Benefits of Sweet Potatoes for Endurance Athletes plus Sweet Potato & Bean Bake Recipe
Sweet potatoes are a nutritious and versatile vegetable that provides a wide range of benefits for endurance athletes. Rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, sweet potatoes offer numerous health benefits that can help athletes meet their nutritional needs and enhance their performance.
One of the most important benefits of sweet potatoes for endurance athletes is their high carbohydrate content. Carbohydrates are the primary energy source for athletes during prolonged exercise, such as long-distance running, cycling, and triathlons. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, which provide a steady supply of energy to the body, allowing athletes to perform at their peak for extended periods of time.
In addition to being a great source of carbohydrates, sweet potatoes also contain fiber, which helps athletes regulate digestion and maintain a healthy weight. Fiber slows down the digestion of carbohydrates, which helps to prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes. This is important for endurance athletes who need to maintain a steady supply of energy throughout their training and competition.
Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamins and minerals that are essential for optimal health and performance. They are a great source of vitamin C, which supports the immune system and can help prevent injuries and illnesses. They also contain vitamin A, which is essential for eye health and can improve vision for endurance athletes who may be training and competing in low-light conditions.
In addition, sweet potatoes are a rich source of potassium, magnesium, and calcium, which are important minerals for muscle function and recovery. Potassium helps to regulate fluid balance in the body, which is important for proper hydration during exercise. Magnesium supports muscle function and can help reduce muscle cramps and soreness. Calcium is important for bone health, which is especially important for endurance athletes who put a lot of stress on their bones during training and competition.
Lastly, sweet potatoes are a versatile food that can be prepared in a variety of ways, making them a convenient and tasty choice for athletes. They can be baked, boiled, mashed, fried, or roasted, and can be used in everything from savory dishes to sweet treats.
In conclusion, sweet potatoes are an excellent choice for endurance athletes looking to improve their performance and overall health. With their high complex carbohydrate content, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, sweet potatoes offer a wide range of benefits that can help athletes meet their nutritional needs and enhance their performance.
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Sweet Potato & Bean Bake
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
2x 14 oz. (400g) cans black beans, drained
7 oz. (200g) vegan cheese, grated
handful parsley, chopped
For the sauce:
1 tbsp. olive oil,
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin, more to season layers
2 tsp. smoked paprika, more to season layers
1 tsp. mixed herbs, more to season layers
14 oz. (400g) can chopped tomatoes
1⁄4 cup (60ml) tomato puree
What You Need To Do
Firstly, prepare the tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium- high heat.
Add the diced onion and garlic and fry until fragrant, 3-4 minutes. Next, add in the spices and herbs and cook for another minute, stirring.
Add in the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the sauce is reduced and thickens.
Preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C). Spread half of the tomato at the bottom of a baking dish.
Slice the sweet potatoes into 0.1′′ (3mm) thin slices and try to make each slice the same thickness.
Place a layer of sweet potato on the tomato sauce overlapping slightly—season with salt, herbs, and smoked paprika.
Next, spread 1 can of black beans on top of the potato. Follow with another layer of sweet potato, and season with salt, herbs, and smoked paprika.
Spread the second can of black beans followed with a third layer of sweet potato. Again season with salt, herbs, and smoked paprika.
Finally, top with the remaining tomato sauce. Cover with a piece of tin foil and bake for about 40-50 minutes, until the sweet potato is cooked through.
Sprinkle with grated vegan cheese and bake without cover for another 10-15 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
Prep 30 mins Cook 75 mins Kcal 361 Fats(g) 17 Carbs(g) 44 Protein(g) 9
*Nutrition per serving