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Question - What are good sources of carbohydrate if you’re a runner who suffers from coeliac?

The majority of carbohydrate we consume as athletes is derived from gluten containing food for example bread, cereals, pasta and energy bars. Excluding these foods from the diet may bring anxiety about correct fuelling and recovery from your training. This need not be the case.

Being coeliac is no longer the dietary restriction that is was 10 yrs ago. If you want to keep things simple, you can replace the gluten containing carbohydrates with gluten free alternative - like for like. There is a huge range of gluten free products in most super markets now to make gluten free eating easier for you. Most sports drinks and gels are gluten free but make sure you check the ingredients label. If you choose this approach, you can continue to ensure you are keeping the same pattern to fuelling and recovery as before. Although convenient, however, simply relying on gluten free products can be quite pricey and will lack variety. There is an alternative if you opt for naturally gluten free food. Although this takes more effort and thought, some people prefer a this approach. Foods such as rice, quinoa, potatoes, buckwheat, flax, millet and pulses all give us good carbohydrate sources that are also naturally gluten free. You can make your own gluten free foods as well replacing wheat flour with chickpeas, rice or coconut flour for example. For coeliacs that cannot tolerate oats at all, replacing them for rice (risotto or sushi) in your porridge makes for a carb rich, tasty alternative the morning as well.

Remember, your carbohydrate requirements will stay the same so extra effort will need to be made when initial changes are made to ensure your carbohydrate consumption is maintained to enable optimal performance and recovery from training.

Breakfast ideas

Fruit smoothie with Greek yogurt, scrambled egg, gluten free bread, certified gluten free muesli/ granola/oats (or home made granola - see my blog for recipe).

Lunch ideas

Jacket potato (or sweet) with cottage cheese/tuna with salad, gluten free bread sandwich, omelette with added vegetables, Quinoa & chicken salad with roasted vegetables, homemade soup, gluten free crackers & hummus.

Dinner ideas

Any meat/fish (not breaded) with potatoes/rice/quinoa & vegetables, prawn stir fry with rice noodles (no shop bought sauces), lean mince chilli with rice.

Snacks ideas

dried fruit, nuts, homemade popcorn, rice cakes with peanut butter & banana, fruit, crudities and hummus, yogurt, apple & cheese.

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