Olympic Athletes on a Gluten-Free Diet | Triumph Dining

OLY-2014-ATHLETES-VILLAGE-AUTThe Winter Olympics is today bringing together the world’s best athletes in Sochi, Russia in hopes of bringing home the gold. While every athlete must follow a strict diet and regimen to perform at his or her best, it was interesting to see how many follow a GF diet, whether by choice or by medical necessity. Here is a short list of some of those competitors:


–    Chris Creveling, Speed Skater

–    Jazmine Fenlator, Bobsled

–    Todd Lodwick, Nordic Combined Skier

–    Elana Meyers, Bobsled

–    Sara Studebaker, Boathlon



–    Matt Duchene, Hockey

–    Dasha Gaiazova, Cross Country Skiing

–    Dominique Maltais, Snowboarding

–    Christine Nesbitt, Speed Skating

–    Brianne Jenner, Hockey


Christine Nesbitt, who had to change her diet in May, found she recovered faster from hard training days after altering her diet. “I think that’s just the ability to absorb the nutrients better in my food and I’m not basically fighting what’s going on in my stomach,” she said. “I think my body is just being fed more efficiently. My body is happier.

Canada’s Dasha Gaiazova has shared “10 Ways to Live a Healthy and Active Gluten Free Lifestyle” tips below:

1) Listen to your body. If you’re not feeling well, whether it’s a sore muscle or a stomach ache, your body is trying to tell you something. “A persistent sluggish feeling and decreased athletic performance led to my celiac disease diagnosis in 2008,” noted Gaiazova. “Your body knows best.”

2) Keep a food journal either on your phone or on paper. You’ll be surprised to see how much you can learn about your eating habits and the way the body responds to certain foods. It’s a good tool to share with your doctors so they can better understand your overall health.

3) Give your friends a personal training session. Your friends might not understand what it means to have celiac disease or how to live a gluten free lifestyle but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to learn. Teaching them about what you can and cannot eat will help keep them invested in your health and fitness plan.

4) Remember to refuel your body. Carbohydrates are important for an active lifestyle because they provide energy before a workout and help with recovery. Just because there are carbs in something doesn’t mean that it has gluten. If you’re craving bread with peanut butter, find the gluten free options that will keep you satisfied.

5) Drink up. Living a healthy, gluten free lifestyle isn’t just about eating and exercising, it’s also about staying hydrated. Increasing your fitness level means you need to increase your fluid intake.

6) Don’t waste your workouts. Just because you exercised doesn’t mean that you can eat whatever you want. Be smart about your post-workout snacks. Gluten-free pretzels and hummus are a great go-to-snack because it delivers protein and carbs, which help you to refuel and recover more quickly post workout.

7) Set reminders. If you’re getting up for a morning workout, set your gym clothes and sneakers right next to your bed or right in front of the door. You won’t be able to leave the house without being reminded that you should be getting out the door for a workout.

8) Don’t abandon the plan. If your physician has recommended a gluten-free diet, it’s with good reason. Going off course can lead to decreased energy and an overall decline in exercise performance.

9) Reward yourself for good behavior. Living a healthy, active lifestyle has its benefits, but committing to a plan 100 percent of the time can sometimes feel like work. So when you’re doing well – reward yourself.

10) Remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint. If you have a setback, like getting sick or going off your plan, that doesn’t mean your journey has to end. That setback is in the past and you have to keep looking forward.

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