Potatoes vs. White Rice for Bodybuilding

When comparing potatoes vs white rice, Potatoes are a healthier option because of two reasons: It is less than half the calories of rice and is micronutrient dense. This makes potatoes the optimal choice for those looking to cut weight all while eating a nutrient-rich diet.

Bodybuilders would all agree that having enough carbohydrates in their diet is essential for optimal performance in the gym. Those looking to grow muscles as fast as possible will eat carbs with every meal alongside an adequate amount of protein to reach their goals. This will ensure that the body has everything it needs to achieve efficient hypertrophy (muscle growth). When choosing a carb for your meal, many are stuck between the choice of potatoes vs rice.


Macronutrient Profile – Potatoes vs. Rice

  Protein Fats Carbs Calories
Russet Potatoes (Skin on) 2 0.1 18 79
Unenriched White Rice, Long-Grain, Cooked 3 0.3 28 130
100g serving according to the USDA

Carbs are the most notable feature of both of these foods for athletes. Protein and fats are negligible. In the same 100g serving, rice has almost double the carb content of potatoes. Although rice has a higher carb content, potatoes will leave you feeling full longer because of the volume and fiber content. Rice is a denser carbohydrate that will give you more energy but will not fill you up as quickly. Overall, rice will be useful for those who are trying to pack on calories. Potatoes on the other hand are suitable for those trying to lose weight or cognizant of micronutrients which we will talk about in the next section.

Micronutrient Profile – Potatoes vs. Rice


% of DV – Russet Potatoes (Skin on)

% of DV – Unenriched White Rice, Long-Grain, Cooked

Fiber 5
Thiamin (B1) 7
Niacin (B3) 5
Pantothenic Acid (B5) 6 8
Vitamin B6 27 7
Vitamin C 6
Copper 11
Iron 5
Magnesium 6
Manganese 7 21
Phosphorus 8 6
Potassium 9
Selenium 14
100g serving according to the USDA. Micronutrients under 5% DV are filtered out

Potatoes offer many more micronutrients compared to rice. The only two significant areas that rice beats potatoes are triple the amount of manganese and a significant portion of selenium.


Fiber is found in the cell membranes of plants, and it helps to form a gel-like substance called “bulk” in the stomach. Fiber can increase feelings of fullness and delay hunger after eating, thereby reducing food intake. It also slows down how quickly food leaves your body, which has been associated with reduced risk for weight gain; lower blood cholesterol; improved insulin response; improved bowel function, including constipation relief; and other health benefits.

Thiamin (Vitamin B1)

The first thing to mention about Vitamin B1 is that it is one of the eight essential vitamins, meaning that if you don’t get enough, you can develop a vitamin deficiency. You can find Vitamin B1 in foods like beans, eggs, beef liver, mushrooms, almonds, and many more.

Vitamin B1 has several functions in the body. It helps convert carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy so you stay energized before your next meal. It also supports brain health by keeping your nerve cells healthy and working correctly.

Niacin (Vitamin B3)

Vitamin B3 or Niacin has been shown to have many benefits. Vitamin B3 offers a number of benefits for both the brain and the rest of the body. It helps support both mental and physical health by helping to form red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body, assisting in digestion by activating enzymes that break down proteins in your stomach, and helping to metabolize carbohydrates into sugars that cells can use for fuel.

Niacin can also be found in foods like tuna, chicken, peanuts, and avocados.

Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)

Pantothenic Acid is a water-soluble vitamin, which is also known as Vitamin B5. It plays a number of different roles in the human body, one of which is to help form new cells. It aids in the metabolism of fat and carbs, which means it’s important for cell division and growth. Your body also needs vitamin B5 to get rid of excess histamine, which can cause headaches and make you feel tired after eating certain foods. Finally, B5 is also known to aid in the transportation of lipids and proteins through your digestive system, which can help prevent things like stomach pains or constipation.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is another essential vitamin that you can find in many foods like peas, green vegetables, beans, seeds, and bananas. It is important for the following functions: protein metabolism; production of neurotransmitters; conversion of amino acids; formation of red blood cells; and regulation of mood. Additionally, it is known to fight bacterial infections by adding white blood cells.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells against damage from harmful free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that are by-products of your metabolism or environmental toxins. When they accumulate, they can cause damage to the cells in your body. Antioxidants interact with free radicals and stop them from damaging cells, which can protect you from cancer, heart disease, and other issues. Vitamin C also provides additional benefits. It helps keep your gums healthy and may help to prevent tooth decay or gum disease.

This nutrient is of course found in all sorts of citrus fruits, broccoli, and tomatoes.


Copper is one of many essential minerals. It is involved in various biochemical reactions in the body. One of the main functions of copper is to help provide oxygen for cells, which can help keep your skin healthy and your immune system strong. Copper also helps produce red blood cells, which means it aids in carrying oxygen throughout the body. It can also play a part in metabolic processes like breaking down fats and protein so your body can use them as energy or repair wounds. This nutrient is extremely hard to get and can be found in foods like oysters, sweet potatoes, and dark chocolate… of all foods.


