Maximize Athletic Performance with a Gluten-Free Diet - dummies

Maximize Athletic Performance with a Gluten-Free Diet

By Nancy McEachern

All kinds of great athletes are going gluten-free. When athletes with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity take gluten out of their diets, they typically see improvements in their performance because they no longer suffer from the uncomfortable or painful symptoms that gluten can cause them. But why are nonceliac athletes dropping the gluten, too?

People in all walks of life, especially athletes who depend on feeling in top shape, are finding that they feel healthier and perform better without a gut full of gluten. There doesn’t seem to be much scientific evidence that cutting gluten improves your game unless you’re gluten-free for medical reasons, but people have lots of reasons for cutting gluten, and many athletes swear by it.

You may see some of these physical advantages of eliminating gluten from your diet even if you don’t have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity:

  • Stabilized blood glucose levels

  • Reduced inflammation and joint pain

  • Increased energy and endurance

  • Improved digestion and reduced bloating and gas

  • More efficient muscle recovery due to an improved immune system and better absorption of nutrients

If you want to cut the gluten and see whether you experience the benefits that many athletes claim, discuss your plan and your athletic goals with your coach. And if you need to cut gluten for health reasons, you can eat gluten-free and feel great while playing. Even if you’re on a high-carb diet, you can easily replace gluten-containing grains with gluten-free grains.