Pasta, bagels and bread have long been the go-to energy source to fuel workouts. Runners who stop eating wheat—going gluten-free for health or diet reasons—lose out on not only easy carbs but other key nutrients, such as fiber and B vitamins.
If you don't replace those staples with quality carbs, you can end up underfueled and fatigued, says sports nutritionist Nancy Clark, M.S., R.D., author of Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook. Thankfully, there are plenty of naturally gluten-free, high-carb options. With a little planning, you can turn these foods into delicious, easy-to-make, gluten-free meals that are so tasty they'll tempt even the most devoted wheat-eaters.
Spiced Breakfast Quinoa
Swap your Cream of Wheat for a new hot cereal. "Quinoa is a gluten-free powerhouse food," says sports nutritionist and marathoner Katie Davis, M.S., R.D.
One cup packs 39 grams of carbs, 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and 15 percent of your daily iron need. Vitamin C, found in apples, improves iron absorption. Not getting enough of this mineral can cause fatigue and impair breathing—symptoms that won't help your PR.
To Make It: Rinse 3/4 cup quinoa in a sieve. Add quinoa and 1 1/2 cups water to a pot. Simmer, cover and cook 15 minutes. Drain any remaining water. Return quinoa to the pot. Add 1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon and cardamom, one chopped apple, 2 tablespoons dried cranberries and 1 tablespoon walnuts. Stir over medium heat till apples are warm, 2 to 4 minutes.
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