Natural Energy Foods – Potatoes

Natural Energy Foods – Potatoes

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    Baked, mashed or boiled… large potatoes or baby potatoes… this versatile starchy vegetable provides more energy-rich complex carbohydrates than pasta and is often overlooked by runners.

    1 large potato (approx 370g) with skin contains:

    Energy (kcal) 292Kcal
    Energy (kJ) 1226kJ
    Protein (g) 8g
    Carbohydrates (g) 67g
    Fat (g) nil
    Dietary fibre (g) 7g
    Potassium (mg) 1600mg
    Vitamin B6 (mg) 1.3mg (63% RDA)


    as a pre-event meal

    A large potato contains 67g of carbohydrates and are rich in antioxidants. This taken the night before a race with a low fat sauce and some low fat protein, is effective carbo-loading to prepare the trail runner for an endurance event.

    …for instant energy

    The carbohydrates in a potato are quick-absorbing (i.e. high GI carbs). These carbs readily enter the bloodstream and quickly restock spent glycogen stores. Carry boiled baby potatoes (without the skin), sprinkled with salt, in your hydration pack for a welcome, salty alternative to the sweet gels and drinks.

    …to refuel

    Post run, potatoes can quickly replenish glycogen. Topped with a protein e.g. cottage cheese and biltong, it can also help repair damaged muscle fibres. Added salt to the combination will promote fluid intake and rehydration. 

    Other benefits

    A large potato contains 1600mg of potassium which maintains healthy blood pressure, and is critical for fluid balance.

    Potatoes are exceedingly rich in Vitamin B6, a B-vitamin needed for a healthy nervous system and for cell renewal.

    Immune-boosting Vitamin C is another nutrient found in abundance in the regular spud, delivering an amount of approximately 21mg (which is 35% of the daily requirement).

    Try this different, healthier potato salad option for summer.

    Potato, Avocado and Bacon Salad


    Jeanne-Marié Louw
    Jeanne-Marié is a registered dietician who recently completed her International Olympic Committee diploma in Sports Nutrition. She has extensive and international experience in nutrition for diabetes and has a passionate interest in sports nutrition. She is an avid trail runner herself and enjoys other sports including squash and swimming. She lives the active, healthy life she preaches about and a JUST DO IT motto when challenged. One day I am running the DODO Trail Trail Running is relaxing and an escape from the city buzz into nature. It adds “challenge” to my running. Its all about the hard work and then the reward of a beautiful view at the end. Trail runners share a zest for life. I JUST LOVE IT!