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.
This cake tastes too good to be be healthy.
On 3rd September Kasabian Bassist, Chris Edwards and his brother Jay start their gruelling MONSTER Lejog cycle challenge from Lands End to John O’Groats in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust. Lucky me, they’re stopping over at my place in Bristol for a Go Faster Food Supper! So on 6th September, after a little photo shoot with the local
Pappardelle with Prosciutto, Flat-Leaf Parsley, Sweet Red Peppers and Brie de Meaux
Just a quickie post to jot down a delicious pasta dish I’ve just made for lunch after a joyful 13 miler this morning (I actually sprinted the last mile home, let’s hope the training stays so positive). This pasta took moments to make (and eat), was really fresh-tasting and incredibly healthy, with a good balanced of vitamins and slow-burning carbohydrates, plus a little protein. Brie de Meaux is quite high in saturated fat, so you might want to go easy on this. On the other hand, a little goes a long way and it really does add to the dish.
Serves 2 hungry people or 4 smaller portions:
- 250 g fresh pappardelle ( I used fresh lasagne sheets which I cut into thick strips)
- 80g pack of prosciutto cut into thin strips – even better if you can buy some cut freshly at the deli, but I used the pre-packed stuff
- 25g flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- a couple of sweet red pointed peppers, or one large standard red pepper, sliced finely
- about 150g good quality brie, like brie de Meaux, sliced into
A lovely lady called Annabel Lee at a new start-up sports nutrition venture called Orbana very kindly sent me some samples of their new energy drink to try out. Many of my followers will know that I am not one to get enthused by commercial sports nutrition products, all of which seem to claim that their product will be your answer to improved performance/recovery because of its unique blend of carbohydrate, minerals, protein etc etc. I find that most of these drinks and gels wither play havoc with my stomach or make me gag. They also tend to leave a sweet and sickly artificial taste in your mouth. I am much happier with the home made variety
BEST (Bristol English Channel Swim Team)
I’ve been given the great privilege of helping out on the foodie front for BEST (Bristol English Channel Swim Team), a totally inspirational group of 11-12 year olds who are training to be the youngest ever relay team to cross the English Channel.
Anyone feeling disillusioned with the youth of today should take a look at the BEST website. These kids are phenomenal! 11 year-old Lewis decided that he would like more than anything to swim the English Channel and the idea blossomed from here – his parents took him seriously and established a superb professional team to take this initial idea to a whole new level. This team includes
Apple Power Pancakes with Spiced Apple Syrup
I’ve been overdoing it a bit on the running front, what with the Bristol 1/2 followed immediately by the Monster Duathlon, so Mark has enforced a week’s rest on me – probably a good idea as I now feel full of beans and raring to go for my run later today.
This is a bit of a ‘cheatie’ tagine, but it is incredibly quick and easy, very very tasty and packed with goodness. All you need to do is pop the chicken in the oven, surround it with some nice vegatables and spices, maybe something tasty that might be lurking in the fridge like a few green olives and hey presto, an hour later you have a delicious and healthy meal for four. We ate it last night with Basmati and wild rice, a good low G.I. option for sustained energy…and it seems that the whole family needs that extra little boost of energy at the moment what with the end of term rush with the kids, the launch of Go Faster Food and our new training schedule for the
So what is in Andy Murray’s drinks bottle?
It’s really hotting up out there and any physical activity takes on a new level of commitment when it’s hot outside. I have found it really hard to motivate myself to run in this week’s heat, partly because of the temperature and partly because I am expending so much energy with the various launches of Go Faster Food that I have been lacking in any spare! Tonight, however, I have no excuse. the boys will be playing cricket for a couple of hours and I will find somewhere shady to run.
Watching Andy Murray play last night was an inspiration. The match started at about 6 pm and didn’t actually finish until 3 hours and 56 mins later. There were points in the match where both he and/or Wawrinka looked absolutely exhausted and I did notice that they were given a little snack to eat at about 9.30…quite rightly. No matter how fit either of them are, you cannot play for such a long time without something to top the glycogen levels and replace minerals that you will have lost through sweat. Andy will have had a cleverly formulated mix, probably with the right combination of glucose, sodium, potassium and other minerals to help sustain his energy and concentration levels. I just hope that he managed to get in some recovery food and drink so that he can endure the next match tomorrow.
For us mortals who do not have a sports nutritionist to care for our daily diet and our hydration strategies, take a look at my article on hydration for some good tips – Running in the heat.
A fresh approach to carbo-loading
I’ve just spent the past 9 hours doing a post-marathon clean of the house. What a workout! I have absolutely no need to run or go to the gym today! I have to say that when in training I do become a master of the art of “skim cleaning” – it is just one of those chores which gets put on the back burner as I hate it so much, so the place really needed some serious attention!
We had our first taste of the new season’s peas today. Exquisite and packed with nutrients, with good amounts of vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein. Popped directly from their pods, they taste unbelievably good. There are all sort of ways of cooking peas if you can manage not to eat them straight from the pod –