Dr. Rachel’s Note: My awesome brother, Troy, is training for this first marathon. You can read about how it started here. As part of his training, he’s trying new fueling methods and learning more about nutrition, hydration, and running. Recently, we were approached by BaNa rehydration with an opportunity to try their new product. Being the helpful sister I am, I offered the opportunity to Troy. Here’s his take:
BANa – Review
This is not a new slang term for the delicious, ubiquitous post race treat of a partially green Banana (gre-nana?) but a sports drink I was voluntold into trying. Sample bottles and pamphlet arrived at my door in the most unassuming of brown boxes. BANa – ‘an IV in a bottle’ – so claims the pamphlet. The drink is advertised for runners, outdoor workers, and those suffering from hangovers. With a composition falling between Pediasure and a saline IV bag, the drink promises to replenish and refresh. I am an engineer by trade and quickly devised an experimental plan to test this new concoction out.
Test 1 – First Impressions
Rather than test BANa out on a long run and risk GI issues, I tried it at home and not even after a particularly grueling day. The first sip caught me off-guard. I had been expecting a tart and artificial berry flavor but instead was greeted by a mild berry taste. The berry flavor worked but along with it came a strange sweet and salty mixture best described as very light syrup. I struggled a bit and felt like I needed a water rinse when I finished the bottle. I felt hydrated and continued to feel that way for a much longer time than I thought normal. With no GI distress, the first bottle seemed to be ok … just a little syrupy. So, after this initial test, I had reservations about being able drink this without a water rinse (could be problematic during a workout) but was pleasantly surprised by the tasty berry flavor.
Test 2 – The Short Run
Basics out of the way, it was time to test BANa out during a workout. My Tuesday training involves running 3 miles and doing 4 rounds of calisthenics for about an hour long workout and I thought this would be a great first test. I wanted to try BANa in what I knew would be a tougher situation where I would really need to rehydrate. I can’t explain what changed and I am not sure how or why it did, but my opinion of BANa drastically improved during that workout. It was fantastic. That sweet/salty syrup taste was gone completely and instead it was replaced by that pleasant berry flavor combined with fast hydration. The consistency was not an issue at all. Maybe it was my body craving the simple carbs and salt, but the BANa completely hit the spot. One 12 oz bottle got me through the entire workout and I still felt hydrated when it was over.
Test 3 – The Long Run
I headed out for a 6 mile training run with a bottle of BANa and expectations of good things again. As with the short run, BANa hit the spot. The flavor, the mouth-feel, the hydration – all were perfect during the run. Small sips were all that I needed to feel hydrated and keep me going through my workout. I finished my run feeling hydrated and with BANa to spare. Most importantly, no GI disturbance. Additionally, when finished I wasn’t gulping down water which helped to avoid that “sloshing” feeling that everyone is so familiar with.
I am mixed here. I don’t think BANa is something I would grab as a run recovery or hangover recovery when lazing about the house. The taste and texture just didn’t come across right to me when I am not in the middle of intense physical activity. However, on a run or a workout, this stuff just hit the spot and was great. I can’t explain it, but it was like a whole different experience while on a workout. It was refreshing, mild on the stomach, and quenched my thirst completely. Maybe next time I race, I will take a BANa water with me to keep from eating that gre-nana on the other side of the finish line.
Find them on social media at @BaNaRehydrates