Mashed potatoes are an ideal "racing fuel" for athletes and can boost performance as much as trendy carbohydrate gels, scientists claim.
Trained cyclists who were given 60 grams of potato carbohydrate every hour finished a race six minutes faster than those who drank only water.
And researchers found that the puree worked just as well as sugary and expensive carb gel bags that are loved by athletes.
A study on cyclists revealed that a dose of 60g of mashed potatoes per hour can improve performance PowerBar ” class=”blkBorder img-share” />
The puree worked just as well as carb Gel bags such as PowerBar
University of Illinois researchers tested the puree at 12 versus carb gels and water Professional cyclists who drove an average of 267 kilometers a week. Lead researcher Professor Nicholas Burd said: "Research has shown that taking concentrated carbohydrate gels during prolonged exercise promotes carbohydrate availability while exercising and improving exercise performance.
"Our goal was to expand and diversify the options for fueling athletes and to compensate for fatigue."
During intense exercise, the body requires carbohydrate fuel because it is most efficient at transmitting energy to tired muscles as compared to protein and fat.
Carbohydrate gels, which are supplied in individual sachets, provide a dash of carbohydrates when traveling to replace a snack.
The researchers said, "Potatoes are a promising alternative for athletes as they are a low-cost, nutritious, and high-quality carbohydrate source.
& # 39; Moreover, they serve as a savory fuel option compared to the high sweetness of (carbohydrates) gels. & # 39;
Is an athlete's diet bad for teeth?
Researchers at the Eastman Dental Institute at University College London (UCL) said that sports products such as drinks, gels and bars may affect oral health.
Sports drinks tend to be acidic and can therefore contribute to tooth erosion.
Energy bars and gels serve to replenish carbohydrate stores that are depleted during or after a sport, and are therefore high in carbohydrates that are broken down into sugar.
Athletes generally rely on a high-carbohydrate diet because they are so active.
The problem is that the risk of oral disease due to changes in saliva composition during exercise and suppression of the immune system may continue to increase after intense exercise efforts.
A 2014 study published by German researchers found that the longer athletes were trained, the less saliva was produced and the more alkaline it became.
Alkaline saliva promotes the growth of plaque bacteria, which causes tooth decay, the team explained.
For each additional hour of training a week, the study found there was an increased risk of a person needing fillings or having carious or missing teeth.
UCL researchers said Athletes could drink milk or water in combination with electrolyte and carbohydrates to rehydrate.
Participants were randomly assigned to either the Mashed Potatoes Group, the Water Group, or the Group Carbohydrate Gel Group, which tested brands such as PowerBar.
The mashed potatoes were made by mixing boiled, peeled potatoes with water and salt.
Around 500 g of raw potatoes yielded 60 g of puree, which, according to the researchers, was a large amount of potatoes that they consumed.
The researchers controlled what the 12 cyclists ate 24 hours earlier, so they all had the same amount of energy on the study day.
The participants completed a two-hour cycling race challenge that mimicked a real race, according to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
Every 15 minutes they received a dose of 15 g
Then the participants made a "time trial" in which they had to cycle as fast as possible over a distance in relation to their body weight.
This was to measure how effectively the supplements would drive them in the final stretch of endurance sports.
Volunteers were each equipped with an intravenous catheter, which took blood samples to measure lactate, a metabolic marker for intensive training.
Her heart rate, core temperature, exercise intensity, and gastrointestinal symptoms were also consistently examined.
Professor Burd said, "Both groups saw a significant increase in performance that those who only consumed water did not achieve.
" We found no differences between the performance of cyclists carbohydrates by ingesting potatoes or gels at a recommended level of about 60 g per hour during the experiments. & # 39;
The mashed potatoes and carbohydrate gel groups cycled significantly faster than the water group and took 33 minutes compared to 39 minutes to finish.
The researchers found that the mashed potatoes and carbohydrate gels had higher blood glucose levels. they showed that their body maintains blood sugar levels.
They also had elevated blood lactate concentrations, which delays muscle fatigue and is therefore an indicator of the ability to perform better.
The only drawback was that those who consumed potatoes had significantly higher levels of flatulence, pain and bloating in the gastrointestinal tract than the other groups.
This may be due to the larger amount of potatoes needed for the glucose supplied by the gels, Professor Burd
"Nevertheless, the average GI symptoms were lower than in previous studies, indicating that both (Carbohydrate) states were well tolerated by the majority of cyclists in the study, "the researchers wrote. The study is a proof-of-concept, which shows that athletes can use whole carbohydrates as an alternative to commercial products to provide the menus for racers diversify, "said Professor Burd.
The effect of chips, chips or other potato-based products has not been tested by researchers.