I hate bananas—it's a textural thing—but I really like Barnana. The bite-size bits of partially dehydrated fruit landed on my desk recently, and as someone who forces herself to scarf down a banana post-race, nose wrinkled, lips pursed in between swigs of water, I was skeptical. But I just may start toting this portable, potassium-rich snack in my gym bag.
Founder and former pro triathlete Caue Suplicy used to carry concentrated squares of banana to eat on long rides and runs, the way endurance athletes today down energy gels. Fellow competitors noticed, so Suplicy started producing the raw, organic, non-GMO morsels in 2012. With 800 milligrams of potassium, 26 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of protein in eight pieces, they're ideal for before or after a workout—and my non-athlete colleagues have remarked that they're a better-than-average option to provide a mid-afternoon sugar fix. The single-ingredient (yep, you guessed it, banana) original flavor is sweet (Suplicy even ate them as "candy" as a child in his native Brazil), but not overly so, while the chocolate and the new peanut-butter and coconut flavors (hitting Whole Foods shelves this month) are more sugary, perfect for true sweet tooths.
I doubt that I'll start popping them as a mid-morning snack or when sugar cravings hit (conversion is a slow process), but I'm glad to know that I can consume all the electrolytes I need after a tough exercise session and leave the Chiquitas in the produce aisle.
Three-packs run from $12 to $15 on the Barnana online shop.