Gluten-Free Diet Foods Options at The Olympic Village
As we get ramped up for this years summer Olympics in London, stories abound on what athletes are doing to give them the edge. For some, it seems it may just be the gluten-free diet. Around the globe the gluten-free diet trend is rising and we can see in the increase in gluten-free diet foods available in the marketplace. So too, it will be at this year’s Olympics. The Olympic village will have a lot more gluten-free diet food options available for the athletes because more are following this diet.
Some of the top tennis athletes; Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, and Sabine Lisicki ,have been in the news about adopting a gluten-free diet due to gluten-related health disorders and how they noticed an improvement in their play. Some athletes looking for any inkling of an edge are following suit even if they do not have a health reason to do so.
This echos the behaviour of fans of big celebrities like Miley Cyrus, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Chelsea Clinton. Fans wanting to be like the celebrities also copy what they do. It is partially the celebrity endorsement that has increased awareness and interest in eating gluten-free diet foods of late. For some celebrities they say it makes them thin and for athletic celebrities it improves their prowess at their sport so of course people want the same benefits.
This year the Olympic Village has adapted. Some of the athletes to note are : Amy Yoder Begley , Andrew Steele, Nathan Brannen, Dana Vollmer, Jenn Suhr to name a few.
The scientific community is not in agreement with the anecdotal stories people report but if people feel better can improve their performance then I say, all the better to them.
No Evidence Gluten-Free Diet Foods Improve Performance
That said, according to a number of reports by medical experts, including the Australian Sports Commission, there is no evidence that healthy athletes following a gluten-free diet will see any performance benefits over an athlete who follows a balanced diet containing gluten. “If you do not have an intolerance, then there is no reason to eliminate a food from your diet,” stresses Amanda Carlson-Phillips, MS, RD, CSSD and VP of Nutrition and Research for Athletes’ Performance and Core Performance in Arizona. But like any healthy eating plan, there are benefits to going gluten-free. “It encourages label reading and more awareness, leading to a healthier diet filled with less processed foods and the introduction of higher quality grains like quinoa.” Which isn’t to say a change in lifestyle is a guarantee of good health. “A poorly planned switch can backfire, leading to an inadequate intake of complex carbs, vitamins and minerals. A runner who isn’t careful could end up eating a lot of refined carbs and added fats, leading to weight gain,” warns Carlson-Phillips. ~source
Whether the athletes are following a gluten-free diet for health issues or not, it is nice to see there will be gluten-free diet foods options this summer for those Olympians that want them.
What is your favorite event in the summer Olympics?