Sweet potatoes: is it good for those who do weight training? See benefits

The potato sweet food is usually a well – known among people who perform hypertrophy training (gain muscle mass).

This is due to its low glycemic index, which provides energy gradually for the body to perform exercises, helping to improve performance during activities.

However, sweet potatoes are not just for those looking for lean mass gain . It is also rich in nutrients, which help to keep the body healthy.

Thus, it is ideal for those looking to include healthier dishes in the daily diet.

Keep reading and learn more about the food!

What kind of carbohydrate is sweet potato?

Carbohydrates are nutrients present in food, responsible for providing energy for the body to perform daily tasks.

Its main functions are the production and storage of energy, as well as helping to structure the body’s cells.

There are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex. Sweet potatoes are part of the complexes.

Simple

Simple carbohydrates are those quickly digested by the body, as they have a high glycemic index (the speed with which the carbohydrate reaches the bloodstream).

When ingesting a simple carbohydrate, it is absorbed by the body quickly, which generates a spike in blood glucose, that is, a rapid increase in blood sugar levels.

This consequently causes a greater release of insulin – the hormone responsible for collecting blood sugar and sending it to the cells of the body.

This increase in insulin causes the body to identify that there is an excess of glucose in the body, available to be used as energy.

It turns out that, in general, the body cannot use all the high amount of energy at once.

In this way, insulin stores excess sugars in the form of fat in adipose tissue.

In addition, the rapid digestion of carbohydrates causes the sensation of hunger in a short period after the meal, making it necessary to consume food again.

Therefore, in some weight loss diets, the intake of complex carbohydrates is indicated, which, in general, delay the reappearance of hunger.

Complex

Complex carbohydrates – also known as “good carbohydrates” – are those that are slowly digested by the body and have a low glycemic index.

When ingesting a complex carbohydrate, the body digests it at a slow speed, gradually releasing glucose into the bloodstream.

This occurs, in general, due to the presence of fibers in complex carbohydrates, which cause the digestion speed to decrease.

Thus, there is no peak of blood glucose, that is, a rapid rise in blood sugar levels.

Thus, there is only the release of a moderate amount of glucose into the blood that, in general, the body is able to use in daily physical activities.

This means that the body does not necessarily need to store energy in the form of fat in the body.

In addition, the slow digestion caused by the consumption of complex carbohydrates causes the food to remain in the stomach for a longer time, causing a feeling of satiety for a longer time.

Nutrients: what is sweet potato for?

Because of the different nutrients present in its composition, sweet potatoes, in general, assist in the functioning of various areas of the body, such as the intestine, eyes and even the heart.

Specifically, it serves to:

Immune system

Sweet potatoes can be a good ally in strengthening the immune system.

That’s because it’s rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene, a pigment that turns into vitamin A when it enters the bloodstream.

Vitamin C helps in the production of white blood cells – defense cells – and provides antioxidant action, that is, it protects the body against the action of free radicals, molecules capable of damaging healthy cells in the body.

Vitamin A, on the other hand, strengthens the body against degenerative diseases and also provides antioxidant action.

Intestine

The fibers present in sweet potatoes make the food good for the functioning of the intestine.

They facilitate the digestion process and improve intestinal transit, preventing problems such as constipation , for example.

Heart

Because of the presence of potassium and vitamin B6 in its composition, sweet potatoes are good for heart health.

Potassium helps to control blood pressure, preventing heart attacks. Vitamin B6 acts as a heart protector, helping to prevent heart disease.

In addition, the food also contains fibers that act in the control of cholesterol, helping to reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications.

Skin

One of the organs benefited from the consumption of sweet potatoes is the skin. The root is a source of vitamins A, E and C, which have antioxidant action, that is, they prevent against premature aging.

These vitamins also act by stimulating the production of collagen, the protein responsible for the youthful aspect of the skin.

In addition, vitamin A promotes cell renewal, that is, it causes old cells in the epidermis to be replaced by new cells, improving the appearance of the dermis.

Eyesight

The consumption of sweet potatoes can help maintain healthy eyesight, since food is a source of vitamin A.

This vitamin acts to protect the cornea, part of the eye that transmits and concentrates the external light.

In this way, it helps to prevent against the development of macular diseases, stimulating a healthy vision.

Weight loss

Because it is rich in fiber, sweet potatoes, in general, can help with weight loss.

