I’m an Athlete. Should I go Paleo?.The paleo diet has become very popular with Crossfit enthusiasts. They extol the benefits of the paleo diet to anyone and everyone who comes their way. So, if hardcore athletes such as Cross. Fitters are on the paleo diet, does that mean it is suitable for all athletes?.It depends. The paleo diet is not recommended for all athletes because of the nature of the diet. The paleo diet is high in protein and relatively low in carbs. Most of the carb sources in the paleo diet are derived from vegetables and fruit. Grains are not a part of the paleo diet.
Athletes who are engaged in endurance sports such as long distance running, cycling, swimming, etc. will have less energy to perform at the best of their abilities. The body prefers to burn carbs for fuel and if there are not enough carbs in your body, it will have to turn to its fat stores.
The downside to this is that the body tends to tire out more easily when burning fuel from fat.
So the question you should ask yourself is this… What kind of sports am I engaging in?.Bodybuilding, Cross. Fit, Tabata, Pilates, etc. are activities that complement the paleo diet well. As long as you get all your macronutrients, you will be fit and strong enough to train.
So does that mean that an endurance athlete should avoid the paleo diet?.This comes down to your personal preference. The rules are not set in stone. If you are an endurance athlete, you will have to make a few tweaks with your paleo diet.
The paleo diet rules are pretty strict and hardcore paleo dieters stick to these rules as if they are the 10 commandments. This is not really necessary and a certain degree of flexibility can be employed so that you can the best of both worlds.
If you’re an athlete, you do not face the same challenges as an obese person would. Your paleo diet need not be as strict because your goals are different. You can consume more carbs from fruit and vegetables. Go ahead and eat starchy carbs such as potatoes and other root vegetables. Use more coconut oil and olive oil in your food preparation so that you have more calories to burn. Calorie dense foods such as avocado, nuts, eggs, etc. should be consumed more frequently because endurance sports burn a ton of calories.
There are guides specifically written for endurance athletes to help them stay on the paleo diet. These guides are chockfull of tips and strategies to balance training demands and a paleo diet successfully.
It is worth bearing in mind that one should not equate fitness with good health. Athletes can be fit but unhealthy. Overtraining, injury, illness and a poor diet can mean that even if an athlete has good stamina and strength, he is not necessarily healthy.
A paleo diet has several benefits that athletes can benefit from. The diet restores balance between Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. This will reduce the acidity levels in the body. That means you’ll be less prone to aches and pains. Immunosuppression is also minimized in endurance athletes if they are on the paleo diet.
If you’re an athlete, you may go on a paleo diet and it will benefit you provided you know how to adjust the diet to suit your training demands and requirements. Spend some time on doing the necessary research and give the paleo diet a try. You performance and health may reach new heights.