The Paleo Diet for Athletes: A Nutritional Formula for Peak Athletic Performance by Loren CordainLoren Cordain, Ph.D., follows his success of The Paleo Diet with the first book ever to detail the exercise-enhancing effects of a diet similar to that of our Stone Age ancestors.
When The Paleo Diet was published, advocating a return to the diet of our ancestors (high protein, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables), the book received brilliant reviews from the medical and nutritional communities. Jennie Brand-Miller, coauthor of the bestselling Glucose Revolution, called it without a doubt the most nutritious diet on the planet. Doctors Michael and Mary Dan Eades, authors of Protein Power, said, We cant recommend The Paleo Diet highly enough.
Now Dr. Cordain joins with USA triathlon and cycling elite coach Joe Friel to adapt the Paleo Diet to the needs of athletes. The authors show:
o Why the typical athletic diet (top-heavy with grains, starches, and refined sugars) is detrimental to recovery, performance, and health
o How the glycemic load and acid-base balance impact performance
o Why consumption of starches and simple sugars is only beneficial in the immediate post-exercise period
At every level of competition, The Paleo Diet for Athletes can maximize performance in a range of endurance sports.
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A Quick Guide to the Paleo Diet for Athletes
It lacks grains, processed sugars and starches, but the paleo diet has its advantages for athletes. After Nell Stephenson contracted a parasite during an Ironman race in , she took the medication prescribed, but for months continued to feel worse. Though Stephenson had always eaten healthy foods, it turned out she had developed a gluten-intolerance and stomach problems. Stephenson decided to try the Paleo diet a diet that mimics what people would have eaten naturally during the Paleolithic Period, before the Agricultural Revolution. Paleo has been growing in popularity among the general community.
Is the Paleo diet for athletes? You bet. The diet they ate helped to provide the fuel needed to get through a day of hunting and gathering. When you do want to push your body and reach new levels of performance, you need a diet that gives you what you need to give your best effort, regardless of the sport. The great thing is that Paleo is one-size-fits-all.
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Eating like a caveman is tough. But commitment-averse athletes can still learn important fueling points from the diet. Presenting four tips worth stealing:. Most non-Paleo eaters think of the diet as a gussied-up version of Atkins , with heaping plates of meat and little in the way of carbohydrates. But unlike other meat-forward regimes, founder Loren Cordain understood the importance of eating his greens. High-fiber, low-fat foods like brown rice and broccoli may be good for your health over the long term, but eat them at the wrong time just before a race, for example and you could find yourself in a world of gastric distress. When it comes to timing their fueling stops, Paleo dieters are experts.
The paleo diet, based around the way cavemen supposedly ate, is a far cry from the traditional diets recommended for endurance athletes, which prioritize a high carbohydrate intake. While the paleo diet isn't necessarily low-carb, it advocates eating natural, unprocessed foods that a caveman would have had access to, meaning lots of meat, fish, nuts, fruits and vegetables, rather than grains, sports drinks, dairy or legumes. Tailor your paleo plan to suit your sport, and watch your performance skyrocket. The idea of carb-loading and eating a carbohydrate-rich diet is often promoted to endurance athletes as a way of boosting stores of muscle glycogen and increasing energy. Many athletes, however, actually perform better on lower-carb diets, notes nutritionist Mike Roussell.
Diet pans for athletes are synonymous with high-carbohydrate foods like rice cakes, bread, pasta and bagels, as well as manufactured sports drinks and recovery supplements. This couldn't be much further from the way Palaeolithic people ate, yet many athletes are starting to embrace the Paleo diet. The premise of the Paleo diet is simple -- eat how people would have eaten 10, years ago. This means basing your diet around meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Grains, processed dairy and beans are all banned, as are alcohol, refined vegetable oils and more obvious items such as candy, junk food and sweetened drinks.