Eat Potatoes to Boost Your Exercise Performance, Says Study

Consuming potato puree during prolonged exercise works just as well as a commercial carbohydrate gel in sustaining blood glucose levels and boosting performance in trained athletes, a new study suggests.

Nicholas Burd, The study’s lead author and Professor at the University of Illinois, US.“The research has shown that eating potatoes or ingesting concentrated carbohydrate gels  during prolonged exercise promotes carbohydrate availability during exercise and improves exercise performance.”

"Our study aim was to expand and diversify race-fuelling options for athletes and offset flavour fatigue," Burd said.

Also Read: #WhatWeEat | A Low-Carb Diet May Reduce Four Years of Your Life

Potatoes are a promising alternative for athletes because they represent a cost-effective, nutrient-dense and whole-food source of carbohydrates, the researchers reported in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Furthermore, they serve as a savoury race fuel option when compared with the high sweetness of carbohydrate gels.

The researchers recruited 12 participants who were healthy and devoted to their sport, averaging 165 miles per week on their bicycles.

To qualify for the trials, the cyclists had to reach a specific threshold for aerobic fitness and complete the 120-minute cycling challenge followed by a time trial.

Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions during the experiments: They would consume either water alone, a commercially available carbohydrate gel or an equivalent amount of carbohydrates obtained from potatoes.

The researchers standardised what the 12 cyclists ate for 24 hours before repeating the 120-minute cycling challenge and time trial, which was designed to mirror typical race conditions.

Throughout the exercise, the team measured participants' blood glucose, core body temperature, exercise intensity, gastric emptying and gastrointestinal symptoms.

The researchers also measured concentrations of lactate, a metabolic marker of intense exercise, in participants' blood.

"We found no differences between the performance of cyclists who got their carbohydrates by ingesting potatoes or gels at recommended amounts of about 60 grams per hour during the experiments.

Also Read: Here’s Why You Must Include Whole Carbs in Your Daily Diet

Nicholas Burd“Both groups saw a significant boost in performance that those consuming only water did not achieve.”

According to the study, plasma glucose concentrations went up by a similar amount in those consuming potatoes and gels.

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by FIT.)

(FIT is launching its #PollutionKaSolution campaign. Join us by becoming an anti-air pollution warrior. Send in your questions, your stories of how to tackle air pollution and your ideas to FIT@thequint.com)

Also Read: Carbs and Fats? Here’s What Your Pre-Workout Snack Should Include

. Read more on Fit by The Quint.RSS & BJP’s Nehru-Netaji ‘Cosplay’: Irony Dies a Thousand DeathsYash Raj Films Gives a Green Signal to Hrithik Roshan’s ‘War 2’ . Read more on Fit by The Quint.