Plasma potassium concentration and content changes after banana ingestion in exercised men.
Many people have been affected by exercise associated muscle cramps (EAMCs). The cause is unknown, however, it has always been thought to be associated with dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, such as potassium (K+) and sodium. Bananas have a high content of K+ and therefore are thought to be an effective treatment of EAMCs. The current study sought to investigate the effects of eating varying quantities of bananas on plasma K+ concentrations.
Nine healthy men cycled for 60 minutes in an environmental chamber of 36.4 degrees Celsius. Within 3 minutes of completing their exercise bout, participants ate 0, 1 or 2 bananas. Blood was drawn prior to ingesting the bananas, and then 5, 15, 30 and 60 minutes post-ingestion.
Plasma K+ concentrations were significantly different only 60 minutes post-ingestion; with the 2-servings condition showing the greatest concentration. From the results, the current study postulated the increase in plasma K+ levels would not occur within a sufficient time to prevent athletes from getting EAMCs. A future study exploring the ingestion of bananas during exercises rather than post-exercise, may add some useful information concerning bananas and EAMCs > From Miller, J Athl Train 47 (2012) 648-654. All Rights Reserved to National Athletic Trainers’ Association.
Read the free full text article for more information.