However, not everyone should follow a gluten-free diet because skipping out on some foods high in gluten can cause serious deficiencies for people who do not have a gluten intolerance.
For those with health conditions that require you to follow this diet, you may be wondering the best methods for building muscle while avoiding certain foods and protein powders.
Follow these tips to get the best workout results on a gluten-free diet.
Is a Gluten-Free Diet Right for You?
Walk through the grocery store and you’ll see dozens of items plastered with “Gluten-Free”!
While it’s great that so many companies have hopped on board with providing more food options for people with Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, the widespread use of the phrase “gluten-free diet” has compelled many people to avoid gluten, some of whom do not need these restrictions.
If you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac disease, you must avoid gluten to prevent your autoimmune system attacking your small intestines.
Though the exact science is still a bit unclear, some people may also suffer from a gluten sensitivity which does not cause a reaction like Celiac disease but can lead to discomfort with symptoms like bloating, gas and other gastrointestinal issues.
If you don’t suffer from either of these conditions, then a gluten-free diet may not be right for you. In fact, many people have found they even gain weight once starting this new diet.
Instead, try a low carb diet to get the same desired results without risking deficiencies.
What to Avoid When You’re Gluten-Free
When trying to follow a gluten-free diet, you need to be careful with what foods you eat on a daily basis. Some items are easy to identify as containing gluten, particularly with the widespread practice of labeling items as “gluten-free,” but others are less apparent.
Certain foods that you may not suspect of including gluten can have traces of the substances.
Most grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye, as well as pasta, cereals and some processed meats contain high levels of gluten and should be avoided at all costs.
However, cutting these items from your diet means that you may be missing out on vital nutrients. In order to stay in top health, you should pay careful attention to what your diet is missing and supplement accordingly.
When purchasing processed or canned foods, always be sure to check the ingredients as sometimes traces of gluten can be found.
You should also be wary of products that may not contain gluten but have come in contact with other gluten products during production.
Incorporate Quinoa and Other Gluten-Free Grains into Your Diet
While many grains do contain gluten, there are several types that are safe for Celiac and gluten-intolerant people to eat. If you’re trying to build muscle, maintaining a well-balanced diet with all the proper nutrients is key.
Consuming enough protein is particularly important, and quinoa is an excellent source for this nutrient.
Considered a complete protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids, quinoa can be paired with meat as a side or the main ingredient in a healthy lunch salad.
Buckwheat, as well as brown and white rice, are other grains free of gluten. Though oats also do not contain gluten, they are often produced near other wheat products and may have come in contact with these products.
Seek out brands that specifically advertise the oats as gluten-free before purchasing.
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Drink Protein Shakes with Gluten-Free Protein Powder
Protein shakes can help build muscle by aiding your body’s muscle regrowth process as well as supplying you with energy and sustenance to work through tough exercise routines.
While 100 percent whey protein should not contain any gluten, many protein powders are mixed with additional ingredients, increasing the chances that some form of gluten is in the substance.
According to Beyond Celiac, formerly known as the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, any whey product that is labeled as “whey concentrate,” “whey isolate” or “whey hydrolysate” is safe for consumption.
However, because protein powders are not monitored by the FDA, some companies may advertise products as being nothing but whey powder when in fact it actually contains other ingredients.
This is why checking ingredients labels thoroughly is essential when on a gluten-free diet.
Create a Workout to Meet Your Fitness Goals
Building lean muscle is all about the right combination of healthy eating and regular exercise.
Once you’ve mastered your gluten-free diet to ensure your body is receiving the correct nutrients without exposing yourself to gluten-laden products, you need to devise a workout routine.
First, determine which areas of your body you’re hoping to focus on. Do you want to gain strength in your arms and back, or are you trying to build your core?
Your overall fitness goals will determine which types of workouts you should try.
Cardio is important for staying lean while weight training is appropriate for bodybuilding.
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Eat Nutritious Snacks Throughout the Day
As discussed, keeping track of your daily nutrient intake is vital when on a gluten-free diet. Anyone working on their physical fitness, regardless of diet, should be providing their body with nutritious energy sources throughout the day.
Protein shakes are one great source of fuel during the day. They can help rebuild muscle and keep you satiated without packing on too many calories.
But, there are plenty of other healthy, gluten-free snacks you can consume for sustenance throughout the day.
Various types of nuts contain high levels of protein as well as fiber and beneficial fats that will energize you and provide you with essential vitamins you may be missing.
Author Bio: A former 3-year starter in the NFL for the Cowboys, Colts & Broncos, Chris Gronkowski is now the CEO of Ice Shaker. Ice Shaker has been featured on ABC's Shark Tank, Good Morning America, HLN morning express, Forbes and others. Chris is the middle of the 5 Gronkowski brothers and has started writing about his athletic and entrepreneurial experiences.
*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on gaining muscle on a gluten free diet.