Today is Friday and that means a 20 mile long run tomorrow. For the past two weeks I have been thinking about what I am going to eat afterwards… a delicious turkey burger ( or MAYBE an actual burger – I’m not sure if I can make that leap), sweet potato fries, and an IPA to replenish fluids 🙂 I can’t wait! However tonight I had to make sure to eat the right stuff to get me through tomorrow. One of my favorite pre long run dinners is salmon with sweet potatoes. I really do love the sweet potato. I know it is highly recommended to eat them before a long run because of their nutritional benefits. Well I wanted to know exactly what are all of their nutritional benefits so I decided to look into this tonight after dinner…
Your body burns glycogen from carbohydrates to fuel your workouts — if you do not eat sufficient carbs your body starts burning muscle tissue as fuel, notes the “BTEC First Sport Student Book.” This causes you to lose strength and fitness. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of complex carbs. According to the USDA, a medium sweet potato has 24 g of carbohydrate, including 4 g of fiber.
In addition to complex carbs, they are also extremely high in vitamin A which has antioxidant properties, potassium, and vitamin E. Sweet potatoes are actually one of the top three food sources of potassium. Add that to tart cherry juice and you should be set. Also, because sweet potatoes are a complex carb, they are great at regulating blood sugar. I found this recipe for a sweet potato recovery smoothie and it looks amazing! If I still had any sweet potatoes left, I would make it when I got home tomorrow morning.
Clearly sweet potato fries are not the healthiest form of this food, but I am super excited to eat them tomorrow. The perfect pre-run, post-run, and any other type of run food. Yummy!
Happy Trails and Happy Running,