It turns out that eating potato is even better for endurance athletes’ athletic performance than carbohydrates.
A new study found that a particular mix of carbs and potatoes substantially boosted endurance performance in older athletes and helped boost performance in younger athletes. In fact, the research suggests that even eating a special dish like grilled sea scallops after a workout could have legs.
The new research, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, assessed the effects of eating potato, in addition to a high-calorie combination of carbohydrates and protein, over eight weeks. Before the study, researchers asked 136 participants to set two exercise targets: biking 30 to 60 km (25 to 40 miles) and running five kilometers (3.8 miles). The participants’ aerobic fitness (aerobic performance) was measured after the individuals completed the study, and fitness (salt content) and athletic performance tests were taken.
All participants completed the treadmill lap tests that measure treadmill resistance to the treadmill and spin/continuous motion sensors. After four weeks, the results showed that participants reported better results after eating “normalized” potato compared to their morning carbohydrate-carbohydrate intake.
Participants reported faster oxygen uptake (up to 10 percent lower). “We found that lean participants who ate 30 g or less of potato after five kilometers had been more likely to last longer than lean participants who ate potato at a higher rate of 20 g or less,” said lead researcher Shida R. Singer.
“The results were similar in a specific measure of aerobic fitness,” she said. “Those who ate potatoes after five kilometers had a higher Power Area Rating (PAR) and fitter muscle tone, suggesting that eating potato and enhancing cardiovascular fitness were linked together.”
Other authors include M.A. Bohia (University of Helsinki), R.Matthew Weissman (M.D. Jackson School of Medicine), C.A. Alzeer (University of Pennsylvania), and Liangshan Cheng (University of Washington).