After tennis player Novak Djokovic announced that he used a gluten-free diet to enhance his performance in 2019, the sports world has exploded with athletes going gluten-free. Small studies performed in the past decade have revealed that many athletes have discovered several benefits to eating a gluten-free diet.
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The increased stamina that athletes experience when eating gluten-free is a game changer inside and outside the sports they play. Athletes can better train. They’re less likely to experience fatigue, making it difficult to train between matches, games, races, etc. When switching to a gluten-free diet, athletes find that they are more motivated and have the energy to match their motivation.
Improve Gastrointestinal Symptoms
Gastrointestinal problems like IBS, bloating, and indigestion can critically impact athletes. It can result in canceled training sessions and poor performance.
Most people experience some relief from these symptoms when switching to a gluten-free diet. This leads to more training sessions, improved performance, and increased stamina.
Going Gluten-Free Is Necessary For People With Celiac Disease
Athletes diagnosed with Celiac disease will discover that it’s critical to eliminate gluten from their diet to alleviate symptoms like fatigue, bloating, and symptoms from the nervous system.
Celiac disease can cause irreparable damage to the nervous system when a person continues to eat gluten. The end result of this could be not being able to walk, run or play sports anymore.
Increased Ability To Focus
Being an athlete is partially physical and partially mental. When an athlete is not capable of focusing due to eating gluten, it hurts their performance.
Within weeks of starting a gluten-free diet, athletes will find that their ability to focus helps them score a goal, win a race, or train better. It’s easier to set goals and meet them. Athletes will discover that they can better set weight management, training, performance, and more goals and have the mental tenacity it requires to meet those goals.
All of the benefits of eating a gluten-free diet combine together to create a drastic performance improvement. Increased stamina ensures that athletes won’t tire out and won’t have poor performance due to fatigue. When athletes find relief from digestive issues, they won’t miss training sessions or have symptoms that affect their performance.
The mental clarity athletes discover when switching to a gluten-free diet is a true game changer. Increased focus helps athletes perform better. When combined with enhanced physical performance, athletes stand a chance to dominate in their sport.
Encourages A Healthier Diet
Going gluten-free is a great step towards a healthier diet. It encourages athletes to pay attention to food labels. You can learn more about nutrition, supplements, and food ingredients.
Once you pay attention, you’ll find yourself researching various ingredients to ensure you eat healthily. Most people that start eating a gluten-free diet become more health conscious than they already were.
Supports An Already Healthy Eating Plan
Going gluten-free is a great addition to your healthy lifestyle if you're already eating a healthy diet. It helps you stay focused on eating healthy and encourages you to read labels before purchasing food. This can help you find hidden sugars, ensure adequate nutrition, and encourage you to eat more fruits and vegetables.
Adequate Carb Intake Is Still Possible
Athletes get most of their carbs from grains, which is one of the reasons that some find it difficult to make the transition to eating gluten-free. However, it is more than possible for athletes to get all the carbs that their active lifestyle requires while eating gluten-free.
Gluten is only found in specific grains: wheat, rye, barley, and triticale. Other grains, like rice, are still safe to eat on a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free bread can be used to make sandwiches. Gluten-free pasta, cereal, and other foods can also be used to get carbs.
If you want a non-processed option, consider making homemade gluten free bread. You can also eat more fruits and vegetables with a higher carb content, such as bananas and sweet potatoes. Eating a gluten-free diet is often associated with eating a low-carb diet, but that could not be further from the truth.
It’s often not recommended that people not go on a gluten-free diet unless they have Celiac Disease. According to experts that recommend this, athletes that do will be at an increased risk of vitamin deficiencies.
However, if that were a concern, every person with Celiac Disease would have nutritional deficiencies, and they don’t. Instead, simply take the same steps that people with Celiac Disease do. Learn about nutrition. Work with a nutritionist.