In our last article, we discussed the benefits eliminating gluten from your diet. Although only a small percentage of people experience an absolute intolerance or gluten, many people experience gluten sensitivities to a varying degree. In fact, gluten is the only indigestible protein in food.. However, gluten is present not only in breads and pastas but a lot of the processed foods we consume. For those suffering from gluten sensitivities, the best approach to feel as healthy as possible is by eliminating gluten from their diets. If you are an athlete, you might be wondering if eliminating gluten from your diet will affect your performance. Quite a few professional athletes have eliminated gluten from their diets, and the results speak for themselves.
If you are a fan of professional tennis, then you have heard of Novak Djokovic. Born in Serbia, Djokovic developed his tennis skills as a ticket out of his war-torn country when he was just thirteen. For the next decade, Djokovic continued to strengthen as a tennis player, but he suffered from extreme fatigue, grogginess, digestive issues, and constant congestion. In fact, his performance was so bad that he was booed off of the court in the 2005 US Open. Djokovic continued to struggle on the court until a doctor suggested that he eliminate gluten from is diet in 2010. Immediately, Djokovic felt more energetic, less congested, and his inflammation and digestive issues faded away. Once considered a joke in the tennis world, Djokovic is now considered one of the tennis greats, with 14 Master titles, 6 Grand Slams, and a Davis Cup.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees suffers from celiac disease, so he cannot eat gluten at all. In fact, some people with celiac disease cannot even touch products containing gluten because their intolerance is so strong. Unfortunately for Brees, he suffers from other food allergies as well, which include nuts, dairy and eggs. Most of the foods commonly consumed in the American diet are off-limits to this professional football player, and he follows a very strict diet out of necessity. Brees incorporates large amounts of fruits, vegetables and proteins to accommodate his Navy SEAL designed training program. Despite his gluten intolerance and food allergies, Brees thrives as a professional athlete.
Many cyclists load up on carbohydrates in preparation for a race,so going gluten-free seems insane. When the Garmin cycling team decided to go gluten-free, many of their riders were skeptical. After eliminating gluten consumption from their diets, they relied on vegetables, fruits, lean proteins and fresh food to fuel their performance. The team’s performance excelled, and the riders decided to stick with their new diet.
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