Here’s Why so Many Weightlifters Eat Bananas

Everybody knows about bananas. From childhood snacks to art realism, to inappropriate jokes, there’s probably nobody that’s never heard of or tried them.

But did you know that bananas are the snack of choice for many weightlifters? I’m don’t want to sound corny, but this one snack could speed up your weightlifting progress and help steer you away from unhealthy foods.

While most people have eaten bananas, not everyone knows the benefits they can bring to weightlifters. They include:

  • Quick snack
  • Mix them in smoothies
  • High in potassium
  • Healthy carbs
  • Tastes good!
Explaining why a lot of weightlifters eat bananas.

You can eat a banana in about a minute if you wanted to for some reason. Many meals, especially ones for bodybuilders and weightlifters, take time to put together. A lot of people even prep their meals in advance, so they don’t have to prepare them every day.

You can also make them into smoothies. The same can be said for other fruits, but bananas have other benefits on their own.

Smoothies are a great way to mix different foods together, which all have their benefits. You can mix in milk, protein powders, and even other fruits like strawberries.

Bananas are one of the best ways to get potassium in your body, without taking supplements. Your body needs potassium for its nervous system, as well as muscle recovery and strength.

Without potassium, you might experience loss of your strength and gains. Bananas help you recover after a workout, so you can get back in the gym faster.

Along with potassium, bananas contain carbs. It seems like many people are afraid of carbohydrates, and this can be a mistake.

Carbs are commonly (and wrongly) thought to cause the growth of fat. While this can be true if you aren’t active throughout the day, for weightlifters, carbohydrates are essential. Carbs are energy for the body, and you need energy to workout, and get through the day.

Bananas Make a Good Fast Snack

Like I mentioned before, a lot of weightlifters like to meal prep.

This is because a lot of meals take time to make, and it’s easier to cook them all at once.

With bananas, you can eat one in only a minute.

Lots of people are busy and don’t want to waste time making something that’s going to be eaten within a few minutes.

Bananas allow you to get important nutrients in a short amount of time.

Unlike a lot of meals, and even some snacks, you can put a banana in your backpack, purse, or car to eat whenever you want. They won’t last forever, but they won’t go bad right away either.

Everybody Likes Smoothies

If you don’t like eating bananas plain, you can make them into a smoothie.

Bodybuilders, weightlifters, and powerlifters alike all use smoothies because you can mix multiple foods together with many different nutrients.

Smoothies can also be made in advance, so you can take them with you to work, school, the gym, and almost anywhere else you could think of.

Smoothies are a great way to get in your protein powder and/or creatine. Mix in some protein powder for some extra flavor, and you won’t even notice the creatine.

Mixing all this together, along with some milk and other fruits, can be the perfect post workout drink.

Bananas are High in Potassium

Banana smoothie with strawberry.

I talked about it before, but potassium is really important for your body, not only for weightlifting.

There are not many foods that contain good amounts of potassium, which makes bananas one of the best options.

The potassium found in bananas helps your nervous system to perform its basic functions, as well as some important benefits for muscle development.

Potassium reduces your muscle soreness, and can even help fight against diseases like osteoporosis.

You Do Need Some Carbs

Many athletes, as well as weightlifters, get scared off when they hear the word “carbohydrates”, but this is an irrational fear.

Lots of people incorrectly associate carbs with fat, and unhealthiness.

While it’s true that an excess of carbs can lead to more fat in the body, everybody needs carbs for muscle growth, as well as bodily functions.

Without going too much into the science, your body needs carbohydrates to power its cells.

Bananas may have fewer carbs than other foods like bread, or anything with wheat, but they’re still a great way to get an energy boost.

Bread on a table in a bakery.

Bananas Just Taste Good (Mostly)

Many traditional healthy foods, mainly vegetables, are notorious for tasting bad, but fruits, and more specifically bananas, are excluded from this stereotype.

Along with all the nutritional benefits, bananas taste better than a lot of “healthy” foods.

I can’t speak for everyone, but most people like bananas.

I know that not everyone likes them, and that’s okay because there are lots of other foods that benefit weightlifters.

This being said, the majority of people I know find bananas to taste good and be a great source of important nutrients for the body.

