Is The Paleo Diet Suitable For Athletes?

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Theres a lot of common horror stories online about the negative effects of the Paleo Diet but, in this article I want to share my thoughts and experiences. So, let's break down what the rules are when you're following Paleo. 

Well, first, you're not allowed cereal grains or dairy. That means no milk andin most cases you're not allowed any legumes, no beans &  no peanuts. Thats right folks, no peanut butter, you're not allowed potatoes or other tubers. If it grows in the ground its off the menu! You're, not allowed refined sugars. That means no dextrose or glucose post-workout.  You're also supposed to cut back on salt, which, for an athlete, is not a good thing.

You are allowed a lot of meat, especially grass fed, fish, seafood, eggs, not plenty of vegetables and fruit and healthy oils like coconut or olive oil.

Now those of you who follow certain nutritional philosophies, you should be able to pick out a few problems right there with the Paleo diet. But, before I go too hard on the Paleo diet, I will say it's a great diet for most people. You know, most people are not the sort of hard core trainers like me. Most typical people don't follow any nutrition plan. So if you give them a plan that they have to follow with rules and foods that they can eat and foods to focus more on, it makes a big change in their diet results. However, I'm not saying it's the perfect diet, like I said, for an athlete.

It just doesn't work that well, if you're, avoiding dairy. Thats because dairy is the most anabolic protein we know and when combined together it's why milk has been such a staple in bodybuilder diets for decades, long before protein powders were out. It works for them and helps to build muscle fast. The other issue is the refined, sugars post-workout. You want to replenish your muscle glycogen as quickly as possible, and how are you gonna spike insulin, to get creatine and carnitine to the muscles if you're not digesting carbs quickly post-workout? And then the other big issue is the sodium. Cutting back on sodium is the last thing any hard training athlete wants to do. Sodium is so critical for muscle contractions, it's the most critical electrolyte in the body & when you sweat and when you train you lose sodium. So you need sodium. Not a low sodium diet! It just doesn't make sense for an athlete. So, you can argue all you want about removing peanuts and other beans, lentils and what-have-you cereal, grains and tubers like sweet potatoes, which also have benefits.

So, to summarize what, my take on the Paleo diet. It's fine for the general population or someone who hasn't been on any diet. If you're following a diet program already & making progress with fat loss well, Paleo is not the thing you want to be doing because, like I said, you're avoiding dairy, so you're already going to be disadvantaged from muscle growth. You're limiting sodium, which can limit your performance in the gym and you're limiting dextrose that helps with digesting carbs that you should be using post-workout not just to speed recovery but to further boost results.

Guys, you need to get more creatine and carnitine in the muscles, so they can do their job. So, Paleo is just not ideal for anyone who's interested in maximizing muscle, size, strength, performance all, while minimizing body fat.

I hope that this article has cleared up any confusion that any other gym members have regarding the Paleo diet.