I recently finished reading “The Paleo Diet for Athletes” by Dr. Loren Cordain and Joel Friel. If you are a crossfitter or an athlete in general and are trying to follow the paleo diet, or just looking to increase your performance thru better nutrition, I feel this book is definitely a must read. Let’s put it this way, since I’ve starting following the guidelines presented in this book concerning how, when and what to eat in order to maximize performance, I’ve knocked over two minutes off of my time for “Fran” (you Crossfit followers know what I’m talking about), going from 8 minutes 48 seconds to 6 minutes 29 seconds. In case you don’t know what “Fran” is, this is a Crossfit work out consisting of three rounds of 21, 15 and 9 reps of thrusters and pull ups. You can look up the workout online for more details if you aren’t familiar with it. Needless to say, this workout is a very intense, lung burner and for me to have knocked over two minutes off of my previous time is impressive. In addition to improving my time on this workout, yesterday I ran a 5 k in 25 minutes and 28 seconds. To an avid runner this might now seem that great but for me, have never been fond of running and in the past being fortunate if I finished a 5 k in 30 minutes or more, this is a personal record. Plus the last time I ran a 5 k it took me 3 days to recuperate. Besides a little stiffness, today I feel as good as new. Keep in mind that I achieved these two landmarks within 2 weeks after I completed this book and started following the guidelines within. Yes, that’s how quick you get results if you know what and when to eat.
The “Paleo Diet for Athletes” emphasizes the health benefits of following the paleo diet but also takes into consideration the need for additional carbohydrates in the form of fruit and non-paleo supplementation of the diet due to the additional strains on the modern-day athlete’s body induced by the strains of a daily regimen of intense exercise. For example the authors call for the incorporation of energy gels within 10 minutes of a race or an intense workout to ensure glycogen stores are adequately filled and blood glucose levels are sustained. Or, if you are perform a morning workout and don’t have time to eat a meal, supplementation with the same gels or taking in some form of glucose can quickly restore glycogen levels that were depleted after a nights sleep and ensure that energy levels are maintained during the exercise. These are just a few examples of the priceless information that I feel will enable me to take my performance to the next level.
Take it from me, if you are an athlete and want to get faster, stronger and healthier, read this book.