Studies have shown that limiting gluten from your diet can help with digestion and stomach aches. Consequently, there has been a recent trend for athletes to reduce their gluten intake for both allergy or health purposes. Most people think of gluten only as a component of bread products, but gluten is hidden in more foods than people realize. However there are still plenty of foods that are gluten free and great for athletes! Here are 5 tasty gluten-free snacks that are perfect for athletes:

 

1. Bananas Bananas are always a good go-to pre-workout snack. They are full of vitamin C, potassium and fiber. The high levels of potassium help prevent muscle cramps and enhance an athlete’s performance.

 

2. Dried Fruit: There are tons of different types of dried fruit, so they’re a great snack if you’re looking for variety. They contain high levels of calcium and they are high in fiber and iron. Dried fruit is the perfect post workout snack to regain energy.

 

3.  Nuts: Nuts contain healthy fats and help keep you full.  They are also a great source of fiber and protein. Protein helps fuel an athlete for their exercise. If you’re looking for a bigger snack you can always add nuts to yogurt which itself is a great source of calcium and protein.

 

4. Protein Bars:  some bars are gluten free bars and high in protein, potassium and healthy sugars which give athletes the energy they need before working out.  Clif bars make some gluten free bars in an assortment of flavors from peanut butter to chocolate chip and easy if you’re on the go. ThinkThin and Bekind also make gluten free bars.

 

5.  Quinoa:Quinoa is a healthy whole grain that’s high in protein and fiber but also low in calories. There are many different types of quinoa that can be eaten hot or cold depending on personal preference. It’s a light snack that will help keep you energized.  All types of grains and rice are great snacks for gluten free athletes.

Becoming a gluten free athlete can be a hard switch to make, but it is still possible for high performing athletes to still get the necessary nutrients to excel. Some examples of gluten free athletes are tennis players Novak Djokovic and Venus Williams, Olympic pole vaulter Jenn Suhr, football player Cedric Benson, and hockey player Jay Beagle. If you’re still unsure about what healthy gluten free foods are good for athletes, go to a coach or doctor for guidance. Many personal trainers have background in nutrition and can provide you with the guidance and support you need to be a healthy athlete.  To learn more about winning without wheat go to Men's Journal.

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