Loving the BITE: 3 Sweet Potato Recipes to Fuel You


Four simple ingredients.  Three all-new, whole-food, fuel options.  No matter how you do the math, you’re sure to find a sweet potato recipe that will fuel your ride, satisfy your taste buds without sugar overload, and provide some variety beyond bars and gels.  In fact, each of these will work great before, during, or after your ride.

Recipe of the week #1: Sweet Potato Cycling Fries


  • 1 large sweet potato (~1 lb.), peeled and cut into fries (any size desired)
  • 1 Tablespoons organic coconut oil, melted
  • 2 teaspoons real maple syrup or organic honey
  • ¼ – 1/3 teaspoon salt



Combine oil, syrup, and salt.  Coat fries thoroughly by shaking everything together in large baggie or stirring well in bowl.  Spread onto well-oiled baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and soft. 2 Servings.

Or, for less chewing, try:


Recipe of the Week #2: Sweet Potato Bike Mash


  • 1 large sweet potato (~1 lb., washed well)
  • 1 Tablespoons organic coconut oil, melted
  • 2 teaspoons real maple syrup or organic honey
  • ¼ – 1/3 teaspoon salt


Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Pierce potato several times with a fork or knife and bake for ~45-60 minutes, or until very soft.  Remove potato, open by cutting top length-wise.  Add coconut oil, syrup, and salt.  Allow oil to melt and then mix all ingredients thoroughly in skin, mashing potato into smooth consistency.  Allow to cool.  Scoop mashed sweet potatoes out and place in 2 “snack size” baggies.  Eat on the ride by tearing hole in corner of baggies and squeezing out.  2 Servings


Recipe of the Week #3: Sweet Potato Cruiser Cakes


  • 1.5 cups peeled and shredded sweet potato, about 1 large (~1 lb.)
  • 1 Tablespoons organic coconut oil, melted
  • 2 teaspoons real maple syrup or organic honey
  • ¼ – 1/3 teaspoon salt


Mix all ingredients together.  Form 2 patties. Fry the patties in oil on medium-high for a ~2-3 minutes, then flip and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes (should have crunchy exterior).  Then, reduce heat to medium-low for ~5 minutes, until cooked through (do not flip again).  Allow to cool.  Wrap each patty in aluminum foil or place in a baggie.  They may fall apart during the ride, so make sure they are well-wrapped.  Eat ‘em up! 2 Servings.

Nutrition information (1 serving, any recipe): 161 calories, 24 grams carbs, 3 gm fiber, 2 gm protein, 332-432 mg sodium, 428 mg potassium, 34 mg calcium, 24 mg magnesium.


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.
Enjoy Your Ride

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6 Responses to “ Loving the BITE: 3 Sweet Potato Recipes to Fuel You ”

  1. Gillian on January 3, 2015 at 5:36 am

    I am about to do my first 24 hour race which I am travelling to and would have to prepare any foods a couple of days before which is difficult. What can you recommend for good fuel that will also then keep for a couple of days? These recipes all sound great but would they keep? Thanks in advance.

  2. Sonny Williams on May 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    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!

  3. Jim on May 17, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    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 on May 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm

      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!

  4. Becky on May 17, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    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 on May 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      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!


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Sugar Alternatives for Energy and Hydration

Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.


Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

Sports Drink Homebrew

Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to www.apexnutritionllc.com.

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