Building Muscle on a Gluten Free / Dairy Free Diet
Gluten is a protein found in many grains such as wheat, rye, barley and spelt. (Think of gluten like a glue that binds the food together or thickens up soups and gravies.) Some foods that do not contain gluten in their natural state, such as oats, are usually processed on the same lines as gluten containing foods and therefor can become contaminated. Because many carbs we rely on for building muscle mass contain gluten, this can pose a slight inconvenience for those who are on a building plan that cannot tolerate gluten. There is a small (but growing) percent of the population that cannot tolerate gluten, either from an allergy, sensitivity or Celiac disease.
Alternative Carbs for eating properly while gaining muscle mass include rice, quinoa, potatoes and flax. There are now many great alternatives to choose from including gluten free whole grain bread, rice cakes and, one of my personal favorites, cream of rice. Aside from these starchy carbs let’s not forget our protein and fats. Lean proteins are pretty much gluten free and safe to eat. Chicken, Turkey, egg whites, lean sirloin, shrimp, salmon, tuna and cod are just a few examples of lean proteins to fill up with when training for gains. Natural nut butters, avocados and coconut oils are great sources of fats to include in your daily regimen.
Protein shakes are a huge help and very convenient when trying to build more muscle. The problem here, is that finding a protein shake that is truly gluten free and truly dairy free (made in a dedicated gluten and dairy free facility) can be very tricky. I was using the same protein shake for years for fear of trying something new and having it affect my stomach. This protein only came in 2 flavors and while it delivered results, had a great ingredient profile and tasted good; it started to get pretty boring. Also, it is important to switch up foods and fitness training as the body adapts and can plateau.
Over the past few months I have found 3 protein companies that cater to the gluten free / dairy free clientele. They contain safe ingredients, have a good amount of protein per serving and they taste good too. Utilizing the protein shake for building muscle is a great option, as long as you get the right protein. See, dairy free / gluten free nutrition while training for muscle mass is not as difficult as it once was years ago. There are many safe and delicious options available. Putting a proper nutrition plan into action is something I recommend seeing a professional for. It is hard enough living with food allergies, intolerance’s and medical conditions requiring special dietary restrictions; adding a strict training regime to the mix is even harder! A professional can assist with enduring you are getting the proper amount of macro-nutrients daily to sustain your energy balance.
It is also important to mention that having Celiac disease damages the lining of the stomach which is responsible for absorbing nutrients. Many Celiac’s will find they are deficient in Vitamin d, b12, iron and magnesium. It is essential to eat foods high in these nutrients, especially when training as it is very taxing to the body. Building muscle, gaining mass and fitness training can hurt you rather than help you if you are not getting adequate nutrients. Again, I advise beginners or the inexperienced to get help from a certified trainer and nutritionist before embarking on a muscle building plan. Also, it is important to advise your doctor before starting any new workout or nutrition plans.
Certified Nutrition Consultant
Certified Fitness Trainer
Certified Wellness Coach
Celiac/Food Allergy Mom
We have several other articles on gluten-free and fitness, as well as, gluten-free and dairy-free diet. Come check them out!