There has been a lot of hype around wheat and gluten lately.
Gluten is the sticky protein found in a number of grains that holds them together. Gluten is very difficult for humans to digest because our bodies do not have adequate stomach enzymes.
Celiac Disease is an autoimmune condition to gluten affecting numerous systems in the body – its main target being the digestive tract.
Celiac has been shown to be on the rise primarily due to unknown gluten sensitivities. Gluten sensitivity implies that there is some type of immune reaction occurring from gluten in the diet.
It has been diagnosed in almost 35% of the population, and many feel this percentage may actually be much higher.
Let’s review a few systems in the body that could be compromised by gluten.
If you are sensitive to gluten it may have a negative impact on your health.
Nervous System: This system is involved in muscle growth and controls the amount of muscle fibers your body uses during any given activity.
Gluten can cause neurological harm through a combination of cross-reacting antibodies, immune complex disease, and direct toxicity. These nervous system effects include dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system, cerebella ataxia, hypotonia, developmental delay, learning disorders, depression, migraine and headache.
- Digestive System: The amount of minerals absorbed by the body may be decreased due to damage in the digestive system. Minerals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium, and many others are critical to body function. You are not what you eat, rather, you are what you absorb.
- Skeletal System: Since gluten has been found to mess with the absorption of minerals in the digestive system, specifically calcium, there is a heightened risk that it can lead to a loss of bone mass.
- Endocrine System: Hormones are key to muscle growth and body composition. Growth hormone, testosterone, insulin, and cortisol are all very important. Gluten in wheat raises insulin dramatically, and as a strong allergen, it raises cortisol. The combination of raising both hormones leads to central obesity.
- Immune System: Wheat can stress our immune systems. This causes inflammation and can make us more susceptible to viruses.
So, gluten in wheat can make us weaker with consumption because it can have a detrimental effect on more than one system in the body.
It also has a huge impact on body composition.
A study done by BMC Medicine measured an individual person with gluten sensitivity. The participant’s first measurement was a body fat percentage of 9%. The participant removed gluten for three weeks and weight trained four days a week. The new body fat measurement had dropped to 6%!
These are just a few ways that wheat and gluten sensitivity could have an impact on your training. The easiest way to rid these foods is to avoid processed foods and focus on fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.
Always think ahead and plan your meals for the week.
Conduct a massive cook day once a week to set up your meals. Failing to plan is planning to fail.