Are Bananas Bad For Your Smoothies?

Research suggests that blending a banana with berries strips away nutrients. Here's what you need to know.

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Every weekday, we make sense of the confusing world of wellness by analyzing the headlines, simplifying the latest research, and offering quick tips designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.

Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Monday motivation

  • Do we have a banana problem?

  • Workout of the week

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Arnold’s Corner: Monday Motivation

I bet this isn’t the photo you expected to see today! But it’s a fun one, and I think you can all learn from it. Plus, I always promise to let you behind the scenes.

It’s from one of my dance lessons with my unbelievable instructor, Hollywood. I’m not going to spoil anything, but we are filming FUBAR, and there will be a dance scene. This is why I always say I’m not a self-made man. You’ll see me on the screen — but what you will really be seeing is Hollywood and our choreographer, Eboni.

This experience brings back my memories of learning the tango for True Lies or, even further back, learning ballet to improve my bodybuilding posing.

It is also pretty humbling.

When Hollywood shows me the moves, it looks absolutely effortless. Everything flows flawlessly. 

When I try them, it sometimes doesn’t even look like I’m doing the same dance. But I just have a good time and keep doing reps, and even though I’ll never be as good as Hollywood, I get closer with every rep.

A lot of people on the internet talk about the importance of having a growth mindset and constantly learning. I talk to you over and over about the importance of being uncomfortable because that’s when we grow and learn.

I think there is a misconception that some people are born with this or develop it through great parenting and fantastic teachers and mentors.

The reality is that it only comes from reps — all of your life.

Some people feel uncomfortable when they try something new, and their only answer to their frustration is to quit. That just guarantees failure.

I want to propose a new tool for you: don’t take yourself so seriously — go so far as laughing at yourself.

I’m not joking. I laugh through these lessons. We are working hard, but we are having a good time. We are taking the work seriously, but I am definitely not taking myself seriously.

The next time you’re studying for school, and it feels like you can’t get it and you’re ready to give up, try to shake your head and laugh at yourself. When you go to the gym, and that last set of squats doesn’t go as well as you planned, instead of being pissed off, have a laugh.

This helps remind you that there are two paths when growing and learning: frustration or joy.

If you end up on the path of frustration, you will not have the fuel to keep doing the reps. Instead, You will focus on how other people are so far ahead of you that you’ll never catch up. You’ll become bitter, and you might give up.

If you realize that there is joy in growing and learning and humor in the discomfort and all of the inevitable screwups, you’ll find more fuel to do the reps. You’ll probably realize that the people who are a little farther ahead than you are only there because they’ve done more reps. You won’t want to quit because every time you struggle to learn or fail a move or a lift, it isn’t miserable — it’s fun.

It also reminds you that this isn’t the end of the world. When we are trying as hard as we can, it can be easy to get sucked in and think whatever we are working on is the most important thing in the universe. When you stop and laugh at yourself, it gives you a pause to realize you don’t have the weight of the world on your shoulders.

This week, my mission for all of you is easy: start building a sense of humor about yourself and use it to try something uncomfortable. When something feels like you’ll never get it, instead of cringing and beating yourself up, chuckle. Shake your head at yourself. And try again.

Go back to something you really wanted to do but quit out of frustration. Try it again. Take yourself less seriously. Tell me how it goes.

Should You Stop Putting Bananas In Smoothies? 

Before making your next protein smoothie, do you need to remove a popular fruit from the blender?  

A recent study suggested that blending bananas could reduce the nutritional benefits of your smoothie.

While it sounds hard to believe, there is some truth to the claim: one study found that blending bananas with berries reduced the amount of polyphenols. So we looked deeper, and the panic was overstated. 

The study was small (8 people in one trial and 11 people in the other), and researchers did not find that bananas stripped out all the nutrients. Instead, it examined a single type of polyphenol and found that absorption was reduced — but not completely eliminated. In other words, people still benefited from berries and bananas, but one polyphenol was reduced. (There are many more nutrition benefits from bananas and berries than one polyphenol)

While the banana and berry mixture might slightly reduce the ability to absorb one type of antioxidant, the overall benefit of drinking bananas and berries in a smoothie is still a health boost for your body. 

More research is needed to determine if the findings can be replicated. However, when you consider that some studies estimate that 90 percent of people don’t get enough fruits and vegetables — and that two servings of fruit per day can reduce the risk of health problems such as cardiovascular disease — our advice is to blend the banana (if you like it) and enjoy. 

Workout of The Week

This week’s plan only requires about 15 minutes but will leave you wanting to recover for 48 hours. This full-body routine helps teach you how to take sets to the limit to get the most out of your muscles. 

How it’s done

Set a timer for 15 minutes. Then, perform the first exercise for 30 seconds, completing as many reps as possible (you can rest as needed). Rest for 60 seconds, and then move on to the next exercise. Once you’ve cycled through all the exercises, start again with the first exercise. Perform as many sets as possible in the time given. 

  • Squat (bodyweight or dumbbell): 30 seconds

  • Inverted row or pullups: 30 seconds

  • Step-ups (bodyweight or dumbbell): 30 seconds

  • Pushups or dumbbell chest press: 30 seconds

  • Lunges: 30 seconds

Give it a try, and let us know what you think.

Here’s wishing you all a great week ahead!

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell