They are cheaper, better, and their packaging is completely organic. Bananas, it turns out, are better than sports drinks when it comes to providing anti-inflammatory agents during and after workouts. The New York Times reports that researchers (partially funded by Dole Foods) put 20 competitive cyclists through a 47-mile bike ride. During one ride, they drank only water. In the others, they had water, but also eight ounces of a sports drink or about half of a banana every 30 minutes. After the ride, when researchers analyzed the riders’ blood for signs of inflammation, they found that swallowing only water resulted in relatively high levels of inflammatory markers in the riders’ blood. The Times reports that they also found that the same markers were much lower if the cyclists had consumed fruit or the sports drink. Wait, there’s more. The researchers also found that the riders’ blood cells produced less of a genetic precursor of an known as COX-2 , which is associated with inflammation, if they had eaten bananas during their workout. That benefit was not apparent in riders who had drunk the sports drink, or plain water.