Should Swimmers Go Gluten Free?


Photo Courtesy: Peter Bick

By Chris Balbo, Swimming World College Intern. 

In an endurance sport like swimming it may be argued there are finite methods within the pool to get sooner. Every second, tenth and hundredth matter, however the pool just isn’t the one place swimmers compete. Athletes and swimmers now give attention to competing exterior of the pool– as an illustration, within the kitchen. Competing within the kitchen requires sufficient meals or gasoline for efficiency and restoration.

Some fad diets reminiscent of “going gluten free” turned standard in America however just isn’t essentially “better” than diets containing gluten. More current questions have been proposed whether or not the gluten free weight-reduction plan needs to be really useful for endurance athletes. Swimmers are endurance athletes, so ought to swimmers go gluten free?

What is Gluten?


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Gluten is a protein present in wheat, rye, barley (malt), and will be present in processed oats. The gluten free weight-reduction plan subsequently entails the elimination of gluten from the weight-reduction plan together with conventional bread, pastas, and baked items. Those following a gluten free weight-reduction plan eat grains reminiscent of rice, corn, potatoes, and quinoa for carbohydrates versus wheat. Gluten free merchandise are often increased in energy, fats, and sodium against their gluten containing counterparts.

Gluten Free Diet Recommendations


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The gluten free weight-reduction plan entails the elimination of gluten from the weight-reduction plan. Gluten free diets are often solely really useful to the one p.c of the inhabitants with celiac illness. Celiac illness is a genetic autoimmune illness that impacts the digestion and processing of the gluten proteins within the small intestines. If a person with celiac illness eats gluten the immune cells badault the liner of the small intestines. Along with the inhabitants with celiac illness, an rising variety of folks have been discovered to have gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance. Those who’re gluten illiberal or delicate could expertise gastrointestinal discomfort. These people ought to comply with a gluten free weight-reduction plan. The actual query is ought to athletes go gluten free for additional well being advantages? The reply is just “no”.

Gluten and Athletic Performance

A US National Library of Medicine research completed with non-celiac athletes concluded that there have been no advantages in athletic efficiency, gastro-intestinal signs, or well-being by following a gluten free weight-reduction plan in contrast with a gluten containing weight-reduction plan.Therefore, the gluten free weight-reduction plan doesn’t profit anybody apart from these with dietary gluten points. Although this research was accomplished for a brief time period (a matter of weeks), it’s not essentially the key to swimming sooner.

Swimmers like Dana Vollmer have turned to the gluten free weight-reduction plan, however Vollmer is thought to endure from gluten intolerance in addition to different allergic reactions. Vollmer’s improved velocity might have been attributed to her dietary change as a result of her gastrointestinal tract was probably not attacking itself, permitting for her intestines to heal. All in all, competing within the kitchen will be vital to augmenting swimming efficiency, however the gluten free weight-reduction plan just isn’t the reply for everybody.

All dietary badysis was performed by the writer and doesn’t essentially mirror the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its employees.

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