Living with gluten intolerance is challenging and can throw your life out of balance. Now every meal requires planning and careful execution. There’s a learning curve to maintaining a balanced diet sans gluten. But did you know such a diet is great for athletes! While carbohydrates are important for athletes to maintain energy and blood sugar levels, eliminating gluten lowers the glycemic load of intense exercise. A stable blood sugar level allows your body to process energy from breaking down fat stores. Eliminating gluten also forces more protein into your diet – great for building muscle!
Everyone’s favorite Muscle Milk is gluten-free but is made in a facility with gluten, and may be cross contaminated. It also contains milk and soy. True Athlete natural Whey Protein is GF but also free of artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners. It does contain milk and soy. If you’re looking for something free of gluten, soy and dairy try Peaceful Planet Rice Protein – it’s a great alternative if you avoid soy. Whatever powder you choose, even if it claims to be Gluten Free, look at the ingredients. Peptide bonded glutamine or similar ingredients spell out DON’T BUY ME.
Bars provide a great balanced source of nutrition in a convenient package. They make proper nutrition and protein intake so easy – you don’t have to be an athlete to appreciate balanced nutrition on-the-go! Fortunately there are lots of choices are there, so there are many that will fit your dietary needs. Larabar makes bars from fruits and nuts here in our home state of Colorado. Most don’t contain soy or peanuts, and although steamed and pasteurized, the simple ingredients are not baked or cooked – almost raw! The Gluten-Free Bar is also a great choice without soy or preservatives if you happen to live around Chicago or Los Angeles. Kind Snacks makes mostly nut bars – few ingredients and they’re easy to find across the nation.
Coppertone and Banana Boat sunscreens are all gluten-free, but if you are worried about an overexposure to toxins they have a poor hazard rating with the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database. Try a natural sunscreen like Loving Naturals or Alba Botanica. If you look at the ingredients list you may find Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, but don’t fret, this chemical isn’t gluten-related.
A high-protein diet can be taxing on your liver and kidneys so make sure you drink a lot of water. I personally use the CamelBak Better Bottle. It’s a bottle with a straw and a bite valve at the top. It makes it so easy and convenient to drink it increases your water intake 24%! Also make sure you rotate through a diverse diet – you don’t want to develop any additional food sensitivities or allergies! A gluten-free diet will improve results from athletic training, so don’t let your sensitivity keep you down!