Scientists have discovered that eating potato puree during extented exercise in addition to a carb in preserving blood glucose levels and enhancing performance in educated players.
Experts documented that ingesting concentrated carbs during extented physical exercise promotes carb accessibility during exercise and improves exercise efficiency.
The study is titled “Potato ingestion is as effective as carbohydrate gels to support prolonged cycling performance.”
University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor, Nicholas Burd, who led the research, said: “Our study aim was to expand and diversify race-fueling options for athletes and offset flavor fatigue.
“Potatoes are a promising alternative for athletes because they represent a cost-effective, nutrient-dense and whole-food source of carbohydrates. Furthermore, they serve as a savory race fuel option when compared (with) the high sweetness of (carbohydrate) gels.”
The scientists recruited 12 members who had been healthy and focused on their activity, averaging 165 kilometers each week on their bicycles. All have been training for years. To qualify for the trials, the bicyclists were required to reach a particular limit for aerobic health and fitness and complete a 120-second bicycling obstacle followed by a time test.
Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions during the experiments: They would consume either water alone, a commercially available carbohydrate gel or an equivalent amount of carbohydrates obtained from potatoes.
The researchers standardized what the 12 cyclists ate for 24 hours before repeating the 120-minute cycling challenge and time trial, which was designed to mirror typical race conditions. Throughout the exercise, the team measured the participants’ blood glucose, core body temperature, exercise intensity, gastric emptying, and gastrointestinal symptoms. The researchers also measured concentrations of lactate, a metabolic marker of intense exercise, in participants’ blood.
“We found no differences between the performance of cyclists who got their carbohydrates by ingesting potatoes or gels at recommended amounts of about 60 grams per hour during the experiments,” Burd said. “Both groups saw a significant boost in performance that those consuming only water did not achieve.”
Plasma glucose concentrations went up by a similar amount in those consuming potatoes and gels. Their heart rates increased by a similar amount over the water-only cyclists, and they were speedier on the time trial.
Those consuming potatoes experienced significantly more gastrointestinal bloating, pain and flatulence than the other groups, however. This may be a result of the larger volume of potatoes needed to match the glucose provided by the gels, Burd said.
“Nevertheless, average GI symptoms were lower than previous studies, indicating that both (carbohydrate) conditions were well-tolerated by the majority of the study’s cyclists,” the researchers wrote.
“All in all, our study is a proof-of-concept showing that athletes may use whole-food sources of carbohydrates as an alternative to commercial products to diversify race-fueling menus,” Burd said.
Also, according to a new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, health scientists at the Universities of Bath and Birmingham found that by changing the timing of when you eat and exercise, people can better control their blood sugar levels.
The six-week study, which involved thirty men classified as obese or overweight and compared results from two intervention groups (who ate breakfast before / after exercise) and a control group (who made no lifestyle changes), found that people who performed exercise before breakfast burned double the amount of fat than the group who exercised after breakfast.
They found that increased fat use is mainly due to lower insulin levels during exercise when people have fasted overnight, which means that they can use more of the fat from their fat tissue and the fat within their muscles as a fuel. To test proof-of-principle the initial study involved only men, but future studies will look to translate these findings for different groups including women.
Whilst this did not lead to any differences for weight loss over six weeks, it did have ‘profound and positive’ effects on their health because their bodies were better able to respond to insulin, keeping blood sugar levels under control and potentially lowering the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Building on emerging evidence that the timing of meals in relation to exercise can shift how effective exercise is, the team behind this study wanted to focus on the impact on the fat stores in muscles for individuals who either worked out before or after eating and the effect this had on insulin response to feeding.
Dr. Javier Gonzalez of the Department for Health at the University of Bath explained: “Our results suggest that changing the timing of when you eat in relation to when you exercise can bring about profound and positive changes to your overall health.
“We found that the men in the study who exercised before breakfast burned double the amount of fat than the group who exercised after. Importantly, whilst this didn’t have any effect on weight loss, it did dramatically improve their overall health.
“The group who exercised before breakfast increased their ability to respond to insulin, which is all the more remarkable given that both exercise groups lost a similar amount of weight and both gained a similar amount of fitness. The only difference was the timing of the food intake.”
Over the six-week trial, the scientists found that the muscles from the group who exercised before breakfast were more responsive to insulin compared to the group who exercised after breakfast, in spite of identical training sessions and matched food intake. The muscles from those who exercised before breakfast also showed greater increases in key proteins, specifically those involved in transporting glucose from the bloodstream to the muscles.
For the insulin response to feeding after the 6-week study, remarkably, the group who exercised after breakfast were in fact no better than the control group.