Benefits of Potato Puree During Prolonged Periods of Exercise


A new study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology of the University of Illinois revealed a surprising health benefit of consuming potatoes. This research indicates that potato puree consumption may boost athletic performance during prolonged exercise.

Credit: Alexandra Andersson

Potato is one of the highly consumed food items worldwide. It makes our food tasty and yummy. It has a high glycemic load and people with high blood sugar usually want to avoid it. This starchy tuber is notorious for potentially increasing weight due to containing lots of carbohydrates.

Credit: Monika Stawowy

However, the new study found that consumption of potato puree during prolonged periods of exercise can boost athletic performance. The study also added that by consuming potato during prolonged exercise may work like any carbohydrate gel for sustaining optimal levels of blood glucose.

12 healthy persons participated in this study. They were dedicated to their sport and perform an average of 165 miles per week on their bicycles. The participants were asked to consume potatoes puree during the exercise.

Credit: Kelly Sikkema

The researchers measured participants’ blood glucose, core body temperature, exercise intensity, gastric emptying, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Researchers observed that there was no difference in the performance of cyclists who consumed carbohydrate gels and those who consumed potato puree during the exercise.

Credit: Katie Smith

The kinesiology and community health professor Nicholas Burd said, “Research has shown that ingesting concentrated carbohydrate gels during prolonged exercise promotes carbohydrate availability during exercise and improves exercise performance.”

He also added, “Our study aimed to expand and diversify race-fuelling options for athletes and offset flavor fatigue. Potatoes are a promising alternative for athletes because they represent a cost-effective, nutrient-dense, and whole-food source of carbohydrates. Furthermore, they serve as a savory race fuel option when compared (with) the high sweetness of (carbohydrate) gels.”