Monday, August 02, 2010


Laser sailors eat bananas.

Or at least Laser sailors should eat bananas, according to an article by Evan Lewis H.B.KIN., CSCS, CK in the latest issue of our class magazine The Laser Sailor.

(I have no idea what all those letters after Evan's name mean, but I am impressed by them.)

The article is titled 10 Power Foods to Boost Performance This Summer. Wow! That's what I need. Power foods. Some of them don't sound very appetizing though. Quinoa. What the hell is that? Tillerwoman tells me it is pronounced Keen Wah. Tillerwoman knows about that kind of stuff. It's a seed, apparently.

As well as other unappealing "power foods" such as flax seed (ugh), Evan recommends bananas. "Great nutritional value... mix of complex and simple carbohydrates that provide both rapid and sustained energy..."

I like bananas. I eat a lot of bananas. I usually take a banana or two with me when I go sailing and eat them before and/or after sailing. I have even seen Laser sailors with a couple of bananas duct-taped to their mast so that they can eat them between races. But some sailors are superstitious about bananas on a boat.

My father hated bananas. He wouldn't touch them. When I asked him why, he explained that it was because, when he was in West Africa during World War II, he saw (and smelled) huge piles of bananas rotting on the beaches, and for ever after the sight of a banana nauseated him.

Evan Lewis H.B.KIN., CSCS, CK says that "bananas are an excellent source of potassium, which is an electrolyte needed for proper muscle function that is lost in sweat."

Hmmm. I sweat a lot. I am a prolific sweater. I am an embarrassingly prolific sweater.

Whenever I partake in any vigorous exercise the sweat pours out of me. Even standing outside an a moderately warm day can stimulate my sweat glands into hyper-action.

Earlier this year I joined a running club and started doing their weekly five mile runs on Thursday evenings. Part of the attraction, I admit, was the prospect of beer and pizza after the runs. I was really looking forward to hanging out with other old geezer runners over beer and pizza.

The first week I did the run and went to the pub for beer and pizza. I was sweating. I was sweating a lot. I couldn't stop sweating. I sat in the pub chatting over beer and pizza to the other old geezers while desperately mopping up sweat and trying not to drip too much sweat in my beer and on my pizza and on the other old geezers. It was awful. Even thirty minutes after the run I was still sweating profusely. Not one of the other old geezers was sweating like me. I am an outlier on the "propensity to sweat" scale.

So now I still do the runs but I skip the trip to the pub. Instead I just sit on a towel and sweat in the car on the drive home with the AC on full blast.

Where was I? Where am I?

Oh yes. Bananas. Potassium.

I figure that if I sweat out a lot of potassium then it's a good thing that bananas are an excellent source of potassium. After all, I certainly need some of that "proper muscle function" that Evan writes about. A lot of my problems sailing a Laser are caused by lack of proper muscle function.

I like bananas. I eat a lot of bananas.

Laser sailors, "Eat bananas."


Pat said...

Eating bananas on board your Laser, would however create some interesting issues.

O Docker said...

Here I am reading this while finishing up my morning bananas.

I got hooked on bananas (get it?) when I started riding a bike a lot. That was in the days before miracle gels and power bars, when all bike riders ate bananas - for the reasons that you and Evan Lewis H.B.KIN., CSCS, CK mention.

I've always thought of the banana as nature's cartoon fruit. The shape, the color, the funny wrapper are all a joke, I think.

I have the feeling that the banana was designed by someone in marketing and not by whoever designed all of the other fruits.

Baydog said...

It would be cool if you could make it so that every day, the bananas in that picture would get a little riper, until a week later, they'd be completely rotten :)

Carol Anne said...

Quinoa and flax are both good for the digestion and much better than refined flours. I like the substance they add to homemade bread -- such bread will stand up to heavy, messy, gooey things piled on it, and the flavor of the bread is also rich and nutty.

However, for being good for you and also enjoyable to eat, it's hard to beat bananas. It's just a good idea for the crewperson on the boat who has been put in charge of safety issues not to toss a banana peel into the cabin in such a way that it comes to rest at the foot of the companionway.

Fortunately, Laser sailors don't have to deal with companionways.

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