Hope you all are embracing Celiac Disease Awareness Month to the fullest. In our Tuesday post, we shared a bunch of ideas and activities you can do to promote gluten-free efforts. For today’s post, we’d like to mix things up a bit and have Olympian Nathan Brannen shed some light about his experience with a gluten-free lifestyle as an Olympic Games middle distance runner.
1. Can you briefly share your personal story of being gluten-free?
The reason I decided to become gluten-free was a result of my coach. Besides being a world-renowned coach, he is also a world-renowned physiotherapist and suggested that I try a gluten-free diet. This gluten-free practice was something he had been doing for years as an injury prevention strategy.
Gluten is a binder and he found that people that had high-level gluten diets tended to be more injury prone than those who were gluten-free. Physiologically, he found gluten also acted as a binder in the body as well, causing muscle and tissue to get stuck and not move or reacted properly. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try since I had been very injury prone over the last few years. I have found my body to feel much healthier and my injuries have been at a minimum since I switched to a gluten-free lifestyle. I have been gluten-free for just over a year, I feel fit and my running is now stronger than ever.
2. Please tell us a little about yourself and your career.
At the University of Michigan, my freshman roommate, Alan Webb, and I were the first two sub-4 high school milers to run for the same program in history. By the time I ended my Michigan career, I had won four NCAA titles and ran the second-fastest collegiate indoor mile in history.
After earning a silver medal and winning the Canadian 1500m title in 2006, my 2007 season came to an early halt when I sustained a herniated disc near the base of my spine. After missing five months of training, I opted to have surgery in November. Then began the long comeback to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.