Potatoes As Good As Carbohydrate Gels At Boosting Athletic Performance
Carbohydrates play an important role in endurance exercising as they provide the quick energy needed for exercise and help delay fatigue. A recent study suggests that potato puree is just as effective as traditional carbohydrate gels at boosting athletic performance and maintaining blood sugar levels.
Twelve cyclists who averaged 165 miles per week on their bicycles participated in the study. They were assigned to consume water only, a commercially available carbohydrate gel, or a potato puree while completing a 120-minute cycling challenge followed by a time trial. Blood samples were collected throughout the exercise period and used to measure blood glucose, exercise intensity, concentrations of lactate, and gastrointestinal symptoms.
Participants in the potato and carbohydrate groups had higher blood glucose and lactate concentrations than those in the water group. They also had improved performance during the time trial, completing it in 33 minutes, compared to 39.5 minutes for the water group.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Illinois. It was published online ahead of print on October 17, 2019 in the Journal of Applied Physiology.