Runners, cyclists, swimmers, walkers, tennis players, any athlete really, can often be seen munching on a banana as a favourite source of energy. Bananas are packed with potassium and other nutrients, and what’s more, they are tasty, not too sweet, and an excellent convenience food as they come all ready wrapped in an easy-peel wrapper.
According to recent research conducted at Appalachian State University’s Human Performance Lab into the benefits of eating bananas over a carbohydrate sports drink during intense cycling, bananas proved not only to be as effective as the sports drink, but also to have additional advantages. The study, which was carried out over a 75 km intense cycle ride, with cyclists either consuming a half a banana or a carbohydrate sports drink every 15 minutes, showed that those who consumed the bananas were provided with antioxidants not found in the sports drink, as well as a greater nutritional boost, including fibre, potassium and Vitamin B6. The bananas were also found to contain a healthier blend of sugars.
For more info on this, see ScienceDaily.com. There are no details, however, about the number of cyclists or the make-up of the sports drink, and it is interesting to see that the research was funded by Dole Foods, the world’s largest fruit and veg company!
Who knows whether this is biased or not, but, in fact, who cares, we love bananas at Go Faster Food! We combine bananas with skimmed milk, chocolate and egg white to make the ultimate sports recovery shake, see Chocolate Banana Shakes and we make the most deliciously moist Banana bread.
It’s more than wishful thinking; chocolate can be good for you!
Dark chocolate and cocoa is packed with anti-oxidants which protect our cells from damaging free radicals, help fight off disease and basically keep us healthy. Cocoa and dark chocolate also contains high levels of important minerals such as copper, iron, potassium and magnesium. Anyone stepping up their activity for summer races will find that they feel better if they keep up their mineral levels which can become depleted though sweat and heavy exercise…what better excuse can you have to eat more good quality chocolate.
I have been putting together a collection of breakfast recipes for my new book for child and teen athletes – Go Faster Food for Kids – and I’m searching for ways to break away from the processed cereal culture. This is a hard task when we’re bombarded by advertising and such tantalisingly attractive packaging on the shelves. I have a big problem with the majority of processed cereals; marketed as healthy but essentially stripped of natural goodness which is then artificially restored, with ‘added’ nutrients. It’s really difficult to sell your child (even my children who can really appreciate good, wholesome food) a wholegrain and natural alternative like porridge when there is a pack of shredded or puffed, sugary wheat-based cardboard in the cupboard!
Hence my idea of chocolate granola! If you ask me, this chocolate granola gives you the best of both worlds; sweet, crunchy and very delicious, packed with a good balance of low GI, sustaining and natural carbohydrate, fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, protein and essential minerals…and it even makes the milk go brown and chocolatey like it does with Cocopops.
Here’s a quick version of how to make it, the full version will be in the book:
- Heat the oven to 180 C.
Oat and Raisin Muffins
The boys fell on these when they came back from touch rugby tonight!
Happy New Year and best wishes for an awesomely fit 2012.
What is all this fuss about
Butter Butter Soup; this tasty and wholesome combination of butternut squash, butterbeans and ginger makes a very comforting, sustaining and healthy training lunch. I have to admit that, as is the case with many good culinary discoveries, this soup combination evolved as a result of a mistake. I had put too much stock in my butternut squash soup and luckily struck upon the idea of using a tin of butterbeans to make it less runny.
When you’re training hard it’s important to be vigilant about keeping up your intake of vitamins and minerals as levels can become depleted with intensive workout, just as you need to ensure your glycogen levels are topped up by eating plenty of carbohydrate. The ingredients in this soup all work hard together to provide
This cake tastes too good to be be healthy.
If you’re doing lots of training at the moment, it’s really important to keep up your intake of vitamins and minerals as well as carbohydrate and protein. This cake is a good excuse to do just that… Upside-down cake or virtuous tarte tatin, this perfect autumn post-run treat is fool-proof, incredibly easy to make and highly nutritious. It is also really impressive served warm, as a dessert, accompanied by a dollop of cr
Whilst playing around with butternut squash recipes I fell upon the idea of grating it up and making a cake, just like you might do with carrot or courgette. It works! In fact, it works really, really well and what’s even more surprising, my daughter, who will normally extract any trace of butternut squash from her meal, absolutely adores it!
I think butternut squash is a fabulous vegetable and an excellent addition to any training diet. Bell-like in shape, it has a beautifully smooth, creamy-coloured skin which protects its dense, rich golden-yellow flesh. Its texture is deliciously soft; its taste sweet, buttery, nutty. It
Just a quick post about the most delicious, healthy and, most importantly, FAST, 10-minute supper we had tonight. An excellent training meal, cod is an really good, tasty and low fat source of protein. I served it with potatoes in their skins, crushed with a little olive oil and fresh spinach with a little nutmeg and