Rafael Nadal | French Open | Eating a banana (Getty | 169854209)Rafael Nadal | French Open | Eating a banana (Getty | 169854209) © Copyright

The truth about Bananas

For what seems like forever, bananas have been touted as some kind of superfood, especially on the professional tennis circuit. It seems top players can't go five minutes without scoffing a yellow treat.

Credit where it's due, there's no disputing bananas are a good source of energy. They're packed full of vitamins and carbohydrates, and also contain potassium, which is great, right?

Well that's not the full story.

The energy you get from a banana comes from a combination of three natural sweeteners, the level of which increases as the fruit ripens. This can give you  a 'sugar rush' that can be over in minutes, leaving you feeling washed-out and dehydrated.

Bananas don't contain as much moisture as other fruits, so hydration can be a problem. The calorie count is also higher, at around 100 per piece. And they are fibrous and difficult to digest, so blood is diverted from the muscles to help digestion. If you're working out or in the Wimbledon final, this can cause cramps.

As for potassium, studies show that if you eat too much of the stuff it can adversely affect your kidneys.

All told, experts recommend that you eat no more than one banana a day. Pro tennis players seem to eat them by the bunch. (Technically, it's a hand not a bunch but nobody likes a clever clogs.)

Either way, their compulsive peeling could be doing their bodies more harm than good.


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