Whole Food vs. Sports Drinks, Bars And Chews

  • By Matt Fitzgerald
  • Published Oct. 18, 2013
Sometimes, regular old bananas are all endurance athletes need to give them fuel for a race. Photo:

Bananas vs. Sports Drinks

Another recent study, which got a good deal of attention when it was published in the online journal PLoS One in May 2012, entailed a faceoff between bananas and a sports drink. Fourteen trained cyclists completed a pair of 75K time trials, eating bananas during one of them and drinking a sports drink during the other. The two energy sources were rationed to ensure that the subjects took in the same amount of carbohydrate in both time trials.

The average finish time was about three minutes, or 2 percent, faster in the sports drink time trial than in the banana time trial. Again, however, the difference did not meet the minimum threshold for statistical significance, so the Appalachian State University scientists who conducted the study concluded that the effects of the two energy sources on performance were equal.

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