Potato-based Foods Are Appropriate for Athletes’ Nutrition
A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology suggests that sports nutrition products are no more effective at promoting recovery in male and female athletes than regular, carbohydrate-rich, potato-based foods.
“Athletes are vulnerable to strategic marketing. We are easily swayed,” said study author Brent Ruby, a research professor at the University of Montana and a veteran endurance athlete, in a university press release.
With funding from the Alliance for Potato Research & Education, the researchers established and employed a study to examine muscle recovery between male and female recreational athletes, using potato products and sports supplements. Eight men and eight women participated in the study, which involved 90 minutes of intense cycling, followed by rest, recovery, and refueling with two carbohydrate feedings, of either sports supplements, or potato-based products, right after the 90-minute exercise session, and two hours afterward. During the recovery period, the researchers examined the participants’ blood samples and muscle biopsies. Later, the subjects completed a 20-km cycling time trial.
The researchers found that the muscles in both men and women replenish carbohydrate stores similarly—and just as well with regular foods, as with sports supplements. They concluded that “food items, such as potato-based products, can be as effective as commercially marketed sports supplements, when developing glycogen recovery-oriented menus, and that absolute carbohydrate dose feedings can be effectively applied to both males and females.”