Research Category: Healthy Lifestyles

Potato as a Source of Nutrition for Physical Performance

Health professionals universally agree on the importance of a balanced diet, and the fallacy of relying on any one or two food groups, as the means of achieving peak physical performance and health. A review of the existing sports nutrition literature indicates that different types of athletes and physically active people may have slightly different nutritional requirements, but the main tenets of sports nutrition have not changed much over the last 25 years. The specific combinations may vary, but carbohydrates, protein, and fluids are vital components of an active individual’s diet. Further, most available research supports the notion that optimal physical performance requires carbohydrate – and, specifically, high-quality, nutrient-dense carbohydrate from whole food sources, like potatoes. High- quality carbohydrate sources – foods that offer an array of macro- and micronutrients as well as energy, can help to build a strong nutritional foundation for the level of training, recovery, and adaptation that most physically active people seek to achieve. Low carbohydrate diets will not generally allow athletes to train at the intensity required to attain peak physical performance.

High-Quality Carbohydrates and Physical Performance: Expert Panel Report

While all experts agreed that protein needs for performance are likely greater than believed in past generations, particularly for strength training athletes, and that dietary fat could sustain an active person through lower-intensity training bouts, current research still points to carbohydrate as an indispensable energy source for high-intensity performance.