Iron is an essential mineral that plays a number of different roles in the human body. It plays a part in energy production and helps support mental health by transporting oxygen to cells and moving it throughout the body. Iron also helps form DNA, which means it has an important role in cell division and growth. Iron also plays a part in immune function by helping white blood cells fight infection and providing vitamin absorption.


In addition to being necessary for many minerals and vitamins, magnesium plays a number of important roles. One of those is making sure your muscles and nerves work as they should. It does this by regulating the levels of calcium in your body. In fact, most people get plenty of magnesium from their diet, because the mineral is involved in so many biological reactions.


Manganese is another mineral that has a number of functions in the human body. One of those functions is making sure your muscles and nerves work as they should. Manganese also helps your body regulate the levels of calcium, which can help protect you from heart disease, cancer, and other issues. Additionally, it helps your body break down fats and protein, which means it has an important role in cell division and growth. Finally, manganese also helps to form DNA and aids in immune function because it provides vitamin absorption and aids white blood cells in fighting infection.


Phosphorus is an essential mineral that has a number of functions in the human body. One of those functions is to help your cells grow and divide. Phosphorus also helps release energy for cells, which means it’s essential for cell metabolism. Phosphorus can also play a part in immune function by helping white blood cells fight infection and provide vitamin absorption. Plus, it can keep your bones healthy.


Potassium is an essential mineral that has a lot of health benefits. It helps cells release energy, which means it’s important for cell metabolism. Potassium also helps your muscles and nerves work as they should and can keep your bones healthy. Plus, potassium may help to prevent heart disease, cancer, and other issues. Although it is most associated with bananas, it can also be found in salmon, avocados, and milk.


Selenium can help cells release energy and regulate calcium levels, both of which are important for cardiovascular health, cancer prevention, and other issues. Selenium supplementation has been shown to reduce the risk of development and progression of prostate cancer in men with low selenium status. Furthermore, selenium may also suppress the inflammatory response in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. There is also evidence that shows that selenium may decrease the incidence of colon cancer in men who have low dietary intake or a high incidence of this type of cancer.

Glycemic Index

  Glycemic Index
Russet Potatoes 80
White Rice 86

The glycemic index (GI) is a value used to measure how much specific foods increase blood sugar levels. Foods are classified as low, medium, or high glycemic foods and ranked on a scale of 0–100. The lower the GI of a specific food, the less it may affect your blood sugar levels. Essentially it is how fast the body breaks down carbohydrates. Foods with a high GI flood the bloodstream with Glucose swiftly while foods with a low GI are spread over a longer length of time.

Choosing between potatoes and white rice when accounting for the glycemic index is a wash. From our experience, Potatoes fill a stomach much better with fewer calories than white rice. It is our recommendation for those looking to make it through the day to eat a potato to lose weight.

Best Potatoes Recipe for Bodybuilders

Potatoes are tough to cook quickly. After a long workout, no one wants to wait around to cook them in the oven or constantly stir them in a pan on the stove. We have discovered a faster way using an air-fryer. Give this recipe a try and let us know what you think.


  • Slice a couple of potatoes each in one direction 6-7 times then dice
  • Let the diced potatoes soak in a bowl of water for 30 minutes
  • Drain the water and dry your potatoes with a rag or paper towel
  • Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes in the bowl so that they are lightly covered
  • Sprinkle with kosher salt, red chili pepper, and paprika seasoning to your liking
  • Pop in the air fryer for 22 minutes at 360 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Give the basket a good shake every 5 minutes to ensure even cooking

There ya have it! These potatoes have a little kick and taste so good that ketchup is unnecessary. To bring it to the next level, pour any leftover butter or ghee in your pan from a steak to really bring out that extra moisture.

Best Rice Recipe for Bodybuilders

Rice is a super easy food to cook in bulk, especially if you have a rice cooker or steamer. In a steamer, you must combine 2.5 cups of rice and 3 cups of water to make 7 cups of rice. This amount lasts us about 5 days on a bulk cycle. For extra flavor and calories add in as much ghee or butter as you would like. Finally, once you heat up the rice for serving, add sriracha for some spice! This recipe is absolutely delicious and you will find yourself craving that buttery rice at every meal. Give it a try and let us know what you think.

How do Sweet Potatoes Compare?

Sweet potatoes fall somewhere in between russet potatoes and rice in regards to macronutrients. Because sweet potatoes have 4g of sugar per 100g serving, they have more calories than russet potatoes. One major perk for sweet potatoes is that they have 608% of your daily value of vitamin A which is only in a handful of rare foods.

The Bottom Line

Both potatoes and rice can be useful in bodybuilding but first, you must decide what your goal is. If you would like to put on mass, go for the bowl of rice. If you would like to cut, feel full longer, and work more micronutrients in your diet, then potatoes may be the way to go. If you are interested in how rice stacks up against bread, check out our other article on that.

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