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Potatoes: Ultimate Performance Food

America’s favorite vegetable offers performance-boosting benefits to support an active lifestyle. Help fuel busy and health-conscious consumers with fresh-prepared and ready-made meals and snacks that incorporate nutrient-dense foods. The versatile, beloved potato is a great source of inspiration, as potatoes contain the carbohydrate, potassium, and energy people need to perform at their best.
Extensive research has been conducted on the nutritional benefits packed into a single spud. Here, we break down four potato perks that make them a no-brainer for new product formulations geared toward health and wellness.

1. More Potassium Than a Banana

Boasting 620mg of potassium, a medium-size (5.2-ounce) potato with the skin on offers more potassium than a medium-size banana (422mg) and more than any other 20 top-selling fruits and vegetables. An important electrolyte, potassium aids muscle, cardiovascular and nervous system function. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines mention potassium as an under-consumed nutrient of concern and recommends consuming foods with the highest level of potassium such as white potatoes.1

2. They Provide Energy

Important for athletes and active individuals, carbohydrates are the primary fuel for your brain and a key source of energy for working muscles. A medium skin-on potato contains 26g of carbohydrates and as much if not more of several essential vitamins and minerals than spaghetti, brown rice or wheat bread (compared on a per-serving basis).2

3. Potatoes are Nutrient Dense

Potatoes are a whole food with many key nutrients to boost athletic performance, such as 30mg vitamin C (30% of the daily value), a good source of vitamin B6 (10% of the daily value) and 3g complete protein. Vitamin C has a number of important functions, such as aiding in collagen production; assisting in iron absorption, acting as an antioxidant to stabilize free radicals thereby helping to prevent cellular damage and supporting the body’s immune system.3 Vitamin B6 plays important roles in both carbohydrate and protein metabolism.4

4. Fuel Athletic Performance

Adequate energy intake is crucial for optimal body function, and potatoes are more energy packed than any other popular vegetable. Potatoes USA is rolling out a new campaign to show how potatoes fuel performance. The campaign is based on the idea that consistently beating your personal best isn’t just about how you train, it’s about what you eat. While the campaign features athletes, it speaks more broadly to show everyone the power of the potato through people who can influence consumers to think about potatoes differently.

With all of these benefits, the real question is how to incorporate potatoes into convenient packaged foods. Just this year, a Colorado woman won the Western States 100, one of the most prestigious endurance runs in the world, while eating mashed potatoes along the way.
Potatoes work well with diverse flavors and also impart a light, fluffy texture. Potatoes can serve as a base for portable potato cakes or on-the-go potato poppers. For an even easier application, potatoes enhance the creaminess of smoothies.

To learn more about Potato Performance and discover product inspirations, visit www.PotatoesFuelPerformance.com.

Source Notes
1. Potassium: Food Sources Ranked by Amounts of Potassium and Energy per Standard Food Portions and per 100 Grams of Foods. Available at: http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/appendix-10/.
2. Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Position of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics, American College of Sports Medicine and the Dieticians of Canada. Med Sci Sports Excerc. 2015; 48:543-568.
3. Cotton PA, Subar AF, Friday JE, Cook A. Dietary sources of nutrients among US adults, 1994-1996. J Am Diet Assoc. 2004;104:921-930.
4. Gropper SS, Smith JL. Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism. 6th Ed. Belmont, CA. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.2013. Pp.361-364.


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