The classic Paleolithic diet could not be further from the requirements of an elite athlete or athlete, which is why it is necessary to modify certain aspects, adding a greater amount of carbohydrates and specific foods.
When talking about a Paleolithic diet for athletes, many tend to view it with suspicion, and it is not for less because it has a low carbohydrate content and absence of dairy.
Next, we look for the adaptation of this diet to make it a great option for any athlete who wants to incorporate this style of eating. Many great athletes have already taken this step. Do you dare to try?
What is a Paleolithic diet?
It is not simply a diet, since the purpose is really to adapt meals to a healthy diet. It consists of fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts, vegetables, meats, fish, spices and herbs. It’s really about adapting our diet to how our ancestors ate in the Paleolithic.
It is a diet free of chemical processes, everything that nature offers us without refining or altering its components, proteins and healthy fats.
Paleolithic diet for athletes
Diets for athletes are usually composed of carbohydrate-rich foods such as breads, pastas, rice, incorporating sports drinks and supplements for recovery and performance increase.
This idea of “sports diet” goes very against the purpose of the paleolithic diet for athletes, however it is about following an adapted diet to obtain greater performance, and having certain additional benefits of which we will talk later.
The adaptation consists of:
First, increase carbohydrate and protein intake, especially before workouts (eating rice, potatoes, bananas, etc.) the rest of the days you can follow a normal paleo diet. This is essential to monitor energy levels at least two hours before workouts.
- White rice
- Whole milk, plain yogurt
- Vegetables with higher carbohydrate content
- High-carbohydrate fruits
This adaptation is progressive, food can be gradually eliminated, while the nutritionist is consulted to evaluate the changes.
Variety in Paleolithic Diets
There is no single diet, in various regions there is a variation in food intake, so there is no problem in varying and adapting this type of diet to what is a fitness and sports life. We emphasize that we are not talking about a ketogenic diet.
Benefits of a Paleo Diet for Athletes
Getting to the point of benefits, according to Dr. Loren Cordain, there are many advantages, especially in health markers, which favor fat loss. Improving health influences the recovery time after each workout, while increasing strength and fat loss.
Being a diet rich in protein, it favors the increase of strength and repair of the muscles. Here are four reasons for the ergogenic effect (which increases muscle power) of this diet for athletes:
Experts have recognized that carbohydrate consumption is especially useful before, during and after exercise, in addition to certain foods that are more effective in regenerating muscle glycogen. The paleo diet has this principle, being a balanced and nutritious option.
Other advantages and benefits of a paleo diet in sport
- It naturally makes available the elements that the body needs for the production of essential hormones, as well as other elements that facilitate the transport of fat and the formation of creatine.
- Grease is used as fuel, having a practically unlimited reserve and allows longer physical work.
- It decreases chronic inflammation by avoiding refined sugars and other foods that can be harmful. Favoring in this way the fast and efficient recovery of the muscle.
- There is no nutritional deficiency in a Paleolithic diet well adapted for athletes.
To conclude, I want to emphasize again that we are not talking about a traditional or classic paleo diet. In athletes, a version adapted to the needs of carbohydrates is necessary, which allows to make the most of the physiological changes of exercise, which implies the incorporation of certain non-Palaeolithic foods.
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