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3 Tips For Gluten-Free Running This Summer

June 15, 2016

We’ve all heard some common advice before a big running event: carbo-load. Some track teams even host spaghetti dinners the night before important meets, part team-building, part nutritional jumpstart.

But what happens when the traditional advice, the spaghetti dinner, runs against a person’s dietary restrictions?

Due to celiac’s disease, wheat allergies or a number of other issues, many must cut gluten out of their diets.

However, that shouldn’t preclude anyone from their athletic pursuits, even in an activity like running where nutrition can play as significant a role as your running shoes.

Whitney Butler serves as a registered dietitian for Drexel’s Parkway Health and Wellness, as well as the official dietitian for Drexel Campus Dining. She’s hosting a webcast at noon June 24 to discuss “Facts for the Gluten-Free Runner.” In advance of that, she shared three of her top tips for those looking to pound the pavement but stay away from gluten.

  1. Eat Carbs!

    Gluten-free doesn’t mean carb free. Carbohydrates are vital to provide energy for fueling your muscles. Maintain a variety of gluten-free carbohydrate sources in your diet, such as rice, corn, potatoes, lentils, beans, quinoa, millet, gluten-free oats, and more.


  2. Back to Basics with a Balanced Diet

    As a culture, it’s becoming second nature to reach for the supplement cabinet. Your diet should still be balanced even when gluten-free. Fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy, fish, nuts, seeds and the carbohydrate sources above are all gluten-free. You can’t out supplement a bad diet. To quote Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” 


  3. Practice at Practice

There are so many enticing new gluten-free products on the market today. It’s easy to want to try them all — and you should! Just introduce them at practice to be sure you can tolerate the sugar content, taste, texture, etc. instead of sampling new treats on race day.

Register here for Butler’s webcast. You might also be interested in Butler’s tips to being gluten-free while in college.

By Frank Otto, University Communications