A recent study recruited 14 trained cyclists to ingest either bananas or Gatorade during 75km of high-exertion time trialing to see how each carbohydrate and nutrient source affected performance and recovery. They found no difference in performance measures between the two energy sources.
Great. But do we need scientists to conduct a study to tell us this? How about we simply look at the nutrient profiles of each and use a little common sense.
According to Gatorade, an 8 oz serving of the Original G contains 50 calories, 110 mg of sodium, 30 mg of potassium, and 14 g of carbohydrates. But who drinks 8 oz of Gatorade in a sitting? The average Gatorade RTD bottle you’d pick up at the store is 32oz. So that’s really 200 calories, 440 mg of sodium, 120 mg potassium, and 56 g of carbs.
According to Nutrition Data, one cup of mashed raw banana (this sounds like about 1 large banana to me) offers 200 calories, 51 g of carbs, 806 mg potassium (23% DV), only 2.3 mg of sodium, plus 60.8 mg of magnesium, 60.8 mg omega-3 fatty acids, nearly 41% of the DV of B6, and 33% DV of vitamin C.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that Gatorade has long been my go-to for that extra boost on long hikes, runs, and (full disclosure) hangover recovery—it’s magic I tell you!
The point here isn’t necessarily that one is better than another. They’re fairly similar in terms of effective nutrition. So it’s all about what you as the consumer prefer.
This is the present and future of nutrition: Do you prefer technology or a back-to-nature approach? A little of both?