The Paleo Diet for Athletes: A Nutritional Formula for Peak Athletic Performance
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The Paleo Diet for Athletes: A Nutritional Formula for Peak Athletic Performance

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  545 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Aims at maximizing performance in a range of endurance sports. The authors show why the typical athletic diet is detrimental to recovery, performance, and health; how the glycemic load and acid-base balance impedes performance; and why consumption of starches and simple sugars are only beneficial in the immediate post-exercise period.
Paperback, 300 pages
Published November 1st 2005 by Rodale Press (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Karen Storey
I'm surprised that this book hasn't received better reviews but then I've never been a big dieter, so I can't compare this to anything else. I read it last summer after having a pretty rough sprint triathlon (I had no energy) & started looking for better pre-race eating tips. I put the plan into action & have seen results. First let me clarify that I am an athletic person, not an athlete! :) My race times have gotten better, I feel stronger, & my recovery time has definitely improved...more
Aaron Maurer
This book came across as a surprise in many ways. For one I forgot I put this book on hold. I had placed it on hold months ago and really forgot all about it. Just the other day it was available in the library and being that I just started my training for my first marathon I started to read the book and actually came away with some great information.

I am not sure if I could actually follow the Paleo Diet completely as I am not sure I could give up dairy or grain as these two food groups are stap...more
Nancy
Hmmmm..... Interesting, but perhaps a bit over-informative. Not sure who's really going to bust out all those math calculations every time they're hungry or thirsty, or think they should be thirsty. And a ton of calories in this book. I don't think a 600+ cal recovery drink is needed after a 90 minute workout, no matter how tough it is. This book rolls in at roughly 3000 cals a day, which is A LOT, unless you're seriously busting your butt.


That being said, the nutrition advice is sound, if not...more
Laura Broder
Mar 28, 2010 Laura Broder rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Someone who is already eating Paleo and would like to see performance gains.
Recommended to Laura by: Tim Broder
I read this book as I started my journey eating Paleo. Luckily, I'd already had a pretty lively introduction, thanks to my boyfriend eating Paleo, listening to the Paleolithic Solution podcasts, and some general Googling.

This book is written backwards: it starts will all the scientific mumbo-jumbo and ends with what the heck you should be eating. It's hard to follow at times, and definitely aimed at elite level endurance athletes. I have enough grounding in basic Paleo and nutrition that I was a...more
Christie Bane
Rating a book like this is not like rating a novel. I mean, page-turner it was not. Was it readable? Yeah. Was the science good? Seemed to be, but it's not like I really investigated all the sources or have the understanding of diet and nutrition to read the studies critically and intelligently. Moreover, I don't really care. In fact, I am not really sure why I picked up this book to begin with other than that I had a vague, New-Years-Resolution sort of desire to find a healthier diet.

Well, it a...more
Denise
Picked this up for two reasons. Firstly, wanted eating advice for athletes -I have an athlete in the family and recently joined a local CrossFit. Secondly, wanted to know what the Paleo hype is all about.

Good: Layperson reading ease, finished the book within a few days of casual reading. Advice on reducing/eliminating processed food is inline with credible nutrition and health books. Fueling and refueling the body based on physical activity appears consistent with multiple credible sources.

Poin...more
M Martin Penner
Starting off the year, I was enthusiastic about trying to eat the Paleo way. Well, I was fooling myself into thinking that this was going to last. One, I hate to cook/prepare food/bake. The only thing I do like about food is eating it. I do cook....all the time...for the people I love because I love them. If there is a meal sign-up, most likely you'll see my name on the list because there is a need and I love them. Meal planning, meal preparation, all that...it takes a lot of my energy and it's...more
Azhan
I heard about the Paleo diet before but this book specifically mentioned 'A Nutritional Formula for Peak Athletic Performance' Since I train 4-5 times a week I was curious about the possibility of applying some paleo principles to my training and diet.

