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Study: Potato effective for boosting athletic performance

Consuming potato puree instead of commercial carbohydrate gel gives the same result to athletes for sustaining blood glucose levels during long workout sessions, claims a study.

“Research has shown that ingesting concentrated carbohydrate gels during prolonged exercise promotes carbohydrate availability during exercise and improves exercise performance,” said University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Nicholas Burd, who led the research.

“Our study’s aim was to expand and diversify race-fuelling options for athletes and offset flavour fatigue. Potatoes are a promising alternative for athletes because they represent a cost-effective, nutrient-dense and whole-food source of carbohydrates,” continued Burd.

“Furthermore, they serve as a savoury race fuel option when compared (with) the high sweetness of (carbohydrate) gels,” added Burd in the study published in the journal of Applied Physiology.

The scientists recruited 12 participants who were healthy and devoted to their sport, averaging 165 miles (267 kilometres) per week on their bicycles. All had been training for years.

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

Read the full article in the Deccan Chronicle here