When you were a kid, you could probably play for hours without a care in the world.
But now, even a short spurt of physical activity may leave you drenched in sweat… thirsty as a fish out of water… and with sore muscles for days!
You may be tempted to reach for one of those neon-colored sports drinks that promise to quench your thirst and replace any nutrients you’ve sweated out.
But think before you drink — because these beverages are typically LOADED with artificial junk you can’t pronounce.
And according to a new study, there’s something natural that can fortify your body during physical activity that isn’t packed with chemicals — and it can even help cut those sore muscles off at the pass.
I’m talking about bananas!
In the study out of Appalachian State University, cyclists completed strenuous bike rides. Every 30 minutes, they consumed either water only, water plus 8 ounces of a sports drink, or water plus half of a banana.
Now, even though exercise REDUCES inflammation in your body over the long term, exerting your muscles BOOSTS inflammation in the short term — which is why you wind up sore.
And when the researchers compared the cyclists’ blood markers of inflammation before the ride to those same markers after the ride, it turned out that drinking only water led to HIGH levels of inflammation.
Consuming either the banana or the sports drink, on the other hand, led to much LOWER levels.
That’s because the sugars in the fruit and in the sports drink gave the participants’ muscles lots of quick energy, lessening stress on their muscles and therefore promoting less inflammation.
But while sports drinks are stuffed with refined sugars that spike your blood glucose, naturally sweet bananas are packed with fiber that helps hold blood sugar steady.
And in the study, bananas had the edge over the sports drink in another surprising way.
When the cyclists ate the bananas, they had less genetic activity that leads to COX-2 — a marker of inflammation and pain — than when they drank the sports drink or water only.
You may know that some pain meds are known as “COX-2 inhibitors” because they work by BLOCKING this enzyme. And as you’ve read right here in eTips, several of those have been pulled off the shelves for safety concerns.
But eating a banana during physical activity can stave off those achy muscles without the risks of a prescription drug!
And bananas are loaded with potassium, which adds to the cardiovascular benefits of exercise by keeping your arteries flexible .
So, before you head out for a brisk walk… hit the links… or pick up your grandkids for some playtime, peel yourself a banana.
Just lay off the banana bread and banana splits!
P.S. Exercise can keep you feeling young, but it may not be enough on its own to turn back the clock on an aging brain. Fortunately, I’ve got just the thing for that – an easy trick to help you improve your focus and boost your brain power.
The response to this trick has been overwhelming so far, and you definitely don’t want to be the one to miss out on it. Click here to find out all about what Fox News calls “a jet ride to mental brilliance.”