For athletes, fitness buffs, and bodybuilders trying to gain muscle on a wheat free and gluten free diet, this can be a bit challenging. But fear not—with proper education and creativity, being a gluten-free athlete is certainly feasible. In general, gluten-free diets typically contain a higher percentage of calories from fat and less from carbohydrates, which helps.
Gluten-Free Food Choices for Athletes
- Quinoa: Substituting Quinoa as a pre-workout complex carb and protein rather than brown rice is a great option.
- Some Protein Bars and Powders: Fortunately, the animal based protein sources are wheat and gluten free also, so getting adequate protein intake is not usually an issue. Be careful of many protein bars and powders however, as each product differs. Check the label to determine which ones may or may not have gluten in them. Quest Bars are usually gluten-free.
- Healthy Fats: Continue incorporating healthy fats such as nuts, olive oil, fish, and avocados in your diet. Chia seeds are an outstanding gluten-free food. They provide protein, anti-oxidants, omega-3s, and fiber.
Article By Jeff Pearl, MD
Dr. Jeff is a trained general, pediatric cardiac, and transplant surgeon. Nutrition has always been an important concern for surgeons in regards to patients healing from surgery. He has had a longstanding interest in health, nutrition and supplements, and been an advocate of the use of nutrition and supplements in the hospital setting to aid in his patient’s recovery. He has a history of basic science and clinical research and a keen ability to interpret studies and statistics to determine their true significance. He is the father and step-father to several teenage athletes and knows firsthand the challenges they face in balancing their time, eating habits and use of supplements. He is adamant about trying to educate our youth about better nutrition. Dr. Jeff recognizes the challenges that healthcare faces and the need for people to take charge of their own health and disease prevention. He loves being outside and is one of those crazy few seen hiking or biking in the middle of the day in summer.