By Emily Ford, Salisbury Post

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Can the modest banana provide more health benefits during heavy exercise than high-tech sports drinks?

The Salisbury Post reports that scientists at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis plan to pit bananas against Gatorade in the first comparison of their abilities to ward off inflammation and support immune function, as well as provide old-fashioned pedal power.

In September, the Dole Nutrition Research Laboratory and the Appalachian State University Human Performance Laboratory plan a $50,000 study to determine the effects of bananas vs. Gatorade on athletes during a long, hard workout. Cyclists who complete the month-long study will earn $300.

“It would be very marketable to Dole if we can show that a fresh fruit or vegetable is just as good or better than a supplement or manufactured energy source,” said Dr. Nick Gillitt, Dole’s director of nutrition research in Kannapolis.

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