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Amy Fisher Wednesday, 28 December 2011 07:44 TWEET COMMENTS 7

Zero Tolerance - Page 4

GF for Everyone

Not a celiac or gluten-intolerant runner? You can still reap the benefits of a gluten-free diet on the trail—especially during longer-distance runs.

WHY?

:: Keeps blood-sugar levels steadier during runs, which means a more constant energy level.

:: Helps prevent a hypoglycemic "bonk" at the start of a run (typically within the first 30 minutes).

:: Teaches your body to draw energy from its fat stores rather than rely on the food in your stomach.

:: Reduces the amount of muscle glycogen you use on a run, which can help improve endurance.

HOW?

:: Choose foods that have a high-protein and low-glycemic load (and are naturally gluten-free).

::  Focus this type of nutrition on your pre-run meals to maximize your gains while running.

WHAT TO EAT PRE-RUN?

:: Beans, lentils and chickpeas

:: Breads and pastas made with chickpea- or legume-based flour

:: Buckwheat (soba) noodles

:: Leafy green veggies

:: Lean protein

:: Low-fat milk and yogurt

 

Trail to Recovery

It's tough for runners, but those weaning themselves from gluten must allow their bodies a rest period to completely restore their health.

Take it easy. For many runners, the natural response to a lag in energy or a sub-par performance is to kick it up a notch, but extra exertion can lead to maxing out the adrenals when your body is already taxed.

Cut out the bad stuff. Consider avoiding or at least cutting back on alcohol, caffeine and sugar, since these substances only stimulate your body to work harder.

Get the gunk out. The lymph system is the body's mechanism for clearing toxins from its cells, and lymphatic massage is a great way to aid the detox process.

Walk. In addition to helping the transition back to running, walking encourages movement of the lymphatic system.

Take it to heart. With a heart-rate monitor, you can objectively gauge your exertion level, which is often different than your perceived exertion.

Consider supplements. To counteract possible nutrient deficiencies due to malabsorption, it may be beneficial to add zinc, EFAs (essential fatty acids), iron, vitamin D, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium and folic acid in supplement form.

Pay attention. Take this recovery period to be mindful of physical, mental and emotional changes. Keeping a log or journal can be extremely helpful in conveying critical information to a doctor or nutritional counselor.

Amy Fisher is a freelance writer and trail runner in Evergreen, Colorado. She adopted a gluten-free diet while training for the Pikes Peak Marathon.



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