A number of gluten free athletes is growing at a rapid rate and has become increasingly evident with the onset of the Olympics.  Athletes such as tennis star Novak Djokovic swimmer,Dana Vollmer, track stars Jenn Suhr and Nate Brannen and track and long distance runner Amy Begley are among the many Olympic athletes that follow gluten free diets.  As more and more athletes become public about the benefits of gluten free diets it continues to permeate in professional athletics.

According to an article by sports nutritionist Pip Taylor on Triathlete.com, a growing number of triathletes are going gluten-free, including Simon Whitfield, Tim O’Donnell, Tyler Stewart, Heather Wurtele and Luke McKenzie.  Although some athletes claim to have gluten sensitivities, many do not. Many athletes are finding that despite not having celiac disease they have fewer digestive upsets during training and competition if they avoid gluten. Improving their digestion may also improve their nutrient absorption and therefore their athletic performance.

Why have gluten free diets become so popular among athletes?

One of the most important aspects of training is diet and more and more athletes are finding that following a whole-foods-based diet with limited grains results in an ideal diet that is low-glycemic and high in fiber. As a result of gluten free diets they have benefited from increased energy, physique and easier maintenance of stable blood glucose levels during and after exercise when on a diet that minimizes processed grain products. Most athletes base their gluten free diets around lean proteins, fruits, nuts, legumes, vegetables, whole gluten-free grains (such as nutritional powerhouse’s quinoa, amaranth and millet) and low-fat dairy. Consuming REAL FOODS that are not processed allows them to perform at their best. Some athletes choose to follow gluten free diets only in training months, while others follow the diet year round.

Among the many athletes that have adopted gluten free diets is Sarah Stanley and she is now a Udi’s Gluten Free Community Leader! Sarah has benefited tremendously from going gluten free and you can too.  If you are interested in joining gluten free athletes and the community and want to learn how it affects your overall health and wellness, I encourage you to check out the Udi’s Gluten Free Living Community. You can learn even more about the benefits, get recipes and join discussions.  You can even join Udi’s gluten free community on your mobile device! Get recipes, event alerts & special offers. Text UDISGF to 777555. (Msg/data rates may apply.