Eating like a pro will make a huge difference in your performance as an athlete and it will improve your overall well being. Proper on and off the bike eating has changed a lot in the last 10 or so years in cycling and a gluten free diet seems to be taking over the majority of the pro peloton.
When I first headed over to Italy in 1998 the cyclist diet was very simple and clean but was also had lots of food that contained gluten. We constantly ate Pasta and Bread with some prosciutto and mozzarella for protein (this was our normal pre race meal). For dinner more pasta, some salad, lean red meat and maybe a glass of red wine. If we were craving something sweet we sometimes got a small slice of plain “dolce” as they called it or we snuck out for a gelato in town somewhere.
Back then the understanding of Gluten and how it causes inflammation was not well known. Now there is a lot of literature about gluten and how it will affect the athlete in a negative manner. Even the stubborn European teams are adopting a gluten free lifestyle and they are including more fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants.
The majority of people don’t know that they have some sort of intolerance to gluten. It wreaks havoc on your entire body and leaves you feeling more bloated and lethargic than you should normally feel. I would highly recommend all of our athletes looking to improve their fitness try this for at least a month and see how they feel. If it doesn’t make a difference, at least you tried and you can go back to what you were doing before.
I will give you a quick example from a cycling team that I was fortunate enough to direct at a few races and how not only eating gluten free but cleaning up their diets made a huge difference. I directed the Predator Carbon Repair at 3 separate events for the 2013 season and for most athletes holding peak form for more than a month is very challenging. Over half the team started eating a very clean (lots of fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants and gluten free) starting in mid April. I helped direct the team at the Tour of the Gila which was late April and we had multiple riders that were riding very strong at this time. They were able to carry this form all the way into July and even early August because of this large improvement in their diet. All of the riders that were eating healthy and training properly were able to get to form more quickly but also maintain that form for a much longer duration than normal. If I wouldn’t of seen it first hand I would not have believed that eating properly made such a big difference.