Bananas are one of the most popular fruits in the world, with annual global trade rates toppling ten billion dollars.
People looking to improve and enhance their body always try to find an optimal way of consuming their calories.
And that’s why one of the popular question I always get asked is: eating a banana vs blending a banana, which is better?
The truth is, it vastly depends on your nutritional goals and this article will tell you why.
Table of Contents
- The Importance of Bananas for Human Body
- Eating a Banana vs Blending a Banana
- Does Blending a Banana Make it Unhealthy?
- What Should I Blend My Banana With?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The Importance of Bananas for Human Body
Before we delve into the topic any deeper, let’s find out why bananas are so important for both body and brain health.
To start off, we have to look at the nutritional value of bananas; they contain healthy amounts of Magnesium, Potassium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and fiber, among others.
The health benefits of bananas can’t be overemphasized, as they improve digestion and the entire cardiovascular system.
Their effects on brain health are also immense, one study looked at males consuming bananas and found that they experienced lower rates of depression!
Most importantly, they enhance muscle recovery and increase energy levels, both factors crucial for every bodybuilder or athlete.
Eating a Banana vs Blending a Banana
At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be a difference at all! A banana is a banana whatever you do with it; it’s still the same hundred and something calories you’re consuming.
Delving deeper into the topic, we see some major differences when blending a banana.
First of all, when you eat a banana, you’re consuming it way slower compared to blending it, you’re chewing more and therefore, feel more satiated after eating it.
This is perfect for people looking to lower their caloric intake and that are trying to lose weight, i.e. that are on a cut.
However, if you’re bulking, you don’t want to hear any of this. Blending it is a far superior option, as you’re not only consuming it faster, but are also adding other calories to the fray.
This all leads to less satiety and more bananas consumed, which helps you reach your caloric goal faster for the day.
There’s an interesting study talking exactly about this, so you might want to check it out if you’re interested in why exactly eating fruits leads to more satiety.
Some people believe that blending a banana significantly changes the nutritional content, especially fiber, but that is not the case at all!
However, you have to ensure that you’re consuming your blended banana mix as soon as it’s done, as exposure to air can affect nutrient content and quality.
Moreover, blending a banana makes it far easier for your stomach to process it. Liquids are generally easier to digest, so it makes sense that a blended banana will be processed faster compared to just eating it whole.
The thing is, if you’re about to go to the gym, you need an energy boost now, not after an hour or two and that makes blending a superior option if you’re a bodybuilder or athlete.
On the other hand, if you just want to keep healthy and eat a balanced diet while minimizing caloric intake, it’s best to just eat it.
Glycemic index (GI)
Another important factor often discussed on bodybuilding forums is something called glycemic index (GI).
For those of you who have never heard about it, in simple terms, it’s a number between zero and a hundred assigned to a food containing glucose.
Why is that important? Due to blood glucose levels after consumption.
Many people believe that blending a banana leads to negative effects when trying to maintain your blood sugar levels, but that’s just another myth we’re going to bust.
Here’s the thing; blending a banana doesn’t change its fiber content or vitamins and minerals at all, so you’re getting the same nutritional value as by eating it.
A blended banana is in now way “less valuable” when it comes to glucose levels.
All in all, there’s absolutely no difference between eating a banana or blending a banana when this topic is concerned.
Does Blending a Banana Make it Unhealthy?
This is also a myth that’s been propagated ever since the invention of the blender. I’m not sure why so many people latch onto it, but let’s go ahead and find the truth in all this ruckus!
The short answer is no, blending a banana doesn’t not make it unhealthy in any shape or form.
As already mentioned, the nutritional value remains the same and fiber content doesn’t change significantly.
The only thing you have to remember is to consume your blended mix as soon as it’s finished, as exposure to air could lead to nutrient degradation and quality loss.
Last but not least, be conscious of what you’re putting in your blend, as that may affect how a banana is absorbed by the body.
Don’t mix bananas with berries, as that can affect flavanols, which are important for heart and gut health.
What Should I Blend My Banana With?
The best options are usually foods that are high in mineral and vitamin content. Those create a symbiotic relationship with bananas, where you experience extra benefits from blending it.
Greek yogurt comes to mind, as it’s high in protein.
Another good option would be avocado, as it helps with texture and overall creaminess of the smoothie.
Lastly, I like to add some oats to my blends, as they are rich in healthy carbohydrates and are a great energy source, without spiking your blood sugar too quickly!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Are there any side effects to blended bananas?
None at all! If your body can handle eating a banana, it won’t have any problems with the blended version.
Does blending a banana add more calories to it?
It doesn’t. Nutritional values remain the same.
Does blending a banana make you gain weight?
This is a bit controversial, the answer is it might, as you’re consuming it way quicker compared to just eating it. Be conscious of how many bananas you’re putting into your blend and what other foods you’re adding.
Does blending a banana increase sugar?
Yes, it does. However, we’re here talking about healthy sugar derived from bananas which shouldn’t cause any side effects or problems.
Can you lose weight by blending bananas?
I wholeheartedly suggest eating a banana if you’re trying to lose weight. The thing with blending is that we often get carried away and most importantly, satiety is decreased when blending a banana compared to just eating it.