Custom Choice Cereal’s favorite local athlete Type1Rider does not follow a strictly gluten-free diet, but he does fuel up on his personal gluten-free cereal before and during his races. We came across an interesting article about gluten-free athletes and wanted to clarify some of the things that author Chrissy Wellington writes.
Chrissy mentions that the Garmin-Transitions cycling team, golfer Sarah Jane Smith and Saints quarterback Drew Brees all follow a gluten-free diet during their athletic seasons. However, she does not specify the very different reasons:
- The Cycling team wanted to speed up their recovery time & boost performance
- LPG star Sarah Jane Smith has celiac disease
- New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees is gluten intolerant
The author also talks about why a gluten-free diet can actually be performance-enhancing and gives the following argument:
“The rationale behind why many athletes follow gluten-free diets is basically to ease unappealing digestive symptoms during competition. Improved digestion leads to improved absorption of nutrients, which can then translate into improved performance. “
Since getting the much needed carbs to fuel the athlete can be a challenge, Chrissy recommends – and we at Custom Choice Cereal fully agree – to consume quinoa, tapioca, rice, organic corn, amaranth, flaxseeds, potato, tofu, nuts, and beans instead. It is important to note that a gluten-free diet also relaxes the body’s immune system, thus helping repair muscles more efficiently, and helps to maintain a stable blood sugar level during exercise. A great resource to follow in this context is Erin Elberson’s blog Gluten-free Fitness.
What’s your experience with sports on a gluten-free diet? Do you have any advice or tips? Please share your story or any recommendations you might have!