the Gluten free fad diet among athletes

Discussion in 'Diet, Nutrition and Supplements' started by trinitylove, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. trinitylove

    trinitylove Buff in spirit

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    Recently I had a friend of mine tell me her husband who is an avid athlete (bicycling, running, swimming, cross-country skiing) was going to go gluten free to help his athletic performance.

    I thought this was odd, since he is NOT gluten intolerant. He's even told me before about how other celiacs have tried to persuade him he should go gluten free because it's "healthier.":blink:

    Well, as far as I know, unless you have an intolerance to gluten, there is NO reason and no benefit to going gluten free.

    I was at their house just last week and saw a magazine in the bathroom with an article about the benefits of athletes going gluten free because it reduces inflammation and some other stuff.
    I didn't have a chance to really read it, because I was just going potty! :lol:

    Anyway! I'm pretty skeptical about this claim.
    I can understand it helping some athletes who have gluten intolerance and don't know it, which would be perfectly legitimate. The statistics are that 1 in 133 people have some level of gluten sensitivity, so odds are many athletes WOULD benefit from going gluten free, simply because they are removing something that was unknowingly inhibiting their best performance.

    Thoughts?
    SUNSHINE!?! i was trying to check out your blog to see if you had any posts about this, but got impatient :lol: So, I figured I'd post here and see what you and anyone else had to add.
     
  2. Inatic

    Inatic Ya Gotta Wanna! Moderator

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    interesting! and not just limited to athletes.

    Many holistic doc are pushing their (thyroid/hormone) patients in that direction and even blame some autoimmune diseases on it.

    Some people dont recognize other symptoms of gluten issues that go beyond just stomach/bowel distress. But im not sure that it's as prevelent either?

    Hard to tell what is fact on that topic but it's not just limited to athletes. And likely a great topic to explore.
     
  3. Sunshine

    Sunshine over-caffeinated

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    So funny! I am actually working on an article about this that will go up this weekend!
    I have been unable to find any research that supports the idea that a gluten free diet will improve performance. It's very anecdotal, popularized especially by the current Radio Shack cycling team doc Dr Allen Lin (formerly with Garmin) who puts all the cyclists on a gluten free diet during the competition season.
    Stats are ever-changing also. The 1 in 133 has been lowered to 1 in 100 for celiac disease, and gluten intolerance without full blown celiac has been estimated as high as 10% of the population. So yes-these individuals would definitely benefit from going gluten free. The others? Questionable. Some research would be awesome. I'm going to keep looking.
    And Ileen-the non-GI symptoms of gluten intolerance are very common-but less recognized.
     
  4. trinitylove

    trinitylove Buff in spirit

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    Looking forward to that post!!
    :)
     
  5. laurawd

    laurawd Well-Known Member

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    I remember reading that Paula Radcliffe also now follows a gluten-free, all grass-fed meat, organic diet. But she was fast before she started that.
     
  6. Sunshine

    Sunshine over-caffeinated

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    I ended up splitting it into 2 parts because it's a bit long...so
    Part 1
     
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  7. Sunshine

    Sunshine over-caffeinated

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    Part 2 is up...it's a doozie :)
    Part 2

    If you guys check it out please let me know your thoughts in the comments. This is interesting stuff...then again I'm a nerd ;)
     
  8. trinitylove

    trinitylove Buff in spirit

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    that was great! :clap:
    i'm leaning toward reason#1, but like you said...."who knows?!"
     
  9. Sunshine

    Sunshine over-caffeinated

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    Thank you! I'm glad you liked it!:brava:
     
  10. Espi

    Espi perfumes, not chocolate!

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    Hi Sunshine, thanks for posting these articles and.. starting this blog. Just stumbled onto this post, so am a bit 'late to the (gluten-free) party'.
    After reading through 3 books on gluten intolerance, it's staggering how complicated this subject can be (gluten intolerance showing in so many aspects outside :" you are only gluten intolerant when your villi are flattened and everyone else is just imagining things" )
    BTW, eating gluten-free has been fairly easy.. it's skipping the dairy that's nearly impossible!
     
  11. kirstny

    kirstny Well-Known Member

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    I have celiac and milk allergy. Check out the Paleo/Primal cookbooks and blogs/fb pages. Lots of ideas there.
     
  12. Inatic

    Inatic Ya Gotta Wanna! Moderator

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    ]Skipping Dairy is definitely possible.. more of a choice here, dont ya think?
     
  13. kirstny

    kirstny Well-Known Member

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    Ileen is right! Not too hard at all, if you really decide to do it.
     
  14. Espi

    Espi perfumes, not chocolate!

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    Meant 'impossible' as in 'too addicted' . It is certainly possible to implement it and I've been more or less gf/dairy-free as well as legume-free (still avoid soy & peanuts but not pb) in the past.. but in the past 6 months I've started consuming more & more dairy products and am fully re-addicted. :oops:
     
  15. kirstny

    kirstny Well-Known Member

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    Yup, when I eat dairy it's like I can't stop!
    I'm that way with ice cream. But now, after being off it so long, I just feel too good to have any at all. Not tempted one bit.

    Just takes maybe a week or so to get off the addiction. You can do it! It's SO worth it!
     
  16. Milone79

    Milone79 Member

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    Essential amino acids...= benefits
    Essential Fatty acids....= benefits

    Gluten...= ????? I dont see how it can help athletic preformance or any of the body's functions for that matter....for now I will accept the "anectdotal" evidence as enough reason to skip or at least minimize my consumption of the crap.
     
  17. glassmmam

    glassmmam Well-Known Member

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    It's still probably a personal thing (for the mild-medium intolerant) ... I love dairy (IC-Yogurt) too, but milk/IC leave a "nasty" taste in my mouth (besides indigestion), so easier to just not eat it.

    GF is easy peasy once you quit eating sandwiches. Or switch to a GF bread/ wraps.
     
  18. Espi

    Espi perfumes, not chocolate!

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    You'd say that going gluten-free is harder, but for me it wasn't as the health benefits are much clearer to me, even though it is 'only' an intolerance, it especially effects short-term memory that badly that I'm not having problems to skip bread (heck that's the easiest part)/pasta/cookies/pies etc.

    Dairy is a true allergy, but also some other weird side-effects .. the strangest one being blurry eye vision, should not make it so hard to quit eating it.. but yoghurt/ice cream/cheese etc is not just yummy but also chockful of cheap protein!

    As for what Milone wrote.. only *if* someone is truly allergic to dairy (or intolerant to lactose) it is worthwhile to skip it, there's too many benefits to dairy.
    But gluten is a different thing.. there are so many people that are 'silently gluten-sensitive' = they have symptoms & health problems due to gluten but aren't aware of it, that it can be a good idea to skip gluten-containing foods for a few weeks and see if it makes a difference in performance to have less 'low-grade inflammation'.

    That's where Sunshine's articles are about.
     
  19. Milone79

    Milone79 Member

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    benefits to dairy?? perhaps....but where else in nature do u see a species consuming the breast milk of entirely different species?? its a little bizzare if u think about it..I still consume whey protein and cottage cheese on a daily basis mind you but its still strange when u think of it.
     
  20. glassmmam

    glassmmam Well-Known Member

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    GAG

    when you put it that way :lol:
     

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