Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of natural, unprocessed, unrefined complex carbohydrates. Also known as starch, complex cabs are burned cleanly by the muscles for fuel. But unlike simple carbs derived from fruit, whole starchy carbs also help maintain body weight – a common concern for avid cyclists who can easily end up burning more calories than they take in (which results in muscle loss and therefore a decline in performance).

If cycling in excess of two hours for four days a week, make sure to have a minimum of three large sweet potatoes a week. For recreational riders, two medium-size sweet potatoes per week should do it. Since starchy carbs take more digestive energy than simple carbs to process, taking a starch-specific digestive enzyme known as amylase (found readily as capsules in most health-food stores) along with them will help reduce the workload required of the digestive system, enhancing recovery time between workouts.