Take a stroll through the grocery store and you'll notice an increasing amount of shelf space devoted to gluten-free foods. Eat at restaurants such as Chili's, P.F. Chang's, or Boston Market, and you can order gluten-free chicken-noodle stir-fry and chocolate cake for dessert. Add to this all the books and Web sites professing the benefits of gluten-free eating, and suddenly carb-loving runners and athletes can't help but wonder if a diet without gluten is worth a try.
Going gluten-free is, without a doubt, essential for runners with celiac disease (CD) and gluten intolerance (GI), says Julie McGinnis, R.D., a dietitian who has GI and runs theglutenfreebistro.com. Both disorders can cause stomach cramping, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating; eliminating gluten prevents symptoms.
But can runners without CD or GI expect any health or performance benefits from giving up gluten-a protein in wheat, spelt, kamut, barley, and rye? It's a question athletes are asking. TheRead More »from Going gluten-free: Will it help or hurt your workout?