I know Cordain's book focuses on endurance athletes, so I was wondering what people thought about the paleo diet for other athletic populations and if anyone else has had this problem before. I've been following a PaNu style diet for the most part (very little fruit, potatoes on occasion) and I'm beginning to think that low-carb isn't optimal for my needs (I wrestle). I'm thinking of upping the tuber intake and continuing to limit the fruit intake to avoid fructose.
Should the only difference be an increase in tubers? Has anyone else had their own experience with paleo and sports?
asked byRob_Palmer (486)
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on February 21, 2010
at 03:40 PM
Robb Wolf has written extensively on this subject. I recommend you google him and read through his blog archives. I believe he is going to coauthor a book with Cordain and John Welbourn. The basic premise is adapting the Paleo diet for power athletes. I train Crossfit style and do Brazilian jiu-jitsu. The days I am doing both workouts in a single day (usually back to back), I find an extra sweet potato after practice really comforting. I will also add an extra serving of fruit in during the day.
on February 23, 2010
at 01:45 AM
Depending on what you are doing now (there are always a ton of factors to diet), you might look into upping your fat intake with stuff like coconut milk and nut butters (as a skinny dude and crossfitter, almond butter is my personal fave). When you eat paleo/low carb as an athlete, healthy fat intake is key - it's what you burn for energy.
Also try adding some low-glycemic veggies to help with recovery, keeping to the alkalising foods is key here:
Like the previous responder said, Robb Wolf's website is an excellent resource. Good luck.
on February 23, 2010
at 01:30 PM
I agree with JMO54 (I'm a weightlifter/powerlifter)--a sweet potato 60-90 minutes before my workout, especially heavy days like back or legs, makes a big difference.
on April 20, 2016
at 05:35 PM
In my opinion, only you know the corect answer to your question. I am firm believer that everyone has different dietary needs, an approach that works for one person may be terrible for someone else. I agree with some of the suggestions in the other comments, trying to add more fat in addition to trying more carbs might help. I have been reading the book Primal Endurance and have been following the dietary advice in the authors recommend which is basically a high fat low carb diet. I find that when I go out for my long runs that I can do them without eating any carbs before during or after. However I have also tried eating a mixture of carbs, fat, and protein (i basically eat a sweet potato, MTC oil, and bone broth) before my long run and found that I feel much better. At the end of the day experiment with different approaches and find the one that works best for you.
on April 20, 2016
at 07:10 AM
Serious athletes, however, when it comes to immediately before, during, and directly after workouts, need to bend the rules of the Paleo Diet a bit since we're placing demands on the body that were not normal for our Stone Age ancestors.
on May 04, 2012
at 07:20 PM
One other recommendation that is easy is to add olive oil to your meals. I basically dump extra olive oil on any meal that it sounds good with.
on July 17, 2010
at 09:39 PM
I am fairly new to paleo (been paleo for only 8 weeks), but read Paleo for Athletes, then Neanderthin, and then Cordain's original Paleo. I do mostly heavy weight lifting sprinkled with moderate cardio (running 2-4 miles) and the occasional jiu-jitsu (when I can get to the dojo!). The first few weeks going paleo were a breeze, but once I really got strict and stopped eating oatmeal at breakfast, my energy went down real fast - lately I feel tired all the time, though interestingly once I get warmed up to work out and get 'psyched-up' I have some of the best work outs of my life. All I can figure is I have switched over to burning IMT's or protein during actual exercise, but not getting enough calories the rest of the day.
I will try the sweet potato though, that sounds promising from what you folks have posted!
A power-lifter friend of mine who is also paleo strongly recommended going with MCT oil to try and pack in some more calories. Anyone try that? I haven't yet, but really am thinking about it.
on May 03, 2010
at 03:32 PM
As JM said, Robb Wolf is the man on this. He's getting very close with his own book and it should be out later this year. According to his podcasts, he'll have an extensive section on Paleo for strength/power athletes, one of the main reasons being that Cordain and others haven't addressed this. Can't wait to read this!
You're right on with the sweet potato idea. Whenever I do a linear lifting progression or a lot of sprints, I ramp up sweet potatoes like crazy and it has great effect. I've tried it on strict paleo before and my CP and fast glycolytic just does not work very well on high fat and low carb. I simply don't feel the boost on heavy sets and sprints as when I'm getting sweet potatoes in. Recovery is better too.
Also, while technically not paleo, I'd recommend raw milk as a daily booster shot for strength and power work if you have access to it. John Welbourn has had huge success with his athletes with paleo + dairy. I don't like to mess with processed dairy, so raw milk is a good balance to strike there.
on July 23, 2010
at 02:32 PM
Let's keep in mind that the John Welbourn mentioned above was suspended during his NFL career for steroids. So when people at Crossfit say, "wow, he's so big and strong and he works out really hard all day then recovers and does it again the next day", keep in mind that diet isn't going to have anywhere near the effect that illegal drugs can have.
If Welbourn wants to use steroids, that's his choice but then any comparisons between him and others should always note his steroid usage. Sure, he might deny using illegal drugs now, but he also denied it back then when he was caught. Has he deflated in size and strength?
Probably most or all NFLers use these drugs and he was just unlucky or unwise enough to not properly employ whatever techniques they use to conceal the usage. Even so, cheating is cheating and I have little interest in his advice because I don't use illegal drugs to gain advantage and so his advice/experience has little to do with me.