How Food Sensitivity Test Can Help Improve Triathlete’s Performance

How Food Sensitivity Test Can Help Improve Triathlete’s Performance

Are food sensitivities real? Yes.

Can they impact your performance? Absolutely.

The main difference is that a true allergic reaction is mediated by your immune system. What is the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance? Food allergies are mediated by your immune system, while food intolerances are not.

Certain foods can sometimes make you feel unwell, regardless of whether they are healthy or not.

There is no single right or wrong way to eat for everyone, as each person’s body and reaction to food are different. Athletes have all felt bloated at some point during a workout, and everyone has had days where they feel more awake or sluggish. Workouts can also be filled with cramps and unpleasant twinges.

One reason that athletes may have trouble training is because of food intolerances, according to the NHS. Eating a balanced diet can help prevent these setbacks and allow athletes to perform better daily.

More than 20% of the population in industrialized countries suffer from food intolerance or food allergy, according to the Deutsches Ärzteblatt International. Symptoms of these include digestive problems, sleep disorders, fatigue and discomfort, which can negatively affect a person’s health and sporting performance if the right steps aren’t taken to prevent them.

If you have an allergy, you are likely to know it because the symptoms are drastic and immediate. An intolerance is less severe and happens over time.

What’s really interesting for runners to know is:

Athletes’ bodies may be more taxed from stress, making them less able to handle foods that cause inflammation.

Food intolerance symptoms that impact us as runners:

It’s not about eating healthy foods in general, it’s about eating the specific healthy foods that are best for YOUR body.

Although bloating can cause a stomach to appear larger than usual, this is not always the case. Bloating may also refer to the feeling of being full or uncomfortable, even if there is no visible change in size.

This means learning that milk actually upsets your stomach would make you think twice before drinking that high protein recovery drink or finding out honey is an issue could explain why one gel seems to work great and another leaves you with side stitches.

As said by NFL star Drew Brees:

I think about how to maximize my performance as an athlete in everything I do. So anything I put into my body, I think about how it will help me perform at the highest level and recover the fastest.

If you’re allergic to certain foods and you eat them anyway, your body is constantly fighting those foods instead of repairing muscle and helping you recover or perform.

Defining different levels of food intolerance

Different terms are used to discuss reactions to food. Here is a brief explanation to help you understand the difference. Food allergies or food intolerances can develop later in life; we are not necessarily born with them.

A food allergy is when your body has an adverse reaction to a certain food, which can range from something minor like hives to something life-threatening like swelling that closes your airway.

The body cannot digest certain foods because it lacks the necessary enzymes. The most common examples are gluten and dairy, which usually cause gastrointestinal distress but are not life-threatening like allergies.

Food sensitivity is an adverse reaction that your body has to food 45 minutes to 3 days after eating it. It’s estimated that up to 80% of adults have some kind of sensitivity.

Cumulative dose is an important factor for most athletes. While 1 gel with honey may not affect you, that gel combined with 3 hours of body stress from running and a few other ingredients that your stomach doesn’t love could be what breaks you in terms of GI issues.

Food intolerance test options

If you’re doing everything right and still feeling fatigued, you may want to get tested. There’s a free method and a more expensive one that isn’t covered by insurance.

Blood tests are the easiest method for diagnosing allergies because they measure levels of specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies to suspected or known allergens. The likelihood of a clinical reaction increases with higher IgE levels.

Cerascreen’s Food Reaction Tests can help you figure out if you have a food intolerance or allergy by analyzing a few drops of your blood. The test is simple to do and can be done anywhere, without special assistance. The blood will be analyzed by certified laboratories that have specialized in holistic human diagnostics for over 10 years.

The test is used to find allergies and intolerances by looking at an athlete’s blood for IgE and IgG4. 95% of the things that could cause allergies or intolerances are covered. After the test, the athlete will get personal advice and ideas for dietary supplements.

by taking a food allergy test. You can test to see if you are intolerant or allergic to certain foods by taking a food allergy test.

Other methods of diagnosing allergies involve having the patient eat the suspected allergen in gradually increasing amounts to see if symptoms occur. This is always done in a controlled setting.

An elimination test is an option where you take the suspected food away from the person’s diet. If the symptoms disappear, then you slowly add the food back into their diet in very small quantities.

