By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Potatoes USA and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
Whether you have been working out at the gym trying to shape up for summer or train and compete in sports with a team, potatoes can be a great source of energy for your body and brain throughout the day. They are packed with complex carbohydrates to help athletes and weekend warriors perform their best! Potatoes contain more energy for their size than any other popular vegetable! Good nutrition is also important for the long-term health of athletes for example bone health and proper regulation of hormones in the body.
In addition to being a great source of energy, potatoes are a nutritious source of potassium which is an important electrolyte which is especially important after someone will exercise for over an hour and in the summer. We often think about a banana as good source of potassium but did you know that a potato has even more of this important nutrient!
Potatoes are the most versatile vegetable out there. They come in a variety of colors and shapes to keep things interesting which include russets, reds, whites, purples/blues, yellows, petites and fingerlings are just a few of the ones to choose from. They can be grilled, baked, steamed, mashed and grated. I love to add them to salad, tacos and even pizzas. For athletes on the run without a lot of time for food preparation they also come frozen, dehydrated and refrigerated so they can make a quick snack or meal before you run out the door!
Because nutrition is so important for an athlete’s performance, I wanted to share a few general nutrition guidelines for carbohydrates, protein and fat during before and after exercise. These energy needs differ depending on a person’s weight but my example is based on the needs for a 150 pound individual. To determine your specific nutrition needs for your weight, sport and duration, consult with a registered dietitian nutritionist with experience in sports nutrition.
Here Are a Few Guidelines for a Pre-Workout Meal or Snack
• 1 hour before exercise: 68 grams of CHO + 10 grams protein and <10% of calories from fat.
• 2 hours before exercise: 136 grams of CHO + 10 grams of protein and < 15% of calories from fat.
• 3 hours before exercise: 204 grams of CHO + 10 grams of protein and <20% of calories from fat.
Here Are a Few Guidelines for a Post-Workout Meal or Snack
In addition to carbohydrate, moderate protein and low fat, post-exercise meals should also contain electrolytes like sodium and potassium along with fluid for rehydration.
• High carbohydrate: at least 50 grams of CHO per serving.
• Moderate protein: at least 10 grams of protein per serving.
• Low in fat: < 20% of total calories per serving from fat.
• Contains sodium and at least 100 mg potassium per serving.
• Contains fluid.
I have put together a delicious recipe which can be used as a great pre-work out snack that you can eat an hour before exercise or even a recovery snack if you add a glass of juice, milk or even water since it is rich in potassium and has adequate sodium for exercise recovery. A serving contains over 70 grams of carbohydrates, 10 grams of calories without too much fat. I hope that you like it as much as me and my family and friends do! It also makes a nutritious snack anytime!
Mediterranean Potato Nachos
Easy to pack for before or after exercise and even easier to eat! These potato nachos are the perfect one hour before or post-exercise recovery snack! Think outside the box of the traditional tortilla chips or Mexican seasonings and try some these Mediterranean flavors for your next plate of nachos!
Makes 1 serving of 14 nachos
1 medium red potato sliced thin, into approximately 14 slices depending on the potato size. My slices were about 1/4 inch thick.
1 ounce sun dried tomatoes, julienne cut re-hydrated in hot water
4 Greek olives, sliced into 4 slivers each
Thinly sliced spinach around 1/3-1/2 cup
1/2 cup hummus
2 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, toss potato slices in olive oil, salt and pepper and lay the potatoes carefully on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes turning once after 8 minutes. Bake until potatoes begin to brown and caramelize. You can leave them a little soft or make them crunchy but be carefully not to burn. Take out of the the oven and allow to cool to touch. Spread thinly with hummus. Divide sliced spinach between the nachos and top with two re-hydrated sun dried tomatoes. Sprinkle feta on top and for the final garnish add 1/4 of a Greek olive sliver.
As an Asheville registered dietitian nutritionist, I love helping clients and readers of my blog find healthy recipes and menu ideas that work for them depending on their nutritional needs. Potatoes are a great source of energy and potassium and make a great addition to our diet! I hope that you picked up a few tips on eating before or after exercise that will help you. I enjoy helping athletes determine their nutrition needs. You can find out a little bit more about some of the other work that I do here! Check out some other great potato recipes from my nutrition friends with Recipe Redux below and also on Potatoes USA!