Food Allergies

Food allergies are becoming increasingly common for various reasons. Among the most frequent ones, lactose and gluten allergies can complicate the lives of individuals and make sports competitions, especially in long-distance events, very challenging due to refueling requirements. I offer different articles addressing these two allergies, explaining how to refuel without gluten and/or dairy, along with examples of menus tailored to the dietary needs of athletes. In another category, we discuss the specificities of vegetarian athletes.

Sports put a strain on the body, especially in endurance disciplines like ultramarathons. Having a balanced diet, particularly in terms of nutrients, is crucial. Whether it’s nutrition in preparation for a race (what to eat in the week leading up to it, breakfast on race day, etc.) or nutrition during and after the race (different energy products, post-exercise meals), preparation is key.

If you want to maximize your chances, I recommend reading my articles on sports nutrition, where I discuss definitions (glycemic index, glycogen, etc.) and provide practical insights based on real-life experiences (dietary supplements, digestive issues, etc.). In my opinion, this category is a wealth of information.

Lastly, as a dietitian in a cardiac rehabilitation center, I offer dietary advice that is more focused on clinical settings.

Frequently asked questions about food allergies and sports

Is going gluten-free just a trend?

No, Novak Djokovic popularized the gluten-free diet, but I have been advising the athletes I work with to eliminate gluten (or significantly reduce it) for the 15 days leading up to a race for several years now, due to its well-known inflammatory properties. However, I recommend this approach to athletes who experience digestive issues during exercise.

Is it possible to perform well while being allergic to gluten or dairy?

Certainly, it is entirely possible to have a diet that excludes lactose or gluten. It requires finding a certain balance, but there is an increasing availability of products that are free from these allergens.

How can I determine if I have an allergy?

If we are talking about an allergy, you will quickly experience digestive or skin issues, among others. If you are referring to intolerance, a decrease in performance after consuming an ingredient you cannot tolerate can be a good indicator. Otherwise, allergists can help you discover your specific allergenic triggers.

Nicolas Aubineau
Sports and Clinical Nutritionist