Sports nutrition: What runner foods do you hate?

Certain foods tend to be must-eats for runners. We get that. Sports nutrition lists vary, but the top-recommended picks for active runners (from sprinters to marathoners) usually include bananas, berries, eggs, legumes, nuts, peanut butter, whole grains, yogurt, and more. Most of those are pretty palatable for most of us, but we probably all have at least one that we cannot stand.

What runner foods do you hate?
I hate bananas. I really do. I don’t like them whole. I gag at the thought of banana pudding or banana cream pie. I cringe at banana pancakes or waffles. I refuse to put bananas in fruit smoothies.

I’ll choke down a half banana after a race, when a cheery volunteer hands it to me. I know my body probably needs it by then, especially after a longer race on a hotter day. But that banana is not exactly a treat for me.

The whole banana-eating experience reminds me of sitting at the family dinner table as a child, long after everyone else has been excused, simply because I haven’t eaten my now-cold-and-soggy vegetables (most of which I’ll actually choose and prepare and enjoy nowadays). But I digress.

Sure, bananas are packed with potassium and other good things for active athletes’ bodies. But there’s about a 30-minute window when bananas are at their prime. First they are too green and solid and hard to enjoy. By the time they are ripe and ready to eat, they are practically turning brown and mushy and altogether too sweet.

Bananas are a necessary evil for running, as far as I am concerned. I’m just not a fan.

OK, I don’t mind banana bread. But it’s not exactly a personal favorite. And it’s practically dessert, so it doesn’t count as standard runner fuel – at least not during training or racing season (which is pretty much all the time).

Honestly, I end up making banana bread every time I purchase more than two bananas at a time. The others are bound to turn brown before I gather the gumption to eat them. And I often give away the whole loaf, or at least half of it.

What runner foods do you hate?


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