Across Regions

The humble but powerful spud: Potato as a source of nutrition for physical performance

Health professionals universally agree on the importance of a balanced diet, and the fallacy of relying on any one or two food groups, as the means of achieving peak physical performance and health, write scientists Mitch Kanter and Chelsea Elkin in an article published in the latest issue of the American Journal of Potato Research.

They say a review of the existing sports nutrition literature indicates that different types of athletes and physically active people may have slightly different nutritional requirements, but the main tenets of sports nutrition have not changed much over the last 25 years. The specific combinations may vary, but carbohydrates, protein, and fluids are vital components of an active individual’s diet.

Further, most available research supports the notion that optimal physical performance requires carbohydrate – and, specifically, high-quality, nutrient-dense carbohydrate from whole food sources, like potatoes.

Kanter and Elkin say that high- quality carbohydrate sources – foods that offer an array of macro- and micronutrients as well as energy, can help to build a strong nutritional foundation for the level of training, recovery, and adaptation that most physically active people seek to achieve. Low carbohydrate diets will not generally allow athletes to train at the intensity required to attain peak physical performance.

According to Kanter and Elkin: “While researchers have fertile ground to refine and expand on current knowledge of sports nutrition, the fundamental importance of potatoes and other high-quality carbohydrate sources for high intensity activity cannot be overstated. Most available research supports the notion that optimal physical performance requires carbohydrate – and, specifically, high-quality, nutrient-dense carbohydrate from whole food sources, like potatoes.”

Read the full article here

Corresponding author Chelsea Elkin can be reached here: celkin@foodminds.com