This is because the fibers act in the digestion process, causing the food to remain in the stomach for a longer time.

In this way, food causes a feeling of satiety, which usually causes the person to eat less, enabling weight reduction.

What are the health benefits of sweet potatoes?

The sweet potato is a food that can provide several health benefits for those who consume it. Its nutrients act, among others, in regions such as the heart, eyes and skin.

Some of the benefits are:

  • Combats premature aging;
  • Promotes the proper functioning of the intestine;
  • Strengthens the immune system;
  • Protects the heart;
  • Regulates or cholesterol;
  • Assists in muscle gain;
  • Promotes cell renewal;
  • Controls blood pressure;
  • Protects eyesight;
  • It can assist in weight loss.

Sweet potatoes: minerals and vitamins

Sweet potatoes are made up of various nutrients, such as fiber, minerals and vitamins.

In general, its composition is:

Baked sweet potato Quantity (100g)
Calories 91kcal
Carbohydrates 23,1g
Fibers 2,74g

Minerals

Minerals are substances responsible for the correct functioning of the body’s metabolism.

Cooked sweet potatoes, in general, contain:

Mineral Quantity (100g)
Calcium 21,5mg
Match 19,3mg
Magnesium 14mg
Potassium 186mg
Sodium 3,39mg

Calcium, together with phosphorus, acts on the strengthening of bones and teeth, in addition to acting on blood clotting.

Magnesium acts on muscle contraction along with sodium.

Present in greater quantities in sweet potatoes, potassium acts, among other things, in controlling blood pressure.

Together with vitamins, these minerals help to maintain the good health of the body.

Vitamins

Vitamins are compounds that act in several areas of the body and help in the quality of physical and mental health.

The main vitamins present in cooked sweet potatoes and their functions are:

Baked sweet potato Quantity (100g)
A 1,4mg
C 29,9mg
E 1,18mg
B3 3,23mg
B6 0,06mg

Vitamin A acts on good eye health and cell renewal.

The B vitamins, on the other hand, help in the proper functioning of the nervous system, improve blood circulation and the production of hemoglobin and neurotransmitters.

Present in greater quantities in food, vitamin C maintains the immune system and prevents premature aging.

The Vitamin E helps to balance cholesterol levels.

Can you eat the peel of the sweet potato?

-Yeah . The sweet potato peel is one of the most nutritious parts of the food. This is where a large portion of vitamin C is concentrated, in addition to fiber and potassium.

Thus, the ingestion of the peel of the food is allowed and contributes in a beneficial way to the health of the organism.

What is the difference between purple and white sweet potatoes?

There are different types of sweet potatoes such as purple, white and orange, with purple and white being best known in general. They have, not very significantly, some differences between them.

The main ones are:

Calories

The amount of calories between the purple and white sweet potatoes does not vary significantly. Between the two, the purple potato is the most caloric.

Purple Sweet Potato (100g) 95kcal
White Sweet Potato (100g) 92kcal

Thus, for people looking for a daily diet based on low calorie levels, white sweet potato is the best option.

Nutrients

The nutritional characteristics in both foods are similar. However, the purple potato is still more nutritious.

This, because in addition to having the same vitamins and minerals present in white, the purple potato has a greater amount of these nutrients in its skin.

In addition, because of its dark coloring, the food is rich in anthocyanin, a natural pigment that provides antioxidant effects.

Taste

The difference between the potatoes can also be seen in the flavor.

In general, the purple sweet potato has a sweeter taste than the white one, in addition to having a softer flesh.

Is sweet potato good for weight training?

-Yeah . Sweet potatoes, as well as other complex carbohydrates, are a good food for those who practice weight training and other activities of high physical effort, as they can help improve performance and muscle hypertrophy.

That’s because of its low glycemic index. When eaten in the pre-workout, the food helps to provide energy gradually and steadily to the body, in order to last, in general, the whole workout.

When receiving this energy, the body does not need to use proteins as an energy source during training, for example.

Without being used for activities, proteins are directed by the body to compose an increase in lean mass , that is, hypertrophy.

Sweet potatoes are fattening?

It depends . Although considered to be fitness, like other foods, sweet potatoes can cause weight gain when eaten in excess. So moderation is always worth it.

If the goal is to replace carbohydrates like rice, the ideal is that the amount of sweet potatoes is the same as the amount normally eaten of grains.

The method of preparation can also interfere with the change in weight. When making cooked food, in general, there is less chance of weight gain than fried or roasted.