If you eliminate any food groups from your diet, it is important to replace the nutrients you would obtain from those foods by eating other types of foods. This will help prevent you from having deficiency symptoms in the future. Talk to a dietitian to get specific dietary advice that is tailored to your needs before you completely remove any food groups from your diet.

Elimination diet

The most effective way to know if you have intolerance is to do an elimination diet, which is unfortunately very hard for most people to stick to due to its restrictive nature. People often forget to accurately record symptoms when slowly adding foods back into their diet.

There are a  few ways to ensure any of these things are successful:

  • Keep meals extremely basic, so you can try adding or removing things
  • Don’t eat the same meal back to back, hopefully, you can better judge the outcome
  • Each day change just 1 thing in the meal so you can see if that item causes issues

ALCAT test

This is a blood test that measures your body’s reaction to food and chemicals. It can be used to test for sensitivities to up to 300 foods, including gluten, gliadin, and milk proteins such as whey and casein.

One potential downside is that you may not test positive for sensitivity to a food you haven’t been consuming.

You might be surprised to find that you feel better after eliminating one food from your diet for 10 days. If you notice a difference, that food may have been causing you problems.

A runner’s guide to avoiding runner’s trots and other food impacts:

  1. Determine if you are having digestive issues only on the run or more frequently {signs of poor digestion}
  2. Try an elimination on your own of possible suspects (usually dairy, gluten, soy, corn, and nuts). Add notes to your running log about foods and how you are feeling.
  3. Get tested by a professional
  4. Work with said professional to figure out a personalized nutrition plan

How reliable is the ALCAT test

I was worried about this issue and after doing a lot of research, I think it’s worth doing a food intolerance test. Some people say it completely changed their lives and healed them by finding out which foods to avoid, but some scientists say these tests aren’t reliable.

There is still much unknown about how acupuncture or Chinese herbs can be effective for so many people, but we all likely know at least one person who has felt better from using Eastern Medicine, even though it hasn’t been proven in a laboratory setting.

Find out if you have a food intolerance

The EUFIC also found that the percentage of people that self-diagnose as allergic is higher than the percentage of people who are actually diagnosed; this highlights the need for a diagnosis to avoid unnecessary dietary restrictions and provide reliable data.

Food allergies and intolerances in Europe are most commonly caused by celery, gluten, crustaceans, egg, fish, nuts and soybeans, according to the EUFIC.

Optimizing nutrition to progress on an international stage

An athlete who competes on the world stage has a lot of work going on behind the scenes that family members and friends might not be aware of. It takes a lot of intensity, volume, and lifestyle changes to reach that level of competition.

The ability to recover and be physically and mentally ready to tackle the next session is more important than the training itself. The right nutrition is essential for every CrossFit® athlete.

German National Champion and CrossFit Games athlete Lisa Eble took a Food Reaction Test to improve her performance. The test, which only requires a simple blood sample, showed what foods her body does not react well to.

After taking a food intolerance test, it was revealed that Lisa was intolerant to dairy. Eliminating dairy from her diet has helped her legs feel lighter, which was a problem for her in the past to the point where she couldn’t go up a set of stairs.

If you don’t know what triggers your food intolerances or allergies, suggestions for dealing with them are useless. According to the National Centre for Eating Disorders, unnecessarily restricting your diet can make your metabolism slower, your immune system weaker, and cause fatigue and nutrient deficiencies.

Athletes need to eat a healthy and balanced diet every day to stay active and support their training and recovery. This can be achieved by eating the right balance of proteins, fat, carbohydrates, fibres, vitamins and minerals.

The first step to improving your health, increasing your well-being and aiding your performance and recovery is finding out which foods you can tolerate through scientific testing of food reactions and making decisions based on quality information about a balanced diet.

While it’s often said that we develop food intolerances from eating the same foods repeatedly, this does not appear to be the case. The reasons allergies develop are not fully understood yet.

The most common foods tend to be the same ones as for food allergies:

  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Chocolate
  • Soy
  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Wine
  • Shellfish

Eliminating harmful foods will have huge positive effects on your health and performance

A diet that is tailored specifically for you will have a positive effect on your health and well-being.

Removing foods that your body can’t digest from your diet can help stop symptoms like headaches, nausea, bloating, stomach cramps, and fatigue.

In the end, each person’s body will respond differently to various foods. The intolerances and allergies – and the necessary food cut to manage them – will be unique to each individual. If you can figure out which foods to either avoid or cut back on and receive tailored guidance and dietary advice, you can improve your overall health and performance in sports.


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