Bananas – Carbs and Creatine

If you’re into weightlifting, you’ve probably tried, or at least heard of, creatine. I don’t have enough space here to explain everything about creatine, but put simply, it helps your muscles grow by giving your cells more energy.

Here’s the thing though. While you can mix creatine with almost any drink, even water, mixing it with certain nutrients makes your body absorb more of it, cutting down on waste.

There’s a limit to how much creatine your muscles can use at once, and the rest is excreted. Taking creatine with a banana smoothie, instead of water, will help you make the best use of it. This is because bananas have carbohydrates, and carbs increase the amount of creatine actually taken into your muscles.

However, don’t eat any more carbohydrates than you usually would. Eating more than normal can lead to excess weight gain, something you probably don’t want to achieve. If you usually drink a smoothie, add your creatine there instead. If you don’t, cut out carbs somewhere else, or stick to creatine and water.

Ingredients for the Best Banana Smoothie

Three strawberries sitting next to each other on a table.

With all of the thousands of ingredients available in modern times, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the options. Here’s a few ingredients that will make a great tasting banana smoothie.

Bananas: Of course, bananas are the first on the shopping list for a banana smoothie. Because this whole article is about bananas, I won’t spam you by repeating all of the information on them. I’ll leave it at this; bananas are good for you.

Strawberries: Strawberries will add flavor, color, nutrients, and size to your smoothie. Strawberries also have antioxidants, which help your heart, skin, and body overall. Strawberries also simply taste good.

Milk: For a good smoothie, you need some type of liquid to make it, well, smooth. Milk is also great for weightlifters, with natural protein and lactose (a type of sugar). However go easy on the milk, because too much can upset your skin and stomach.

Supplements: Smoothies are a great way to get in your daily supplements, like protein powder or creatine. Depending on how big your smoothie in, you can even add both. Doing this can cut down on the amount of food and drinks that you have to make throughout the day, saving you time and money.

Extra Tip: Freeze your bananas, strawberries, or any other fruits to keep your smoothie cold. Do this instead of ice cubes, and you’ll avoid watering down your smoothie.

These were just a few ingredients to make a smoothie. There are hundreds of fruits, drinks, and other supplements you can add instead. Of course, you’ll need a blender, but you have near infinite options for making your favorite smoothie.

Other Good Foods for Muscle Building

As I mentioned earlier, the sheer amounts of food available today can be overwhelming. I can give you a few options for muscle building foods, but I can’t begin to tell you all of them. This being said, I wrote another articleOpens in a new tab. on some of the best foods for building muscle.

Meat: Meat is probably the most common food eaten by weightlifters, bodybuilders, and powerlifters. This is mostly because of how high in protein it is, and the fact that it tastes good to most people. There are some people that claim a vegetarian or vegan diet is better, but the majority of people stick with meat.

Eggs: Eggs are another great food for weightlifters that won’t work for vegans. Eggs, just like meat, are high in protein. This protein helps your muscles grow and become stronger. They’re also very versatile in the number of foods that you can make with them, and they’re a great wat to start off the day.

Rice: Rice is a great filler food, and can be added to countless meals. It’s high in carbohydrates, which will give your body the energy it needs. Rice is also very fast and simple to cook, unlike a lot of other foods. If you’re in a hurry, it won’t take you a long time to make some.

Although these are just a few options, there are limitless amounts of other foods available to you. Use these 3 foods to make hundreds of different meals to keep your body happy and your muscles strong.

Should You Avoid Carbs?

With all of the negative hype in the weightlifting community, carbs may seem like something you should avoid. Bananas have carbs, so you should avoid them too, right? Wrong.

While too many carbs can definitely have a negative impact on your body, and your weight, the truth is that your body needs them. As I mentioned earlier, your body converts carbohydrates into energy that it uses to do everything that it does.

As I mentioned in an earlier section, you do need some carbs. There are also different types of carbs that you can eat, all varying in healthiness and their effect on the body.

High quality carbs, like the ones found in plants, are starches, fibers, and more. These are more complex with their structure, and provide more of an energy benefit for your body.

