Listen up, CrossFitters: Your Paleo diet might be sapping away the energy you need for your WODs. New research shows that people sticking to this meat-centric diet may be missing out on several nutrients that are key to crushing workouts, including B vitamins and calcium.
For the study, which was recently published in the journal Nutrients, 39 healthy Australian women were randomly assigned to follow either the Paleo diet or the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating (basically: a well-balanced diet) for four weeks. The biggest difference between the plans was that Paleo followers avoided grains, legumes, and dairy.
By the end of the month, the ladies who went the prehistoric route lost more weight and saw bigger changes in waist circumference compared to those following the AGHE. And, somewhat surprisingly for a diet that bans whole grains and other carbs, fibre consumption didn’t falter.
But testing revealed that the newly slimmed-down women fell short on vitamins B1 and B2 (thiamin and riboflavin, respectively) and calcium. Grains, especially fortified ones, and legumes are a significant source of B vitamins, which, by virtue of being water-soluble, get flushed out of your system and need to be replenished every day. Not getting your fill can lead to fatigue, weakness, and anemia.
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Basically, a serious case of the blahs. And while full-on calcium deficiencies are rare, research has found that simply not meeting your RDA can cause issues including bone fractures and osteoporosis in the long run.
So if you're all about that cavewoman lifestyle, make sure you’re still eating a varied diet and loading up on those three nutrients elsewhere. (Liver, while kinda gross, is a prime source of B vitamins.) Or schedule a chat with your doc to ask about supplements.