The Paleo diet for athletes is not the typical diet that you will find elsewhere. Others may be skeptical about the change but what you should know is that the Paleo diet is great for athletes because it aims to increase one’s endurance and strength. The diet also increases muscle development and anabolic function. These are only a few of the things that an athlete looks for in a diet and which the Paleo diet can provide. Read on to find out more:
An athlete’s diet consists largely of pasta, rice, milk, bread, potatoes and everything else rich in carbohydrates. In the Paleo diet however, an athlete does not need all these carbohydrates. The diet believes that carbohydrates, dairy, grains and other starchy vegetables are of no good to the body and consumption of large amounts of them are even harmful. It may contradict a typical athlete’s diet but the Paleo diet makes up for the lack of carbohydrates in other kinds of food like meats rich in protein.
Upon hearing that the Paleo diet is low in carbohydrates, most athletes will turn their backs and not take a second look anymore because athletes take meals full of carbohydrates and this is what they have been used to all their lives. The Paleo diet is quite new to athletes especially, and many are quite hesitant to try it. They think that shifting to a whole new diet could affect their performance and so they aren’t willing to take the risk.
What these athletes’ do not know is that it only takes a few weeks of being on the diet to feel the many positive effects. It is undeniable that the first few days will not be easy, mainly because the body is still adjusting to the change, so we will want to give our bodies time to adjust when trying something new.
But after the body has gotten used to and has adapted to the new diet, then the athlete will feel the positive effects: firstly, he/she will have a very evident increase in endurance and strength aside from feeling better in general. The ‘feeling-better’ is experienced by everyone who has gone into the diet, this is because the body has detoxified and therefore is in a much better shape.
The Paleo diet is great for athletes for other reasons: one, it lowers the ratio between omega-6 and omega-3, and most athletes know that this is vital in healing the muscles and tissues by reducing the inflammation. Two, it increases the branched chain amino acid (BCAA) that is responsible for muscle development and anabolic function. Three, it lowers body acidity, this stimulates muscle protein synthesis while reducing the catabolic effect of acidosis on bones and muscles. Fourth, it is high in trace nutrients or vitamins and minerals and these contribute to long term recovery from exercise as well as promoting optimal health.
Athletes do not necessarily have to strictly follow the Paleo diet, and the same goes with everyone else. The diet recognizes that each one has his/her own individual needs which is why it allows leeway for changes. Take the Paleo diet as an inspiration and make it your own.