Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bananas Work as Well as Sports Drinks During Exercise

Aside from higher dopamine in BAN (banana trial), shifts in metabolites following BAN and CHO (6% carbohydrate drink) 75-km cycling time trials indicated a similar pattern of heightened production of glutathione and utilization of fuel substrates in several pathways.  -Bananas as an energy source during exercise: a metabolomics approach.

In this study,  trained cyclists consumed either a half a banana or a cup of sports drink, every 15 minutes, during a 75 km, simulated road race lasting between two-and-a-half and three hours. Blood samples were taken before and after exercise and analyzed.   Blood glucose levels and performance did not differ between the athletes consuming bananas and those consuming sports drinks.  ASU and Dole: Bananas As An Energy Source During Exercise

The bananas provided the cyclists with antioxidants not found in sports drinks as well as a greater nutritional boost, including fiber, potassium and Vitamin B6, the study showed. In addition, bananas have a healthier blend of sugars than sports drinks.  Bananas Are as Beneficial as Sports Drinks, Study Suggests

The researchers discovered that there was more interleukin-8 and interleukin-10 present in the athletes' blood when they had eaten bananas. Both of these interleukins activate the innate immune system. You can speculate that endurance athletes who get their carbs from bananas are less likely to catch a viral infection. -anabolicminds.com

When the researchers analysed the bananas they found out what had caused the rise in dopamine level. 100 g banana contains 0.42 mg dopamine. The cyclists had consumed 6-7 bananas, so had ingested about 3.33 mg dopamine.

The researchers exclude the possibility that the dopamine makes its way to the brain. It's possible that dopamine derived from food might enable the heart muscle to work harder. That didn't happen in this study; the rise in dopamine level wasn't high enough for that.

But, write the researchers, banana peel contains higher quantities of dopamine than the fruit itself. "Future studies with banana peel-based supplements will reveal if high oral dopamine intake is advantageous for endurance athletes using similar performance and physiological outcomes", the researchers announce.

MY COMMENT:   Who knew bananas, and especially banana peals, contained dopamine?  More dopamine, antioxidants, and interleukin? Sounds like grounds for further investigation, although you can bet the sports drink industry is scrambling to figure this out.  I'd like to see more details such as what fluids were allowed during the banana trial, and what effects dopamine has on endurance. I still can't get over the banana peels-dopamine connection.   

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