to a pre-run meal because they're a high-energy food. 

Check out our explainer on why runners drink pickle juice.

Bananas For Post-Run Cooldowns

After running, replacing potassium is important. You can eat a banana or enjoy a cool banana smoothie after your run. Ingesting bananas right after your run can quickly replace the carbohydrates that you use during the run.

Why Do Runners Eat Bananas?

Bananas are great for giving runners the daily potassium they need to perform. Whether eaten before a run or after during recovery, bananas are the quickest and easiest way to take care of a runner's body.

sportswoman sitting on mat and eating banana after online training
Bananas are the quickest and easiest way to take care of a runner's body

One study even claims that eating a banana is just as effective as drinking a sugary sports drink for recovery post-run. 

If you liked this post, you might also find out explainer on why do runners eat pasta useful. 

FAQs About Why Do Runners Eat Bananas 

Do Bananas Help You Run Longer?

Bananas may help you run longer because having enough potassium can prevent muscle cramps.  

How Long Before Running Should You Eat A Banana? 

Experts recommend that runners eat a banana about 15 to 30 minutes before a run. 

What Do Two Bananas A Day Do For You? 

When you eat two bananas a day, you will provide your body with a ton of potassium. Every cell in the body uses potassium to generate electrical charges that you need to function properly. Potassium also triggers insulin release, so it can help to regulate your body's blood sugar.