Athletes Eating a Raw Food Diet - Is It Healthy?

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Nutritional Requirements for Athletes

For the most part, the nutritional requirements of athletes are the same as everyone else with a few minor variations. Athletes need to consume more carbohydrates and protein than most people. The majority of an athlete’s carbohydrate intake should be derived from complex carbohydrates such as potatoes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Benefits of a Raw Food Diet

A raw food diet is high in nutrients and low in fat. It is a well known fact that cooking destroys some of the vital nutrients found in foods. By eating food in its raw natural state, you reap the benefit of all the vitamins and minerals that food has to offer. Since a raw food diet is low in fat, the risks of becoming overweight are reduced. Many people believe that we were meant to eat a raw food diet of fruits and vegetables. Some people claim to have an increased energy level and feel more vital after switching to a raw food diet.

Raw Food and Athletes

A raw food diet can provide the essential components of a balanced diet, carbohydrates, protein and fat. Vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds contain all the necessary nutrients for human health. Eating cooked meats can create toxins in the body such as uric acid and ammonia. Switching to a raw food diet can eliminate the build up of toxins. This is essential to the proper functioning of a high level performance athlete’s body. Many people, including athletes, worry that they will not get enough protein if they switch to a raw food diet, however fruit and vegetables contains an adequate amount of protein.

Transitioning to Raw Food

An abrupt change to a raw food diet can cause detoxifying symptoms such as weight loss and a lowering of blood pressure. It is best to gradually transition to a raw food diet by including more fruits and vegetables in the daily diet and gradually decreasing the amount of cooked foods. A gradual transition allows the body to adapt to a raw food diet more easily and slowly rid itself of toxins that have built up from consumption of previously cooked foods. Athletes that are considering switching to a raw food diet should consult a physician or nutritionist before making the switch.