Many of us don’t speak of bananas as vital sources of energy. Doing just that, scientists from the Appalachian State University have revealed that bananas are as effective as sports drinks in providing energy during sports.

As part of the trial, cyclists were instructed to consume half a banana or a serving of carbohydrate juice. They had to drink the juice or have the banana every 15 minutes over a 2.5- to 3 hour-race. Later, their blood samples were analyzed to see which ingredient worked the most.

“We wanted to see which was more beneficial when consumed during intense cycling – bananas or a carbohydrate sports drink. We found that not only was performance the same whether bananas or sports drinks were consumed, there were several advantages to consuming bananas,” expressed Dr. David C. Nieman, director of the human performance lab and a member of the College of Health Sciences faculty at Appalachian.

According to the results, bananas provided the participants with antioxidants, vitamin B6, fiber and potassium. The fruit also seemed to provide them with more nutrition, as compared to sports drinks. Moreover, the latter may contain flavored sugars that could not be favorable for good health. On the contrary, bananas carried the right combination of sugars that could suit the body.

According to the team, many sports personalities are not in favor of consuming sugar-laced sports drinks for energy. Reported in the journal, PLoS One, the study suggested that consuming bananas could be a safe and alternative form of revitalizing the body during and after sports sessions.