The unlikely hero in your energy crisis

Yes, an emergency spud can do wonders for your football!
Double sessions. Running until you retch. Regretting those holiday tiramisus. Pre-season is a time when we all need a nutritional helping hand.

You wouldn’t expect this bonus to come in the shape of chips,
mind, which is why the news that sweet potatoes are tailor-made for pre-season is so welcome.

More after the break

Simply by replacing your average spud – or indeed, bread or rice choice – with sweet potato before training can have a major impact.

“They’re a healthier alternative to white potatoes and other carbs, because they have a lower glycemic index, which means they don’t raise blood sugar levels as high, or as quickly,” says Mayur Ranchordas, head of nutrition at Newcastle United.

“Sweet potatoes release energy slowly, which is ideal for pre-season sessions if you eat them around three hours beforehand.

They’re also high in beta-carotene, vitamin A, manganese, vitamin B6 and potassium, and have a lot of fibre.”

Indeed, they have 284 per cent of your recommended daily allowance of beta-carotene – which helps zap post-training stiffness – so weary legs will certainly be thankful.

It’s a versatile veg, too: lightly fried,
mashed or roasted, sweet potato is easy on the stomach, and tasty to boot.

So there’s no need to go hungry this summer: get the sweet spuds in, and you should be off to a flying start in 2013-14.

For more nutrition tips see:
The ultimate half-time snack
Eat for every occasion
10 Football Superfoods
Dried and tested to increase speed
Get the babies on board
Eat for energy and intensity
The ultimate matchday meals

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