Training Without the Gluten

by Lauren on March 25, 2013

One of the great things about training hard is the ability to eat. A lot. Your appetite increases, as does your body’s need for protein and carbohydrates. However, fueling out on the trail can be tough if you have food allergies. In my case, I avoid gluten. While many view the need to steer clear of wheat, barley, and rye as a death sentence, the lifestyle can be quite manageable.

The gluten-free lifestyle is one that has caught the attention of the media, due to the abundance of gluten-free products in the marketplace. It doesn’t hurt that star athletes, such as tennis pro Novak Djokovic, have gone gluten-free as well. Djokovic has even bettered his game, according to the Wall Street Journal.

But what is a hiker to do, who is out on the trail for hours, for days? Fruit, vegetables, and lean protein such as fish and chicken are all naturally gluten-free. But you can’t just sling a cut of salmon over your shoulder and carry it for days. Well, unless you’re Bear Grylls.

Presuming you’re NOT Bear Grylls, you might want to grab a compact, energy-laden quick bite. If you want to try ditching the gluten, here are some ideas: thinkThin bars are protein-rich, with none of the sugar found in other energy bars. A tasty alternative are Honey Stinger bars, a new discovery of mine, made with real honey and gluten-free ingredients. I’ve found KIND bars to be downright tasty, if you’re hankering for a sweet/savory combo loaded with healthy nuts.

If you’re an athlete with food allergies, life may be more complex. But you can still have great fun. Remember that for a quick energy fix, chocolate frequently does the trick. What’s not to love?

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