Then there are the low quality carbs, like sugar. There’s many different types of sugars, but regardless, they’re less healthy than complex carbohydrates.

These low quality carbs are easier for your body to absorb and break down, meaning that you’ll stay full for a shorter amount of time. They’re also most often found in processed foods. Like most of my nutrition tips, the more natural, and the less processed, the better.

What Makes a Good Snack for Weightlifters?

A blue bowl of popcorn, placed on a table.

By definition, snacks are foods that are fast to eat and make, and usually in a smaller portion than a meal.

For weightlifters, there aren’t many changes, besides the need for a few extra nutrients. As I’ve mentioned a lot by now, weightlifters need protein to build muscle. They also need carbohydrates, to fuel their bodies.

A great example of this is a protein bar, which usually has both of these nutrients. Another nutrient that everybody needs is fat. People usually think fat is bad, and that it will make you fat. However, this is not the case. Eating fat won’t actually make you fat, in fact, your body needs it and it’s one of the most important nutrients. Fat can be a little trickier to get into a snack if you’re trying to keep it healthy.

Because of that, I’m going to focus on protein and carbs for snacks. As I’ve said, meat is a great source of protein. You can get some beef jerky, meat sticks, or anything else in small portions and make a great snack.

For carbs, something like a peanut butter sandwich would work great. Do you know what else has carbs? Bananas.

I’ve already mentioned many times why bananas are good snacks, so I’m going to assume you already know. If you can’t find any good snacks in your house, try picking one of these things up next time you’re at the store.

How to Cut Down on Unhealthy Foods

Cutting down on junk food can be one of the hardest challenges. Today, foods are designed to be addictive, keeping you in a cycle of eating them. This makes it almost impossible to keep from eating them, especially if you’re short on money and can’t afford natural or organic foods.

Weightlifting can also cause acne if you don’t take the right precautions. Changes in your diet, shifts in hormones, and personal hygiene can all affect the quality of your skin. I wrote an article on exactly this topicOpens in a new tab., check that out too if you’re interested.

Once you quit these high sugar, highly processed foods, you’ll go through something like a withdrawal phase, because your body is literally addicted, like a drug. It’ll be hard to overcome this, but the benefits are definitely worth it.

For about a week, you’ll probably crave all of these unhealthy foods, but it’s important to stay away from them. After this week, your cravings will go away, and you’ll start to feel much better.

Unhealthy junk foods are some of the biggest killers of gains, working against all of the hard work that you put in at the gym. Cut bad foods out of your diet, and you’ll see your results skyrocket.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that bananas taste good and are a great, quick source of nutrients that your body needs to thrive. Bananas can be eaten quickly, without the need to waste your time preparing a lot of food.

With less time spent making food, you have more time to go to the gym, school, work, or anything else you might have to do.

Bananas can also be one of the key ingredients in smoothies, which many weightlifters and bodybuilders love.

Mix in some milk, protein powder, bananas, other fruit or even peanut butter, and you have a great drink that can give you energy throughout the day. Smoothies can be put in a bottle and taken almost anywhere, which gives you much more flexibility.

As I’ve stressed many times already, bananas have a lot of potassium. This is one of their key benefits because there are few foods that have the same healthy amount of potassium.

Potassium helps your body to perform basic functions, as well as helping your muscles recover faster. If you have a potassium deficiency, you’ll experience overtraining much more easily, as well as putting stress on your nervous system.

It’s normal to be afraid of gaining fat, but you shouldn’t be afraid of carbs. Your body needs them for energy, as well as building muscle. Carbohydrates will only lead to fat gain if you aren’t getting enough exercise.

This shouldn’t be a problem if you’re a weightlifter or bodybuilder, because their bodies need the extra energy to perform in the gym.

Overall, bananas are great for your body, especially if you’re someone who works out. The nutrients in them are important for your bodies natural functions, as well as helping your muscles to grow and recover.

Next time you’re in the grocery store, consider picking up a bundle of bananas.

Pete Schenkel

My name is Pete Schenkel, and I've been into weightlifting since I was a teenager. Now, my main focus is growing Powerful Lifting and putting more information out there. In fact, I'm also currently working on becoming a certified personal trainer.

Recent Posts