Running a race is just a portion of the battle. The bigger chunk goes to those weeks of trainings and nutrition. Nutrition is the fuel that drives athletes to perform and be consistent on the road to athletic goals.
Running a Race
They say running a race is life changing. For me, it’s the training or the journey part that builds your character into a stronger person once you cross a finish line. You start with the build phase until the you reach your peak condition on race day. What happens in between is what’s important as you consistently log in the mileage of training, strengthening and mind conditioning.
The process in between requires consistency, dedication and proper nutrition. It’s not a one-way street where you just get stronger and stronger each day until your reach your peak. Your fitness journey is like a valley wherein you have to go to periods of recovery in time to climb your next peak. Nutrition helps you to be consistent throughout the whole process.
Nutrition in Training
Nutrition is a such long topic that’s best left for experts but let’s cover 3 items on nutrition that you get to encounter when you train.
- Carbohydrates – They provide energy for your muscles and fuel for your brain.
- Potassium – They are needed for proper muscle, cardiovascular and nervous system function.
- Calories – They are the source of energy.
What’s a good sources of these items? You would get a good mix with Potatoes USA.
A by-the-numbers look at how potatoes can power athletic performance*:
- 26 grams of carbohydrate: Count on the quality carbs in potatoes for optimal mental and physical performance.
- 620 Milligrams of Potassium: Potatoes have more potassium than a medium-size banana and 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.
Carbo-loading has been a normal habit for me before a big race or a big workout. I need to have enough fuel to sustain the rigors of the workout. There’s also a common misconception that carbo-loading equates to pigging out. Like anything else, proper nutrition requires balance. You consume too much, you feel bloated and when you consume too little, you end up low on energy.
In search of the right mix of nutrients, potatoes trump other options. They’re a high quality, nutrient dense source of carbohydrates and potassium. Carbohydrates are the energy source for our muscles and the brain, and we quickly burn our carbs when we workout. Potassium is needed for proper muscle, cardiovascular and nervous system function. It helps the system function better and is also an electrolyte that helps improve water retention in our system to avoid dehydration. Though bananas have been common in most race, potatoes are a better source of nutrients with a higher potassium content.
Potatoes are a healthier addition to our basic carbo-loading ritual. They are even easier to prepare and add to meals. I simply boil or roast potatoes. They keep me energized for a workout and give me enough energy for the regular day to day routine. Since training is a cycle, potatoes can also speed up the recovery process from the strains of training and get me ready for the next set of workouts.
Aside from potassium, the potatoes are also an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin that helps protect cells from damage and maintains a healthy immune system. It can help fight off colds and viruses.
Potatoes are also a good source of Vitamin B6 and contain protein and fiber.
With only 110 calories in each medium U.S. potato, athletes will find a highly nutritious, low-calorie superfood that can be consumed daily. These power-packed potatoes are readily available in local supermarkets.