Many award-winning athletes live gluten free. These award winners fall into two (or perhaps three) categories:
♦ People with gluten intolerance, gluten sensitivity, or celiac disease who have not allowed their ‘situation’ to interfere with their successful athletic careers. (Let’s call this group The Gluten Free Champions)
♦ People who believe that a gluten free diet gives them an ‘extra boost’ — greater strength or speed or whatever is key to success in their sport. (Let’s call them the Gluten Free Diet Fanatics)
♦ Undiagnosed celiacs (and remember that most people with gluten issues are not aware of them) who perform better simply because they are feeling better. (Frankly, I’m not sure what to call this group. I presume that most of them would identify with the second group)
Here are articles about five celiacs or people with gluten intolerance who have triumphed as athletes. I have listed them in alphabetical order:
- Kelly Baker, a female body builder who lives with celiac disease and can’t tolerate soy, nuts, or eggs.
- Kim Bouldin, a marathon runner
- Drew Beers, quarterback with New Orleans Saints
- Martin Fagan, world champion marathon runner
- James Stark, Green Bay Packer running back
“So, how is the gluten-free athlete able to get all the nutrients they need? Easy! They can get them the same way all the other athletes get theirs – thru carbs- eat whole grains and enriched gluten-free carbohydrate choices such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, wild rice, etc. For protein, choose naked, low fat meats such as poultry or eggs. Then get a nice balance of fruit and vegetables, along with healthy fats such as olive oil, fish, nuts and seeds” Thank you, Dr Schar, for a straight answer to this vital question.
Next week, I will write about the second group of athletes — the ones I call “The Gluten Free Diet Fanatics”.