According to a new study, potato consumption can be as effective as popular carbohydrate gels for the performance of an athlete
The study was conducted by a professor of kinesiology and public health at the University of Illinois, Nicholas Bourd. "The purpose of our study was to disperse iris and diversify fueling options for athletes and offset taste fatigue, "Bird said.
The Potato Research and Education Alliance also supported this study.
According to fleetfeettucson.com, carbohydrate gels can be defined as concentrated carbohydrates and electrolytes, which are designed to be quick substitutes for sugars and salt, which are released during long periods of training. Gels are designed to replenish carbohydrate losses when the body endures intense training or racing.
Bird assembled a group of 12 participants who were healthy and worked hard to be part of the study. Each participant was randomly given either water, carbohydrate gel, or the same amount of carbohydrates but from potatoes.
According to the university's website, the study measures blood sugar levels, baseline body temperature, exercise intensity, gastric emptying and gastrointestinal symptoms. "Researchers also measure concentrations of lactate, a metabolic marker of intense exercise, in the blood of participants."
The study examines the gastrointestinal and gastrointestinal problems due to the fact that the human body sometimes has problems absorbing high carbohydrate concentrations.
Gels are usually taken from high-performance athletes, especially marathoners. During intense training, similar to a marathon, the body uses fat and carbohydrates as the two main sources of energy. Bird stated that the study found no difference between athletes who consumed gels compared to potatoes, but were larger than those who drank only water. "Both groups have seen significant increases in productivity that those who only consume water have not achieved," he says.
Although the consumption of carbohydrate gels can cause stomach problems for some, research has shown that potatoes can cause even more problems. "Those who consume potatoes experience significantly more gastrointestinal bloating, pain and flatulence than other groups. This may be the result of the larger volume of potatoes needed to match the glucose provided by the gels," he says Byrd.
The amount of time an athlete consumes gels or another source of carbohydrates also depends on the individual. Each person's body absorbs and burns carbohydrates at different speeds, which depends on the efficiency of the stomach.
Although there is currently insufficient research on the subject, combined with differences in the body of each person, studies provide an idea of the effect of carbohydrate gels on the human body.
"Overall, our study is a proof of concept showing that athletes can use complete carbohydrate sources as an alternative to commercial products to diversify race menus," Bird said.