Eating Gluten-Free Before, During and After Your Workout.

 By: Cait Simmons, The Gluten-Free Yogi


I am a gluten-free athlete and am often asked how I fuel up before a road race, triathlon, or hard workout. While the most common carbo-loading recipes contain wheat, there are plenty of alternative gluten-free recipes that include carbohydrates to fuel the body just as well (if not better). In fact, a few serious athletes have recently adopted the gluten-free diet and claim it has enhanced their performance, including #1 ranked tennis professional, Novak Djokovic (see his recent book, Serve to Win). For some, being gluten-free is an absolute necessity but for others, it’s actually a strategy for burning “cleaner fuel.”


 Below are a few of my favorite gluten-free recipes for before, during and after a serious workout. They are all healthy and most importantly delicious. Enjoy!


Pre race dinner

Here are a few of my favorite recipes for the night before a big workout or race. They contain gluten-free carbs including GF pasta, GF pizza, potatoes, millet, quinoa and rice.

Note: While the focus is generally on carbs, it’s equally important to include protein in your pre-workout and post-workout meals to aid in muscle recovery.


Pre race snack

Bananas – The timing of when you eat before physical activity completely depends on your metabolism and your own body’s quirks. I like to eat a banana 30 – 45  minutes before a long run or vigorous workout  for some quick fuel.


During race fuel

Honey Stinger Gel & Chews Stinger products are a healthier alternative to other energy gels, which often contain ingredients I can’t even pronounce. Stingers are sweetened with honey, a simple sugar that the body can process quickly when it needs immediate fuel during a long workout. They also taste great!


Post race recovery

Gluten-free bagel with organic peanut butter – It is usually impossible to find gluten-free options at the finish line of road races, triathlons or bike races. I recommend bringing a durable post-race meal (something that transports well and doesn’t need refrigeration) that can tide you over until you can get to a kitchen. A gluten-free bagel with peanut butter can give you the protein and carbohydrates necessary for recovery. My new favorite bagel is Udi’s gluten-free Mighty Bagel and I love to pair it with a packet of Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter.


 While the above recipes and tips work for me, keep in mind that everybody is different. My recommendation would be to find out what works for you. Experiment with different snacks and meals and keep a food/workout journal to see how each made you feel before, during and after your workouts. If you’re a serious athlete, determine which meals work best well before a big event so that you’re not dealing with any unpleasant surprises come race day. Whether you’re a recreational athlete, a serious athlete or somewhere in between, being gluten-free is very do-able and can even, in some case, make you better than you were before.


Fuel on friends,


The Gluten-Free Yogi.


What are you favorite GF ways to fuel up for your work out?


7 responses to “Eating Gluten-Free Before, During and After Your Workout.”

  1. Steve says:

    Gluten free means no wheat, barley, rye and oats. Oats has a complex protein structure like gluten that’s problematic according to Dr. Wallach of Youngevity. When it comes to exercise it’s not so much the carbs we need it’s the minerals. Everybody needs 90 essential nutrients (60 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 amino acids and 2-3 fatty acids) every day. Even if you eat really good food, you’re lucky if you get 40 minerals. Minerals are not spread out evenly throughout the world but are in veins. Minerals act as cofactors for vitamins. They need each other in order to work properly. Plants only need 5 minerals to grow and reproduce. The human body needs 60. Theo Ratliff, retired NBA player, was told many years ago by the best orthopedic doctors in the world that his career was over. He contacted Dr. Wallach and started taking the recommended products and worked with Dr. Wallach to create a product called,
    “Rebound”. He went on to play for several more years earning an additional $38 million dollars and became to be known as the energizer bunny because of his endurance through all 4 quarters. Most athletes are worn out by the 2nd half. Remember this was an athlete that was told his career was over because his joints were shot. This was all because his nutritional tank was kept filled and he drank Rebound, that has 78 minerals, during his workouts and games. Dr. Wallach’s nutritional supplements eclipse anything out there because of his background and research. He has a degree in soil science, Veterinary Medicine and is a Naturopathic doctor. The research includes a book in the Smithsonian Institute called “Diseases of Exotic Animals” which involved 12 years of research and 20 years to write. The info in this book was also backed by a $25 million dollar federally funded grant, 26,000 autopsies, 10 million blood chemistries. His therapeutics and products eclipse anything out there. The products have a 90% to 95% absorbency rate. Dr. Wallach figured out a long time ago that the body wants to heal itself, it just needs the raw materials. He has helped 100s of thousands of people come off of multiple medications and recover their health from chronic illnesses such as eye problems, arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney problems and the list goes on. He’s presently working with people with Muscular Dystrophy and some of the results are amazing. It’s all about feeding the body the raw materials, stand back and let the body do the rest. I know. My wife and I have several health issues especially arthritis and we’re seeing amazing results. For further info on Dr. Wallach and Youngevity go to Youtube and watch the numerous videos. Also, there are webinars I can forward on more specific issues such as Sports Nutrition, Basic Nutrition, Good Food/Bad Food List, various chronic illnesses whatever your particular issue is I can let you know if there is a webinar on this and forward to you. I have lots of info. Dr. Wallach has two radio shows and also Dr. Glidden, Naturopathic Doctor, Ben Fuchs, Nutritional Pharmacist each have a radio show M-F on Genesis Communications Network. If you can’t listen to it live, you can go to their archives and listen when you have time for free. They not only do an informational segment at the beginning of their shows but then take callers with health issues and nutritional questions and that’s really interesting. You learn a lot. Dr. Glidden and Ben Fuchs are also on Youtube. If you would like further info, send me an email to with the word “Youngevity” in the subject line.

  2. Rachelle says:

    Thanks for the great tips and recipes I am always looking for more ideas. My youngest daughter is a 9th grade gluten free, Asperger Syndrome with ADHD, cross country athlete. She is only 75 pounds so burns through the food fueling for meets and practices. She loves the Udi’s raisin bread so I sometimes put that with peanut butter to give her some added protein after she runs. She also loves the Udi’s pizza crusts and she would down a pizza herself if she is given the chance. And the bananas are way to popular in our house – I wish I could grow a banana tree. I think probably another great thing is no caffeine and that helps immensely with lots of almond or soy milk for fueling since she is dairy free too.

  3. Hi Cait, I too am on a gluten free diet due to celiac disease. I have had this for 30+ years. I am brand partner in a new company called Nutrie by Automatic Body. They have three great products–all GF that I think you will love. Skinne that promotes health, blocks fat, add muscle, raises metabolism and host of other great things. Fuel, a meal supplement or drink for after a workout with 30 grams of protein, fiber and again vitamins and minerals and Energe a drink that is healthy that will give a boost without the jitters with B6 and B12. Check out the website or call me (208) 254-3220 or (208)317-5209. Also more info on facebook/automaticbody. Thanks, Meredith

  4. Dara says:

    I have to eat gluten-free, but my teenage son, who is an athlete, feels much better after a workout if he has been eating gluten-free. Thank you for the tips. The only thing I would add for quick healthy hydration is a natural coconut water.

  5. Mariette says:

    great for runners…but what about soccer players or other athletes? thanks!

  6. Natasha Wanigatunga says:

    My favorite GF way to fuel up before my workout is 2 slices of Udi’s Omega Flax and Fiber Bread with Almond Butter and Agave on top. Sometimes I like to add Goji Berries on top too. Yum!

  7. Mich says:

    Thank you for sharing this, it is very hard to keep fuel inside of my celiac skatboarding 12 year old, great ideas!

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