Gluten, found in wheat has gotten a bad rap of the past few years, so many people decided to go gluten free. While for some of us who are intolerance or allergic to wheat, staying away is a good thing. For others, there may not be any benefit at all, and some of the foods may actually upset your stomach. For more information on myths vs. facts on gluten, read this former post and Consumer Reports article here.
From the point of view of the athlete, certain foods can help with endurance and performance; is gluten free food one of them?
The NY Times examined a recent study that looked at this. Check it out here
When Athletes Go Gluten Free
By Gretchen Reynolds
January 20, 2016 5:30 am January 20, 2016
Gluten-free diets are increasingly popular in the fitness community. But a new, carefully designed study of the effects of gluten-free diets on athletic performance suggests that giving up gluten may not provide the benefits that many healthy athletes hope for.
A study last year of almost 1,000 competitive athletes in Australia found that 41 percent currently were following some type of gluten-free diet, many because they thought it was healthier than their previous eating habits. A majority, however, said that they avoided foods containing gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, because they thought that they were allergic or overly sensitive to it, although only 13 percent had received a formal medical diagnosis of celiac disease, a serious autoimmune condition, or other gluten-related disorders.
Many also told the researchers that they believed that a gluten-free diet would reduce digestive problems, which are distressingly common among athletes. By some estimates, as many as 90 percent of distance runners, cyclists and triathletes experience occasional bloating, cramps, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal symptoms during or immediately after exercise, in part because the exertion diverts blood and fluids from the digestive system to areas of the body where they are needed more pressingly, such as the leg muscles.