Potatoes Play An Essential Part In My Diet
“Hi there, what’s up with you buddy? Can you share what you eat during trainings, in between and during your endurance races?” a friend of mine once asked.
Then I often say nothing special really. I just love to eat what I love most and often tell them I love “Pork Adobo with Potatoes” or anything that has potato in it. Aside from that, I love Menudo, Chicken Salpikaw, and Mashed Potato, “Nilagang Baka” (Beef Stew) with lots of potatoes in it as well! For my snack, I eat chips or fries and sandwiches for my light meal during morning runs.
There you have it, potatoes, potatoes and potatoes is my secret to being able to keep up with endurance races despite the fact that I almost have no time to train, oh well, aside from my bike ride coming to and from work 2 or 3 times a week (sometimes even 5!). It’s part of my secret training because the distance from home and work is 35 kilometers! Can you believe that? If you don’t, then follow me on Strava because for us bikers we believe in the saying “If there’s no Strava, then it didn’t happen at all!” Haha, just kidding.
Potatoes play an essential part in every athlete’s diet like mine. I sure do love to climb and hike, mountain bike, trail run, swim, dance, and play basketball. You name it!
During long rides like century rides or 100 KM bike rides, we always find time for meal breaks so we can refuel our energy. I always choose carbs-rich food and my go-to ulam (viand) must have potatoes. Then whenever I’m home I always make sure we have potatoes in the pantry because my kids absolutely love them, too. Like father, like kids!
Potatoes provide the carbohydrates, potassium and energy that we need to perform at our best. More energy-packed than any other popular vegetable, potatoes have even more potassium than a banana. Plus, there’s a potato option to fuel your body and brain throughout the day — whether you lead an active lifestyle or are competing with elite athletes.
POTATOES FOR ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
A by-the-numbers look at how potatoes can power athletic performance¹:
26 grams of carbohydrate: Count on the quality carbs in potatoes for optimal mental and physical performance.² ³ Plus, potatoes contain as much if not more of several essential vitamins and minerals than spaghetti, brown rice or whole wheat bread (compared on a per-serving basis).
620 Milligrams of Potassium: With more potassium than a medium-size banana, potatoes are perfect for aiding muscle, cardiovascular and nervous system function during long endurance events.
110 Calories for Energy: Easily digestible and more energy dense than any other popular vegetable, potatoes are a good choice to fuel the demands of racing a triathlon.
Climbing every mountain with US potato-packed power
For members of the UP Mountaineers, perhaps the country’s most popular mountaineering organization, some adventures were meant to be savored by the palate.
What can be best consumed on a sweaty day spent on a tiring trail? What can be easy to prepare around a campfire, with enough nutritional value to pump up for the next leg of the journey?
To spur culinary creativity, the UP Mountaineers came up with the UPM Kalawang Chef, a challenge that dares teams to raise the game in their outdoor cookery. Contestants must incorporate a secret ingredient revealed only at the start of the cook-off. This year, the competition was held at the UP Vanguard and the mountain-climbing cooks were presented with their most nutritionally packed food to date, US potatoes.
US potatoes are now in the country thanks to Potatoes USA-Philippines, the organization tasked with making these particular taters known. US frozen, table stock and dehydrated potatoes are available in the local market, ready for different recipes running from main dishes to snacks, soups, salads and desserts.
Dedicated growers in partnership with the US Department of Agriculture help ensure that only the best potatoes in different varieties make it to dining tables worldwide. And, high quality potatoes are specially selected for processing into frozen and dehydrated potato products.
US potatoes are already classified as a superfood, a nutrient-dense food that can help fuel huge exertions from physical exercise and movement. Potatoes are high in potassium, even more so than a banana, and are also full of vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, iron and magnesium. Prepared with the skin on, US potatoes are true power-ups. Potato skins are a great nutrition source of proteins, phytochemicals and amino acids, especially lysine. Lysine promotes healthy organ and muscle growth, and also helps convert fat into energy.
Contestants were challenged to think beyond canned, convenience food and consider what US potatoes could offer in the great outdoors. Potatoes are a fat-free, sodium-free and gluten-free ingredient with as little as 110 calories per medium-sized serving.
After strenuous exercise, like climbing a sheer rock face or rappelling down one, any mountaineer will need an energy boost. Sports drinks or sweet snacks are popular choices. But properly prepared recovery food made of potatoes can be the better alternative. These spuds are naturally healthy, and still taste great without using large amounts of cooking oil or heavy layers of salt, cheeses and creams.
Edsel Segovia, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a National Strength and Conditioning Certified Personal Trainer (CSCS, NSCA-CPT) started things off in the challenge with a brief talk on fitness and proper nutrition.
Mountaineers and their guests later learned more as Potatoes USA presented a US mashed potato buffet, to further highlight that potatoes are versatile ingredients. Perhaps with the next climb, trek or hike, more mountaineering enthusiasts will perceive US potatoes in a new way, and keep a healthy stash ready for camp.
For more information on US potatoes, and how it can power up physical and mental performance, visit www.potatogoodness.com/performance/ or like and follow Potatoes USA-Philippines on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PotatoesUSAPhilippines/.
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Main source for (1) and (2) is excerpt on potatoes from Medical Medium Life Changing Foods by Anthony William, pp. 158-160. Here are additional reference:Penn State Hershey Medical Center paper on Lysine stating that “Some studies suggest lysine helps muscle tissue recover after stress.” http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=107&pid=33&gid=000312 But do white potatoes have lysine? According to SELF Nutrition Data, yes: https://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-011083000000089000000-3.html Forty sources of lysine to add to your plate: https://www.healthline.com/health/lysine-foods