1) You should always follow a food first approach and not prioritise supplements.
2) Carbohydrates drive exercise performance and are rate limiting to performance if carb provision isn’t sustained.
Well, in today’s D2EW, a team of mad scientists from the University of Illinois have developed a supplement that combines the two aforementioned certainties…
The mashed potato.
The team of researchers (Salvador and colleagues, 2019) placed well trained cyclist under three conditions:
1) Carbohydrate gels
2) Russet mashed potato puree
3) Water (placebo)
During a 2 hour cycling challenge and time trial, they consumed 15g of carbs every 15 minutes to satisfy the current guidelines of 60g of carbs/hour for endurance based events for this duration.
Here’s the thing, you can get 15g of carbs from a 23g sports gel, where you’ll need 128.5g of the finest pureed russet to get the same amount…which, can be quite a mouth full if you’re trying to breathe whilst cycling.
Because of this, cyclists did experience more gut issues towards the end of their cycling challenge, which is somewhat of a ‘duh’ considering they’re consuming 5.5x as much food volume per serving, every 15 minutes.
That being said, the ‘natty’ way of supplementing with carbs was just as effective when compared to your typical energy gels in terms of performance.
Which leaves us with this…
The amount of carbs, and not necessarily the type of carbs you have is the most important thing for sustaining performance. It really comes down to your preferences.
I.e. If you like the taste of something, it gives you little to no gut issues, and is appropriately dosed for the demands of your event, your options are almost unlimited.
The downside…you’d have to carry 1.1kg of potato around with you for a 2 hour ride AND you’ll have to leave the bangers and gravy at home, which ultimately, is heartbreaking.
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