I've read up a little bit on the digestion of foods and understood that even the simpler foods (such as bananas that are very popular in sport nutrition) can take up to an hour to digest.

So my question is why is it that it is said that bananas give you immediate energy? Doesn't it still take an hour? Or is it that the simple fact that you eat food increases the release of some form of energy your body can use?

Could someone explain me in simple terms how a banana is converted in energy and how quickly that energy is made available to the body?

  • This question is off-topic as it is nutrition unrelated to exercise which is outlined in the faq.
    – Matt Chan
    Feb 22, 2012 at 18:23
  • 2
    Matt, you are right, but it's easy to see where the question is going as banana is one of the most common sport foods.
    – Lorenzo
    Feb 23, 2012 at 8:53
  • Sorry Matt (VPeric, Ivo Flipse), but food and energy it delivers and when it is delivered is essential in exercise. Exercise is not about how many reps/squats. Your take is utterly flawed. In other words ... you guys lost your ball ... why don't you pick it up, please. You are supposed to be moderators, not micro managers.
    – Jeffz
    Apr 25, 2016 at 12:26

1 Answer 1


I believe there are lots of different stuff in a banana as well as in all other food. That it takes an hour to digest a banana might mean the time needed for the banana to be fully disintegrated 100 %. Or maybe just until some important substances within it are disintegrated. That depends on, how that "one hour" was calculated.
Some substances within it - like sugar and similar - will be digested and absorbed by the body quicker than other.

The point with the banana is that it contains many of the vitamins - vitamin A, E, C og B (source) - minerals and 'healthy' energy sources that a sports athlete seeks like carbohydrates and natural sugar.

To eat something like a banana to be ready just before performing might be the same as eating a chocolate bar. It provides lots of sugar right away, which is very easy for the body to absorb. Bananas are just a more natural and healthy source of this energy.

A biochemist should be the right person to ask, if you seek the deep detailed explanation.

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