Review | Banana

Review | Banana

A Review of Bananas, every monkey, err grappler’s favorite fruit.

Intro

Bananas, we’ve all had one. Whether you are a health nut or a slob, you cannot say you didn’t enjoy it either. I could credit it to an evolutionary viewpoint that we are all monkeys and what do monkeys love? Exactly. But this is not a article on creation or anything but more so a review on bananas. Bananas are packed full of nutritional benefits yet sometimes get mixed reviews. Are they worth eating? When is the best time to eat them? “I’m sick of eating just straight up bananas how can I switch it up?” Are these question you ask yourself? Of course they are and in this review they will be answered and I’ll even supply you with my favorite pre-training recipe that is so tasty and easy you’ll slap yourself for never trying it before.



General Information

Bananas are those yellow fruits that are everywhere. On the counter of your bodega next to the room temperature hard boiled eggs that have been out for god knows how long, grocery stores and even being thrown at your friends in Mario Kart 8 (which is awesome by the way.) there is even the move called the “banana split.” Hell long story short, these are popular and you should probably know a little more about them.

"Did you hit my 'nana?!" - Moe Tilert
“Did you hit my ‘nana?!”

 

Bananas are grown in their own little protective jackets so they could not be easier to carry around or to and from the gym/office which are one in the same. They are full of vitamins and minerals and provide recovery necessary or pre work out boosting carbohydrates and sugars. There are all sorts of articles for or against bananas because of their nutritional content. Sure maybe they are a little high in carbs and sugars for the average human to be consuming daily.Luckily we are not that, we train long hours at a steady pace so while our muscles are firing off as we sink in our favorite collar choke over and over again we are depleting our bodies glycogen storage aka our energy. After a long training session we have a small window to replenish nutrients lost so our metabolism burns those rather than going into a catabolic state and having our metabolism start to eat away at our lean muscle.

Not bad for a little yellow belt grappler
Not bad for a little yellow belt grappler

 

 

Bananas can help in more ways than in the recovery process. They should be eaten for many other reasons whether that is for a good energy burst, to avoid soreness/muscle cramping or just to make you happier, have you ever seen a sad monkey eating a banana? You sure havent and that is because bananas contain tryptophan which the body converts into serotonin. Whats my anti-drug? Bananas.

Benefits

  • High level of potassium which is credited to lower blood pressure which will lower our risk of heart attacks and stroke but also prevent us from cramping as much! Dont you just hate when your toes just want to run away from each other mid roll?
  • High in vitamin B-6 which reduces swelling, helps with weight loss, diabetes prevention, and helps strengthen our nervous system.
  • Added fiber which helps aid in smooth digestion if you catch my drift.
  • They are a good source of calcium and iron so stronger bones and better blood!
  • They will cool you down on a hot day.
  • Had a few too many drinks last night? Bananas are a great hangover cure.
  • Extremely versatile in cooking, they come “prepackaged” and are creamy and delicious on their own but can be made into cookies, bread, “ice cream” as mentioned in my cooking with protein powder article.
  • Also they are so cheap they practically give them away.

    Who wants to make this into a rash guard and give me 50% commission?
    Who wants to make this into a rash guard and give me 50% commission?

When to eat bananas? 

Time of year: Have you ever gone to the store and saw them out of bananas? I didnt think so. Bananas are grown all over the world year round so lucky for us we can have those little yellow bastards anytime we want!

Time of day: What you are doing and when really can factor in when to eat bananas, but more specifically you second banana of the day. Breakfast time a banana is always a good choice for the carbs and sugar boost to get you started on the right foot, but make sure you dont drop the banana peel and slip on it with that right foot.

How can my training benefit from bananas?

Pre-training: If you are looking for a good energy boost for your training that will not fill you up and leave you feeling bloated a banana or two is an excellent choice. Bananas contain low glycemic carbohydrates which are prolific for endurance training. The sugars and carbs give a pop of energy that will also slowly release rather than be a flare.

Is it gi or no gi tonight?
Is it gi or no gi tonight?

Post-training: They may taste sweet but they only pack 14-15 grams of sugar. That sugar increased our blood sugar levels back to normal after a hard workout but also the complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals that are packed into bananas are a perfect combination for post work out recovery. Also need I remind you of potassium? Yea less cramping.

Selecting the perfect banana

A few more degrees than BJJ belt ranking...or is this the same as kids class rankings?
A few more degrees than BJJ belt ranking…or is this the same as kids class rankings?

 

Bananas come in all sorts of shades and sizes primarily if you go into a super market you will find them ranging from under ripe green to mushy brown. Ideally what banana you like best is up to your taste but for optimal sweetness and texture a few brown spots are actually ideal. The spots occur when the starches are converted into sugar, sugar is sweetness! So for maximum flavor opt for a freckled banana rather than the poster child banana.

Tips and tricks:

  • Bananas not ripe enough? Slap them into a paper bag and the ethylene gas they produce will be trapped and expedite the ripening process. You can also throw other fruits in there to help ripen faster such as tomatoes, avocados and apples.

    Even your banana can wear head gear to prevent unwanted growth
    Even your banana can wear head gear to prevent unwanted growth
  • Want to slow down the ripening process? Wrap the end of your bananas tightly with plastic wrap. This traps in the gases they produce which result in the slowing of ripening.

Recipe

A tasty roll to fuel your rolls.(in class rolls not belly rolls.)
A tasty roll to fuel your rolls.(in class rolls not belly rolls.)

 

INGREDIENTS 
Main Components

Banana, peeled: 1 ea
Peanut butter: 1 1/2 Tbsp aka a nice layer
Honey: Drizzle ~ 2 tsp
Whole wheat wrap: 1 wrap

METHOD
Main Components

Spread peanut butter on one side of the wrap evenly.
Lay your peeled banana on the wrap a little lower than the center line.
Drizzle with honey.
Fold the bottom of the wrap over the banana and pull it back slightly to snug it around the banana and then continue to roll to make a full wrap.
Wrap tightly in plastic wrap to bring on the go or crush it as is.

Conclusion

Oh how I wish I could put "yellow with brown spots" belt.
Oh how I wish I could put “yellow with brown spots” belt.

Bananas are readily available, packed full of beneficial nutrients for endurance training and general living. Should you be eating 6 bananas a day? Probably not if you are only training an hour a day and at the office the majority of the time. Are you training multiple times a day and lifting? Then yea more than 3 bananas a day might be in order. So the name of the game is not about should or should you no be eating bananas but rather how many are right for your activity level. Go buy a “hand” of bananas and use it to give yourself a pat on the bag for making a good decision, now go roll up a wrap and then a few sparring partners but first sign up for the weekly newsletter below to have these posts hand delivered to your email as they release! OSS!



Images: PhillyMag CarlaGolden Thumbeline SkinnyMom Babyrecipes MaxLevelGeek

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