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.
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
I really didn’t like rice pudding until I started running. It was too sweet, too creamy and just too much like nursery food for my liking. How things have changed…I can’t get enough of the stuff now! Rice Pudding is FANTASTIC recovery food!!!!! After a big bike ride, swim or long run out in the cold, it not only warms you up but it has a great combination of fast-acting high G.I. carbohydrate (short-grain pudding rice) to replenish your depleted glycogen stores, plus protein and calcium from the milk to help towards muscle repair.
Rice pudding is particularly good as it takes minutes to prepare before you leave the house – pop it into the oven at a low temperature and its ready two to three hours later on your return! All you have to do it take it out of the oven and eat it up. Yum Yum.
Take a look at Go Faster Food for some more rice pudding ideas, but here’s a basic version you can just leave in the oven while you are out for your long training session:
- 100g short-grain pudding rice
- 1.2 litre semi-skimmed milk (you can use skimmed, full fat, soya milk, rice milk, whatever you prefer)
- 3 tbsp demerara sugar (less if using sweetened soya or rice milk)
- good grating of nutmeg
- 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
- Preheat the oven – fan oven 130
Mark Cooper planning 50 marathons in 56 days
I’m getting loads of really encouraging comments about my chickpea, sweet potato and spinach soup – one of my favourites too, and brilliant for a Monday night’s supper if you’re into making stock out of the leftover bones from you Sunday roast!
Being involved involved in the world of endurance sports can make you feel really rather humble. I thought my running a couple of marathons a year, plus the odd fell run, cross country escapade and canoeing down rivers was pretty active….but then I come across people who make my pursuits sound really quite pedestrian (excuse the pun…). What fuels their desire to push themselves to the very extreme, not just physically but mentally too? I would love to know! Take a look at their websites:
- Jonathan Bradshaw – training to swim the Atlantic! How wrinkly is his skin going to be? He likes to load up with my butternut squash risotto
- Mark Cooper – training to run 50 marathons in 56 days – that’s 1300 miles apparently (!), running from Amsterdam to Barcelona, and he wants to do each marathon in under 4 hours! Unbelievable – he’s looking for sponsorship and raising money for charity so take a look and support him if you can…find him on twitter
- Steve Blethyn – walking from Glasgow to Reading in 10 days (that’s 2 marathons a day for 10 days), he’s on twitter too, he’s quite a life force
- Charlotte Thompson – amazing mother of 4 who took up running only
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
I’ve just put up a new link on Go Faster Food for the most amazing site -