Do Banana Shakes Have Any Benefits?
Banana shakes are a popular drink made by blending bananas with other ingredients.
Many people enjoy banana shakes as a convenient breakfast option, quick snack, component of their fitness routine, or strategy to help reach their weight goals.
This article reviews the potential benefits, downsides, common ingredients, and best uses of banana shakes.
Banana shakes are often used as a convenient way to incorporate calories and nutrition into a busy lifestyle or support a health goal like weight loss or gain. Many people also use them to support recovery from a hangover.
Some potential applications and benefits of banana shakes include:
Weight gain. One medium banana contains approximately 100 calories. To promote weight gain, you may want to include several bananas in your shake along with other high calorie ingredients (1).
Weight loss. Bananas are rich in fiber, containing 3–4 grams each. This nutrient can enhance feelings of fullness, prevent overeating or snacking between meals, and support healthy weight loss goals (Trusted Source1).
Workouts. Bananas are a rich source of complex carbs, which can increase muscle glycogen stores and potassium, which helps prevent muscle cramps. They also provide a steady stream of glucose, making them perfect for fueling a workout (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).
Hangovers. Alcohol increases urination and inhibits the production of certain hormones that otherwise help your body retain water. This can result in a loss of electrolytes like potassium, and bananas are a rich source of this mineral (5Trusted Source).
If you’re considering making or buying banana shakes, it’s worth considering some potential ingredient-related downsides.
First, these shakes can be high in added sugar. This is especially true for commercially prepared versions, which sometimes contain added sweeteners to improve the taste.
Similarly, you risk increasing the added sugar content of homemade shakes if you include ingredients like ice cream, yogurt, or refined sugar.
Second, banana shakes can be high in calories. While this can benefit those using them to gain weight or drinking them during periods of appetite loss, it may not be ideal if you’re looking to avoid excess calories in your overall diet.
The best ways to know which ingredients are in your shakes are to either make them yourself or read the ingredient and nutrition panels on commercial versions.
Depending on their ingredients, banana shakes may be high in added sugar and calories. While this may be suitable for certain uses like weight gain, some people may want to avoid these shakes.
Banana shakes comprise bananas and a liquid, such as milk, alongside other ingredients that help create the flavor and nutritional profile you desire.
The shakes can be altered to match your personal preferences. There are several ingredients commonly used to make them, including:
peanut butter or other nut butters
dairy or nondairy milk
refined white or cane sugar
ice cream or frozen yogurt
dairy or nondairy yogurt
ground flax or chia seeds
frozen fruit like peaches, blueberries, or strawberries
It’s easy to tailor banana shakes to meet your individual taste and dietary needs, and their nutritional profiles depend on the types and amounts of ingredients you use.
Banana shakes are versatile, and it’s easy to adjust the ingredient list to meet your personal needs and health goals.
For instance, you can make a low carb shake by using just one banana, which will contribute 23–27 grams of carbs to your smoothie. Other low carb smoothie ingredients include almond milk, soy protein powder, and raw nuts (Trusted Source1).
A high protein shake can be made by adding protein powder, nut butter (blended or powdered), and seeds.
If you’re using banana shakes to gain weight, you can use the high protein ingredients above, along with canned coconut milk, to significantly increase the fat and calorie content.
Banana shakes can also be transformed from a smoothie into a milkshake to be enjoyed as a dessert. Simply incorporate ice cream or frozen yogurt, as well as toppings like chocolate chips and whipped cream, to give your shake a delicious dessert twist.
To make your shake vegan, avoid using dairy products or other animal-derived ingredients. Instead, use a plant-based milk, such as soy, pea, hemp, or almond milk, as well as a soy- or pea-based protein powder.
Banana shakes can be enjoyed by anyone as part of an overall healthy diet.
This is especially true because you can adjustments the recipe as needed to fit your specific health or fitness needs.
For instance, athletes and active people may benefit from the boost of carbs and electrolytes in banana shakes to prevent muscle soreness, fuel workouts, and shorten recovery time (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).
People aiming to gain weight can start with a basic recipe and add other high calorie, high fat ingredients to create a calorie-dense snack to enjoy between meals and help increase their body weight.
For those trying to lose weight, banana shakes can still be enjoyed as long as you limit the content of high calorie, high fat ingredients and make sure to enjoy them as part of an overall healthy diet.
The only ones who should truly avoid banana shakes are those with a banana allergy. Otherwise, these shakes can be enjoyed as part of just about any lifestyle.