Eating a banana after your workout may help speed recovery, post-workout. Bananas are nutritious and particularly rich in water and carbs, both of which have consistently been shown to help improve exercise performance and recovery.
Eating carb-rich foods after exercising promotes the release of the hormone insulin, which helps shuttle sugar from your blood into your muscle cells, where it’s stored as glycogen. It also helps muscle cells become more sensitive to insulin, making it easier for them to replenish their glycogen stores after exercise..
Eating carb-rich foods, such as bananas, together with a source of protein immediately after exercising is often recommended as a way to help your muscles recover more effectively from a resistance-based workout.
The idea is that the carbs help stimulate your muscles’ ability to absorb or utilize protein, in turn increasing the creation of muscle and limiting its breakdown.
In addition to being rich in carbs, bananas contain good amounts of beneficial compounds, such as dopamine and polyphenols. The combination of carbs and these other compounds may help prevent excess inflammation from occurring after exercise. This effect is thought to possibly promote quicker recovery.
In short, eating a banana after a workout may help boost muscle glycogen production, reduce inflammation, and possibly even help your body utilize protein more effectively — all of which may result in a quicker recovery.