The short answer is YES, bananas do have protein, but it’s not much…
What’s the recommended daily intake of protein?
According to the National Academy of Sciences, as a rule of thumb, an adult should consume 0.8 gr per kg of body weight daily (2).
This means that a person of 70 kg (155 lb) should consume 56 gr of protein daily, while a person of 90 kg (200 lb) should consume 72 gr of protein daily.
Additionally, the British Nutrition Foundation suggests the same amount of protein for adults. It is estimated that adult men should consume about 56 gr of protein daily and women 45 gr (3).
Infants, children, pregnant, and breastfeeding women have increased demands on protein.
Most people consume much more protein than they need. This excess protein is mainly used to provide energy. This isn’t the optimum energy source though.
Carbohydrates, and to a lesser extent fat, should be the main sources of energy (3).
Ηow much protein does a banana have?
According to the USDA, 100 gr of raw banana contains only 1.09 gr of protein, while providing us with 89 calories.
These calories come mainly from carbs. 100 gr of banana contains 22.84 gr of carbs.
A medium banana (7″ or 120 gr) contains 1.3 gr of protein, while a large banana (9″ or longer) contains more than 1.6 gr of protein.
Can you depend on banana for protein?
As you can see, bananas contain some amount of protein, but it isn’t much. Bananas are good sources of carbs and sugars. For this reason, they are a good source of energy.
If you want to boost your energy reserve before a workout or a race, it’s a good strategy to eat a banana 1 hour earlier.
Are there other vegan protein-rich foods instead?
In a whole food plant-based diet or in a vegan diet you can easily consume the recommended daily intake of protein and even much more.
Legumes, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and even many vegetables have a large amount of protein.
Smoothie and protein shake recipe
So, if you want to boost your protein intake, the easiest way is a vegan post-workout smoothie.
In the blender, you can add:
- one or two bananas,
- some protein-rich greens. Spinach, kale, and broccoli are the most common.
- seeds such as flaxseeds, quinoa, hemp or chia
- one or two ripe seasonal fruits. Fruits don’t only give taste, but also provide us with many vitamins and other antioxidants. Additionally, after a workout, we need the healthy sugars of fruits.
- any additional vegan protein powder. Prefer whole food powders, such as hemp powder.
- water or almond, soy, or oat milk.
You can always adjust the sweetness of your protein shake to your taste, adding more fruits, or adding organic stevia extract powder or agave syrup.
They are healthy natural sweeteners.
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020: A Closer Look Inside Healthy Eating Patterns
- The National Academies Press: Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids (pdf)
- British Nutrition Foundation: Nutrients, Food and Ingredients