Loving the BITE: 3 Sweet Potato Recipes to Fuel You

You’ve asked for more real-food fuel options, and we’ve heard you.  While there are decent commercial energy bars, gels, and drinks out there, and they do have their place, it’s a great idea to use real food as much as possible, solely, or in addition to high-quality commercial options.

When it comes to nutrient-dense carb sources, you don’t have to look much further than sweet potatoes.  As Darryl explained a few months back, sweet potatoes provide:

  • A vast array of antioxidants including very high levels of Vitamin A and beta-carotene that fight free radicals and promote reduced oxidative stress.
  • Anti-inflammatory nutrients including glycoproteins that promote cellular health
  • Carbohydrates that promote steady blood sugars and even-keeled energy

What’s more, you’ll get a great all-natural carbohydrate and antioxidant source in real maple syrup or organic honey, fast-acting, energy-producing fat in organic coconut oil, and nearly all your hourly sodium needs from salt.

To use these recipes as:

Pre-ride fuel: Try 1 serving of any recipe, ~60-90 minutes out, with fluids.

During-ride fuel: On rides >2 hours, eat 1 serving every hour with 20+ additional grams of carbs from other foods or drinks.  I recommend using faster-acting carbs for these remaining grams, as from a sports drink, so that you’ll have a great balance of both quick and sustained carbs.  Make sure to aim for 16-32 oz. fluid, 40+ grams carbohydrates (60+ for intense work), 400-700 mg sodium, 100-300 mg potassium (more is fine from whole food sources) per hour.

Recovery: Eat 1-2 servings (depending on the intensity & duration of the ride) with 16-32 oz. fluid plus an additional 10-20 grams of protein from 2 large cooked eggs, 1 scoop protein powder, 16 oz. milk, 6 oz. Greek yogurt/cottage cheese, 2-3 oz. meat, etc.  

Whole-food, high-carb, brightly colored (why not?) fuel options for lasting energy.   Sliced, mashed, or caked, these sweet potato recipes will give you carbs and nutrients to boot.  How sweet is that?

Fuel Your Ride.  Nourish Your Body.

Sweet Potato Fries photo c/o instructables.com; Sweet Potato Cakes photo c/o whiskheraway.

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  • http://twitter.com/JeepGorilla Sonny Williams

    Loooove the sweet potato. Great recipes! They really make me feel better post-ride and are great for loading up the muscles the night before. Great help on knowing WHEN to eat! Thanks Kelli!

  • Jim

    Thank you for the break down on pre ride, during, and post ride use of the sweet potates. The problem I find is that most nutritious recipes don’t let you know how to use them properly. I thank you for this information.

    • Kelli, RD

      Hi Jim, You’re very welcome. Let us know if you like the sweet pototoes out on your ride (or before, or after)! Take care!

  • Becky

    These look great. I’ve always liked sweet potatoes, but never knew about how they could fuel me. Thanks for these three recipes.

    • Kelli, RD

      Hi Becky, Thanks for your comment. I just used the mash out on a ride this week – and, while the mouthfeel was initially a little weird (they are cold mashed potatoes, after all), the taste was great, they went down easy, and they felt light as a feather in my belly. I’ll definitely use them again…let me know waht you think if you decide to use them as fuel. Take care!