Over the past few years, the paleo diet has gained lots of attention in the health and fitness world.
And, its supporters claim, it can help just about anyone to live healthier, more active lives. But, as an athlete, you have unique nutritional needs.
So, the natural question is: Does the Paleo Diet work for athletes?
What Is It?
Before we can answer that question, though, we need to be clear about exactly what the paleo diet actually is. Which, it turns out, is pretty challenging.
At its most basic, paleo – which is short of Palaeolithic – is about eating the way that humans did way before industry, agriculture and modern disease. The issue, though, is that no one is entirely sure what that means. Plus, you have to consider the fact that Palaeolithic people in different parts of the world would have had totally different diets. So, you’re likely to encounter tons of different variations on this same theme.
Still, the core principles of paleo remain the same: Focus on whole, minimally processed foods. For the most part, a paleo diet will consist of lean meats, fish and fresh fruits and vegetables. Naked Nutrition currently offers an egg white protein powder which is paleo, Naked Egg.
Does It Work for Athletes?
But, how does this general paleo approach work for the athletes out there?
Simply put, you’re looking at a high-protein, whole foods based diet, full of both macro and micronutrients. That would be great for anybody. But, of course, “athlete” is a very general term and participants in different sports and training styles will have unique needs.
It might be necessary, then, to tailor things a little bit to fit your circumstances. It’s also important to note that the paleo diet is very low in carbohydrates, most of which will come with fruits since grains are off the table. This can work but may present challenges for people looking to bulk up or who are training for endurance events.
Of course, your body can learn to run on fat instead but, this will take some getting used to.
A properly constructed paleo diet could absolutely work for athletes. Keep in mind, though, that you may have to make some minor adjustments so that it perfectly fits your individual needs.