Potatoes Gain Credibility for Athletic Performance

Published online: Feb 20, 2018 Articles
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Source: Fresh Plaza

Potatoes as a performance food are gaining notoriety during the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, with the newly released Olympian Menu and announcement that performance nutrition is now a critical part of athletes’ strategy to win. The PyeongChang 2018 athlete’s village kitchen has 180 chefs serving 7,000 meals a day at its peak, and two senior sports nutritionists appointed to the United States Olympic Committee. Team USA shipped 85 pallets of food and equipment, including potatoes, to ensure athletes had exactly what they needed for fuel at all times.

One of the nutritionists, Susie Parker-Simmons, commented on the recommended dinner for a female cross-country skier, “a bun or roll with 4 ounces of meat, a cup of vegetables, a cup of quinoa, and a cup of baked potato wedges, as well as yogurt and fruit,” confirming that potatoes are a balanced part of a performance-enhancing meal.

In addition to the 26 grams of carbohydrates necessary for performance, potatoes contain 620 milligrams of potassium—an important electrolyte that aids in muscle, cardiovascular and nervous system function. Potatoes also have one of the highest overall antioxidant activities among vegetables. This data and additional information on potato nutrition, as well as performance-driving recipes and links to Performance Magazine, are available on the Side Delights website nutrition page.

“Athletes of all levels know that potatoes are fuel for athletic performance,” says Kathleen Triou, president and CEO of Fresh Solutions Network. “The recent RunDisney Health & Fitness Expo at the 25th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon in Orlando, Fla., included a Potatoes USA nutrition program giving credibility for potatoes as fuel for athletic performance, with 75,000 athletes and spectators receiving recipes and nutritional information on potatoes from the Potatoes USA team.”

For marathon runners, Olympic athletes, or anyone who chooses to stay healthy through exercise and nutrition, potatoes are an important vegetable to include in their menu. 

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