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How about Potatoes for Your Race Fueling Strategy?

Updated: Jul 5, 2020

Potatoes are a key component of my weekly (if not daily) meal and snack choices. Whether you are a white potato or sweet potato person, both options are incredibly nutritious and of great benefit in a variety of ways to endurance athletes. Most importantly - because of their carbohydrate and vitamin content. I thought this was a great infographic to show the differences and similarities between sweet and white potatoes.

Potatoes for Mid-Run Fueling

Carbohydrates are a well established strategy to improve performance, in fact, the preferred fuel source for our brain and muscles.

Commercially produced gels like GU and Gatorade chews may seem like an athletes only option to fuel their event. Personally, I use these regularly for training and races-but I know for many people these gels do not fit taste preferences, can cause gastrointestinal distress and burnout from continual use.

Emerging research has some promising support for the use of potatoes as an equally efficient strategy to commercially produced gels for mid-race fuel and performance.

The Journal of Applied Physiology published promising new research, entitled; "Potato ingestion as effective as carbohydrate gels to support prolonged cycling performance." The study analyzed 12 elite cyclists and found that, when matched for carbohydrates, russet potato ingestion was as effective as gels to support exercise performance. While this research was performed on cyclists and cannot be directly correlated with running-it does provide promising evidence as an effective gel alternative for endurance sports like running.

Searching for more savory and effective pre-, mid-, and post-run fueling options? Why not try potatoes? Check out for recipe ideas and mid-run (or mid-bike) fueling options!

Thanks for being here.

Maddi Osburn RDN LD



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