Loving the BITE: Easy Gourmet Boiled Potatoes on the Bike


This week, we’ve got an oldie but a goodie.  For many decades (maybe even centuries?), athletes have been eating potatoes for fuel. At races. On rides. On runs.  It’s a great choice.  While many commercial sports products use maltodextrin as one ingredient in their mix, you can go to the source.

When you eat potatoes, their starch readily breaks down to maltodextrin, which metabolizes efficiently as a great fuel source on the go.  And, with this week’s recipe, you’ll take it up a notch to provide electrolytes, delicious flavor, and maybe even cramp-relieving goodness.

Recipe of the Week:  Easy Gourmet Potatoes on the Bike


Per Serving:

  • 1 (2.5″ diameter) red potato
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp olive, avocado, or coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cooked bacon, cheese shreds
  • Optional dried or fresh herbs: basil, thyme, parsley, chives, etc.
  • 1/2-1 tsp mustard (optional)


  1. Boil or steam potato until tender enough to easily mash with a fork.
  2. For the non-mashed version, remove skin and quarter potatoes. Toss in remaining ingredients and place in baggie.
  3. For mashed version, remove skin and mash potato.  Mash in remaining ingredients and place in baggie. Squeeze out like a gel.


Believe it or not, there’s quite a bit of endurance-nutrition-goodness in the simple potato.  With the exception of fluid, a salted potato will contain all the fuel you need for most rides, and our recipe contains a few nice bonuses. What’s more, they’re packable, compress to a very small volume, and are oh-so-tasty on the bike.

Pack in our gourmet potatoes and you’ll get:

Carbohydrates: In just 1 small potato, 1.75-2.5 inches in diameter, there’s about 25-30 grams carbohydrates.  These carbohydrates are starch, and will break down quickly to provide good fuel within minutes of consumption.  You’ll also likely avoid any stomach issues…potatoes are known to beeasy-to-digest and easy-on-the-stomach.

Potassium: Potatoes are jack-pots of potassium.  They contain it in their starch and in their peel.  Since we’re peeling and cooking our potatoes, they’ll have slightly less at approximately 400 mg potassium than the raw peel-on form (at approximately 700 mg).  Nonetheless, they have plenty to replenish lost potassium while cycling.

Sodium: Potatoes in their natural state are not good sources of sodium, but add a bit of sea salt and you’ve got a winner.  Our 1/8 tsp sea salt provides 300 mg sodium.

Healthy Fats: Really, coconut oil is the only fat option listed that will really contribute to energy supply during most rides.  However, it can be an acquired taste and not everyone likes coconut on potatoes (although I sure do!).  Olive oil and avocado oil are also great choices to simply keep the potatoes from feeling too dry and helping the salt and other goodies stick on.

Mustard for Cramps: If you’re prone to cramps, you’ve gotta try mustard or pickle juice for a quick fix.  The vinegar in these foods works wonders to signal nerves and relieve cramps.  Read all about it here.

Quick Fuel: Unlike many of our real food options, they are not only good for the long-haul rides, but shorter ones (2+ hours), too. The potatoes will digest and metabolize quickly, giving your body fuel during the hour you eat them.

Tastiness: The tastiness factor of these potatoes will knock any gel out of the jersey pocket.  Savory tastes can be a welcome sensation over sweet ones when you’re pedaling.  The bacon, cheese, herbs and salt will do more than provide nutrients in your bloodstream, they’ll provide a fuel option you’ll look forward to.

Want more recipes like this? Check out our Bacon Rice Burritos, Pesto Pitas, and Sweet Potato Fuel options for more savory real-food fuel options.

These spuds are not for couch potatoes…they’re for moving!  Take ’em with you and see what you think. Does a real-food starch fuel you as well as commercial isolate varieties?

Fuel Your Ride.  Nourish Your Body.

Enjoy Your Ride
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2 Responses to “ Loving the BITE: Easy Gourmet Boiled Potatoes on the Bike ”

  1. Randy Howell on September 18, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Great recipe. Ate the firstn batch. Question- why remove the skin?

    • Kelli, RD on September 18, 2014 at 11:37 pm

      I’ve actually gone back and forth about the skin…I’ve removed it here to reduce fiber. If you’re using red potatoes with a very thin skin, you can likely leave it on and not experience any stomach issues. If a thicker-skinned russet potato, I recommend taking it off. Keeping it safe for any cyclists with more sensitive stomachs in this post! Glad you like them!


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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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