This is because one of the reasons that sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index is due to the high content of starch present in its root, which prolongs the digestion period in the body.

When placing in the oven or frying the potato, the heat dehydrates the food and causes the breakdown of the starch molecules, which makes digestion faster, thus increasing the glycemic index.

Are there any harmful effects of consuming?

There is no scientific proof of the health hazards of sweet potatoes.

However, like other foods, their excessive consumption can cause problems in some people, such as allergies, for example.

In addition, eating raw food can also cause discomfort, since when raw, sweet potatoes contain some toxic substances to the body, such as chaconine and solanine (chemical compounds).

Therefore, the ideal is to always cook the food before eating. If consumed in a moderate and healthy way, in general, sweet potatoes have no health hazards.

How to eat healthily?

There are several ways to consume sweet potatoes in a healthy way. Some of them can be differentiated according to the objective: weight loss or muscle mass gain.

To lose weight

For weight reduction, the ideal is to consume sweet potatoes in a moderate way, including food in the main daily meals, as a substitute for more caloric carbohydrates.

It is worth remembering that only the consumption of sweet potatoes, in general, will not cause significant changes in weight loss. It is necessary to combine this with a balanced diet and the practice of physical exercises.

Some examples of recipes to include sweet potatoes in everyday life are:

Sweet potato puree

Sweet potato puree is a good option for those who want to differentiate the preparation from carbohydrates.

To prepare, the steps are:

  1. Cook approximately 3 small sweet potatoes (150g);
  2. After cooked, remove from heat, peel and cut into slices;
  3. Add the slices in a container and, with the potatoes still warm, mash until they reach a partially homogeneous texture;
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of light margarine and mix;
  5. Add 100mL of skimmed milk and mix again until it reaches a firm consistency.

Once finished, just serve. The recipe is ideal as a protein accompaniment, for example.

Sweet potato gnocchi

Sweet potato gnocchi is a good healthy meal option for those looking to lose weight.

To prepare the dish, simply:

  1. Cook approximately 500g of sweet potatoes;
  2. After cooked, add the potatoes in a bowl and mash;
  3.  Add 1 raw egg and mix;
  4. Gradually insert approximately ½ cup of whole wheat flour and knead the mixture with your hands;
  5. If necessary, add more flour until the dough comes off the hands;
  6. On a floured bench, shape the dough so that it forms rolls;
  7. Cut the dough into small cubes;
  8. In a pan, cook the cubes;
  9. After cooked, remove them from the pan and drizzle with olive oil, so that they do not stick to each other;
  10. Add tomato sauce and serve.

To bake the dough, it is important to place it in a pan with boiling water, and remove when the cubes rise to the surface.

In addition to the tomato sauce, one option is to add parsley to taste.

To gain muscle mass

Sweet potatoes can be a good ally for those who aim to gain muscle mass.

The ideal, in this case, is to ingest it about 1 hour before starting the training.

That way, the carbohydrate will provide enough energy for all physical activities.

Two ways to consume food are:

Sweet potato juice

Sweet potato juice is a good alternative for eating food.

To make the juice, simply:

  1. Cook approximately 2 potatoes (100g);
  2. After cooked, wait for it to cool and beat the potato in a blender together with 300mL of water.
  3. Serve. The drink should be ingested immediately after preparation, as over time the drink loses some of its nutritional properties.

If you need to sweeten, add 1 teaspoon of honey to the drink.

Ideally, the juice should be made with the unpeeled potato, to make it even more nutritious. Despite this, removing the peel before preparation is also an option.

Sweet potato pancake

For pre-training, another option is the sweet potato pancake. To make the recipe, the steps are:

  1. Cook 1 medium sweet potato;
  2. After cooking, cut into small pieces and add in a blender;
  3. Beat the potato together with: 2 eggs; 1 tablespoon of starch; 1 coffee spoon of yeast and cinnamon to taste;
  4. After homogeneous, pour the mixture in a frying pan, over medium heat;
  5. Turn the pancake on both sides until it reaches a firm consistency.

The pancake can be filled according to the preference of each person. A good option is to eat with honey or peanut jam.


Sweet potatoes are a popular food for those who work out at the gym. But, contrary to what one might think, it is not just to help in muscle gain.

This type of potato has several minerals and vitamins that help in the proper functioning of the organism, being a good option for those who want to maintain a healthy diet.

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