As the title suggests, this book focuses specifically on athletes, ENDURANCE athletes to be precise. There's topics about preparing for races, what happens to your body during endurance training etc. There's very little that non-endurance athletes...more
Dawn
May 29, 2012 Dawn rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: kindle
A great overview of both the paleo diet lifestyle and how it can be tweaked for endurance athletes. Does a good job of going into the nutritional science behind this style of eating and also includes recipes, ingredient substitutions and specific foods to eat/avoid. Contains enough information to help you decide if it's for you and get you going successfully if you want to try it.
Gdematteis1
The original book by Loren Cordain, The Paleo Diet is amazing, this book offers a little more insight on how to fine tune the Paleo Diet for optimal athletic performance. Do yourself a favor and ditch all the Conventional Wisdom out there, pick up this book and follow Dr.Cordain's advice on proper nutrition.
Jillian
I learned a lot about nutrition and fitness from reading this book. In my opinion I already had a lot knowledge in these areas, but it turns out there is always way more to learn.

It delves into the metabolic processes that occur in your body when you exercise, and how the fuel you put in is used, and how the fuel that's already stored is used next, and finally what happens when there is no more fuel left (hint: badness). The Paleo diet is based off of lean meats, fruits, and veggies, but the at...more
Mark Love
If you're an endurance athlete, read this, put it into practice, and stop stuffing yourself with grains and "energy" bars.
Maria
Aug 07, 2011 Maria added it
After many naturopathic consultations, food sensitivity testing, flirting with veganism, reading, net surfing and discussions with others focused on suitable diets I decided to look more deeply into the paleo diet. I like the way Dr. Cordain describes the findings of the scientific literature in layman's terms and outlines the broad principles of this way of eating. There is a lot of debate about whether this way of eating is possible for the entire planet. Probably not. There are also the numer...more
Armand
May 10, 2012 Armand rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
A greatly informative and helpful book, however it may have been a bit too data-packed. By going with an in-depth explanation for the reasoning behind this diet, Cordain leaves no room for "whys", however some concepts such as "omega 6's and omega 3's having a 2:1 ratio" were a little too much. If the book had been condensed slightly, there wouldn't have been as much trouble getting through it.

As for the athletic component, this book is unique in regards to that it's probably the most catered Pa...more
Mjameson
Aug 25, 2007 Mjameson rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: athletes and anyone trying to understand a new perspective on healthful eating
This book was amazing. Truly well-researched and informed. I liked the way the book blended the knowledge of an athlete paired with up-to date nutritional knowledge.

I don't think there is any evidence against this diet. The knowledge of fats, especially the omega-3's, is too new to have much against it. I appreciated how he was aware of FDA recommendations and sometimes agreed and sometimes disagreed. For instance, he agreed that saturated fat should be less than 10% of daily diet, but disagree...more
Darrell
Having just also read Scott Jurek's "Eat and Run" and Rich Roll's "Finding Ultra", both books touting the benefits of a vegan or plant powered diet, it is difficult for me to justify the re-introduction of meat back into my diet. Especially in light of the current production methods of readily available meat sources. All the books are in agreement on some basic tenets that make sense for anyone. The tenets are fresh is best, no limits on (most but not all) vegetables and fruits, elimination of r...more
Elle
The 5 stars is for rating of a diet book - which is completely different than rating a fiction book. This was a well written book that gave me the information that I needed to understand how the Paleo Diet came about, why people believe it works and what you should eat and avoid. It also has a lot of recipes at the back which, although I won't use, gave me ideas. I really liked the generic ideas it gives you of how to order at various restaurants to stay on this diet. My favorite part is that th...more
Lisa
This book is fantastic for any level athlete. I've looked at Paleo diet before but wasn't sure how to incorporate it into my triathlon training. This book details exactly what you should eat and when for optimal performance. I look forward to leveraging this knowledge during this triathlon season.

There is a lot of detail and science behind why this lifestyle works for athletes as well as how to maintain body weight in the off season. Some may find the details distracting but I appreciate knowing...more
Tom
Jan 30, 2013 Tom added it
For someone seriously interested in living paleo while training for an endurance event; however this book comes up short in its promotion of sports gels and drinks as endurance fuel. Does any paleo lifestyle endurance athlete really want to rely on sports drinks that contain flame retardants? (See Gatorade)

The book Is good at planning recovery nutrition however within he framework of paleo lifestyle.

