Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Will eating bananas reduce stage fright?

Back on April 3, 2007 at her Speak Schmeak blog Lisa Braithwaite posted about how you should Eat bananas for public speaking success. She linked to an article titled  The ABCDs of Public Speaking where Dale Deletis said B was for banana and you should:

“B. Eat bananas. The banana, of the entire fruit kingdom, has one of the highest concentrations of Potassium. Potassium has the magical effect of relaxing the muscles in our body. When adrenaline flows into the body during stressful situations, Potassium comes to the rescue by relaxing muscular cramps. Apparently, according to Deletis, banana-eating is also the secret weapon for conquering stress of many professional musicians. Concert musicians undergo the highest stress of all performing artists because perfection is paramount. Mistakes are virtually unthinkable because musicians must blend in perfectly with one another.”

The 2015 Musician’s Health Survey, reported by John Beder at the web site for his documentary film Composed, asked how effective bananas were. Results for that question (also from Facebook) are shown above. Bananas were not as magical for performance anxiety as one might expect, and other alternatives did better. Only 3% said they were Very Effective, 42% said they were Somewhat Effective, and the other 55% said they were Not Effective.

Bananas still are a decent food, and I like to have one as a midmorning snack. The Chiquita Bananas web page on Nutrition Facts says one contains 110 calories, 450 mg Potassium, 3 grams fiber, 30 grams total carbohydrate, 19 grams sugar, but no fat. That’s about half the 39 grams of sugar in a 12 ounce can of Caffeine-Free Coca Cola, and the fiber helps keep you regular.

But watch what you do with those potentially hazardous banana peels.

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