Final in the series on nutritionally sound alternatives to Gu's, energy drinks and junk food for endurance athletes and open water swimmers.
Sweet potato is the perfect post-exercise carbohydrate. Full of relatively fast-acting carbohydrates, plus vitamin A, B and C, one cup contains approximately 50 grams of carbohydrate.
What about sports drinks?The short answer is no. They are full of artificial sugar, preservatives and colours, and there are much better options:
- Coconut water: the natural sugars and electrolytes are great during, or after, an intense exercise session. One serve contains 15g of carbohydrates, so it is not to be treated like water. A couple of times a week is sufficient.
- Juice: yes, if you like, you can drink juice. It’s far cheaper than expensive sports drinks and all natural, but please save it for during exercise and in the “window” only. Ideally, make it fresh and keep it to two pieces of fruit, with the rest vegetables.
- Make your own: 750ml of water, 1 tablespoon of rice malt syrup, the juice of one lemon and a pinch of sea salt. This is perfect for on the bike or recovery from your longer sessions. Lemon is the highest electrolyte containing citrus fruit, so why not also had some to your juice.