Nutrition Tips for Gluten-Free Runners

Sep 16, 2019 10:56 AM EDT | By Staff Reporter

Nutrition Tips for Gluten-Free Runners

(Photo : Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash)

Celiac disease is a rare affliction. While it is true that a minuscule percentage of athletes will ever be diagnosed with it, many still decide to proceed with their running program as they practice a gluten-free diet. The reason for this is two-fold.

First, a lot of the athletes, while they do not have Celiac disease, feel some type of gastrointestinal discomfort after eating wheat-based foods. Second, it turns out that excluding gluten-laden foods out of your diet can improve your running performance, though the jury's still out whether this is due to a concrete biochemical process or placebo.

Nevertheless, if you want to improve your jogging performance, there are several nutrition tips for gluten-free runners that might be helpful to you.

Gluten-free doesn't mean carb-free

Let's get one important notion out of the way first. Eating gluten-free food does not mean that you should throw all carbohydrates out of the window. You'll find that almost every gluten-free diet for athletes includes replacements that are technically the same dish - for example, pasta - but just a gluten-free version.

Many people make quite a common mistake to exclude 100% carbs, which is not even advised with Ketogenic dietary plans. In other words, you have to keep in the right grains as concentrated sources of healthy carbohydrates. Keep in mind that legumes are gluten-free, so you can safely consume them. Regular runners that plan to push their boundaries need these nutritious wells of energy to endure the training.

Otherwise, you will not only lose weight but also start losing muscle mass and end up suffering from overtraining syndrome. The fatigue can become overwhelming, which directly leads to a declining performance, which is the last thing you need.

The endless joy of fruits

Naturally, every athlete worth their salt knows that doubling down on fruits can satiate their hunger during the transition period from one dietary plan to another. The explosion of various tastes and fruit sugars can be a welcoming source of joy when you are going on a gluten-free diet during your battery runs, plus, they can improve gut health, which is crucial for runners since proper gut health promotes body's resistance to inflammation.

Additionally, it would be advisable to purchase a blender and juicer, if you don't already own at least one of the two devices. Making smoothies while you are on a gluten-free diet is a life-hack that can save your life if you feel fatigued. A well-mixed smoothie is a bona fide bomb of pure energy that will fuel your runs without a hitch.

Photo source

Potatoes and beans Potato is one of the most ubiquitous and financially feasible products out there with a strong nutritious value. It is rich in good carbs, fiber and vitamin C. Did you know that it is also gluten-free? Due to its accessibility, every experienced runner on a gluten-free diet will give you a tip to purchase a potato-based cookbook. This versatile ingredient will keep you full and energized, but it is not the only product that packs such a strong punch.

Beans are also a beneficial addition to your gluten-free plate. Your body will require more and more essential vitamins, minerals and, of course, proteins as your runs become more intense. Beans pack one hell of a nutritious package, and it is a well-worn protein-rich food among vegans because it also contains iron. What's more, beans are just as ubiquitous and cheap as potatoes.

Photo source

You see, a gluten-free diet doesn't require you to spend inordinate amounts of money.

Just keep in mind that, when it comes down to protein-rich meats, you should avoid certain spices such as soya sauce.


All things considered, a gluten-free diet for runners can be a good jumping-off point for further modification of your plate-content so you can draw the most energy out of what you ingest. Remember, every individual has different dietary needs, so you have to play it by ear until you discover what suits you best.

Broadly speaking, humanity ingests a lot of wheat-based foods, which does not bode well for the overall health. Diversification is important and gluten-free mode is an amazing place to start.

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