For those already familiar with paleo, and you should be before reading this, much of the informa...more
Hermann
Generally a balance between runner's diet needs and the idea of "caveman-diet...BUT: Grains should not be rejected i this way. The authors therefore show some kind of "exceptions" when they suggest "cereals" after workouts.

I'd say: combine this approach with diets as "low carb", Montignac, so: don't be "religious", try, what helps, adapt: I integrated more protein and good fats as in nuts into my diet. But don't underestimate the carb intake in the morning, I keep on experimenting with areduced...more
Chadfredlott
More performance diet reading. Packaging his dietary suggestions in a pre-agricultural and biologically appropriate myth has worked wonders for Cordain's sales. The diet works, especially if you are doing something like Crossfit. His original book, the Paleo Diet, is full of bad suggestions and interested parties should expand their knowledge of the subject through sites like the Performance Menu.

Cordain's work will ultimately make its way into what hack diet writers are suggesting on Oprah in...more
Kevin
Interesting book. Trying a 30 day challenge on the paleo diet, and this provides a structure on how to continue it, and also how to modify the diet for an endurance athlete. The science seems good, and with it the arguments in support of the change in eating habits. I'm not going to say it's right and orthodoxy are wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes more accepted.
Brian
Thoroughly covers our ancient ancestors diet and why they were much healthier than us. Also covers a lot of pre and post-workout eating for hardcore athletes. If you are just looking to get in shape but not a marathon runner I would recommend The Paleo Diet rather than Paleo Diet for Athletes. You will save yourself about 10 pages os sport science jargon.
Nike
This book is a must read for anyone who wants to learn more and experiment with the Paleo diet. It's great for me as a runner - it gives a nice background of cavemen and how they lived. It also gives scientific evidence why some foods really aren't that good for us, compared to fresh natural foods. It could have included more recipes, but otherwise a great read!
Chad
Does a good job dispelling the myth that a high-carb/low fat diet is good for athletes. This book is definitely written for the endurance cardio athlete (marathon runners), not the weight lifter or high intensity crossfit type athlete. This is a good reference book and is loaded with great breakdowns of macro and micro nutrients of paleo and american diet foods.
Nick Blasier
MUCH better, in my opinion, than his other Paleo Diet book. It's confusing to me why the books are labeled as they are - a lot of the things in this book that weren't in the other don't seem "athletic" by definition in any way. Athlete or not, if you're interested in this diet stuff as a scientific endeavor, this is a solid read.
Jonas
Geen aanrader voor mensen die eigenlijk enkel meer te weten willen komen over Paleo. De opbouw is verwarrend met pas in het 2e deel de basisuitleg over voeding etc...
De materie die in het boek wordt aangehaald is op zich wel interessant, al zal het boek vooral voor echte atleten van belang zijn en minder voor recreanten
Julie
It was okay--more about recovery and the research supporting was has been determined to be the diet of the Stone Age people. It seems more applicable to those who train for very long races and very high intensities. For instance, there is a section on what to eat during a race. Hmmm...doesn't really apply to me.
Court
His stance on saturated fats was a huge disappointment to me, but I appreciated how deeply he delves into the science of Paleo nutrition and exercise. I read this to help a client who's a distance cyclist incorporate a paleo template, and definitely learned a lot but wouldn't use this as a solo source.
Eric Neuhaus
I found this book informative. It is geared towards athletes that train multiple times a day or for people who are training for long distance races. I am a crossfitter, but I don't train multiple times a day. It still gave me good ideas of what to eat to help me achieve my goals.
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Loren Cordain, PhD, is one of the world's leading experts and researchers in the area of evolutionary medicine. He is on the faculty of Colorado State University and the author of The Paleo Diet and The Paleo Diet for Athletes. He has been featured on Dateline NBC, in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other media."
More about Loren Cordain...
The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Food You Were Designed to Eat The Paleo Diet Cookbook: More Than 150 Recipes for Paleo Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks, and Beverages The Paleo Answer: 7 Days to Lose Weight, Feel Great, Stay Young The Paleo Diet Revised: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat Maximum Paleo

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