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Brown Spotted Banana May Be Ideal Post Workout Carbohydrate

The idea of consuming carbohydrates as part of your post-workout nutrition strategy is really a matter of individual needs. While athletes and bodybuilders typically follow a protocol of whey protein and simple sugars following a workout, I’ve found that some individuals do better when removing the sugars.

This is especially true for overweight individuals who are dealing with insulin resistance and blood sugar imbalances. As a general rule, you can stick with whey protein powder and water, post workout, until you’ve dropped some pounds and improved your insulin sensitivity.

For the individuals who can benefit from simple sugars combined with whey protein, post workout, to help with the repair and recovery of lean muscle tissue, the choice of carbohydrate does matter.

More after the jump…

While you can find a lot of post-workout nutrition drinks and powders with carbohydrates added, I tend to stay away from these products. The sugar content is often much higher than needed and they lack a very beneficial ingredient found exclusively in live foods.

More on that in a minute.

From a carbohydrate perspective, it’s true that you’re looking for fast acting simple sugars. These are otherwise known as mono-saccharides. Glucose is the ideal form of sugar to consume post-workout. Other forms of sugar like sucrose and fructose aren’t nearly as beneficial.

Processed sport recovery drinks like Gatorade are fine if you’ve lost a ton of electrolytes in perspiration during the activity. But these drinks simply aren’t necessary if you’ve just finished a high intensity weight training workout for example.

If you’re just leaving the gym and want to aid in the recovery process, steer clear of high sugar sports drinks. I’d also avoid processed protein bars and the such.

Basically, if it’s a processed “ready to drink” shake or bar, I’d nix it from your post-workout nutrition strategy.

Having 15-20 grams of high quality whey protein mixed with water and perhaps a piece of fruit would work well. So to would the whey protein drink and a rice cake for example. Remember, you don’t need a ton of carbs and glucose is the preferred choice of sugars.

However, there is one particular fruit that may trump them all in regards to the BEST post-workout carb choice to consume in addition with your whey protein drink.

A ripe spotted banana

Why a ripe and slightly spotted banana? Well it’s because the starch in the banana has largely been converted to glucose in part of the ripening process.

This is what makes a ripe banana somewhat sweeter than consuming a green banana. But the starch to sugar conversion is just the beginning of the benefits.

Remember when I said earlier than live foods provide a particular benefit that you otherwise are unlikely to get with processed food and drink? That particular set of ingredients would be enzymes.

A ripe banana contains a host of digestive enzymes which can help with the assimilation and bioavailability with the whey protein.

That’s not all. Research has shown that as a banana ripens, the protein concentration increases. Quite simply as a banana ripens it gets better from a nutritional standpoint.

Here’s a link to the study on bananas if you’re interested.

While you don’t hear this talked about a lot, there’s good reason to believe that a ripe, slighted brown spotted banana, consumed in combination with a whey protein drink may very well be an optimal post-workout nutrition strategy.

Once again this is for individuals who are working out hard with resistance training and are looking to build lean muscle.

Whether you follow this strategy or not, don’t neglect consuming a solid meal with a whole food protein an hour or two following your resistance workout.

To get the best results with repair and recovery you’d want fast-acting protein and simple sugars right after your workout, then slower release protein and carbs following shortly after.

Just a little tip I thought I’d pass along. When those bananas on the counter get some spots, don’t throw them out. Put them in your bag and take with you to eat following a workout.

Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts. If you’re looking for a Charleston fitness center sign up for a FREE no-obligations consultation and experience the Shaping Concepts difference for yourself today.

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Category: Nutrition.