3 Myths About Raw Foods for Athletes

by Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN
Author, Eating for Energy


If you are a recreational athlete who takes their health seriously and wants to get the most of their athletic endeavours, you have probably been paying attention to what you eat for a while now. But have you really looked into it? Or are you like tens of thousands of other people who are using their common sense to guide them?

If you’re serious about eating for energy, you need to accept that there are some ideas out there that sound great in theory. If you really want to get the most performance out of every meal, you need to do more than assume and guess. Here are three of the biggest common sense misconceptions when it comes to eat raw foods for maximum energy and performance:

1. You’ll never eat another hot meal.

Especially for people living in a colder climate, the idea of never having a hot meal again might be a little galling. After all, there’s a great comfort in coming home from a day of playing in the snow, and curling your body around a bowl of hot soup. But does a strict adherence to a raw food diet mean you’ll never eat something warm again? The answer is no, but to a degree. That degree is 118 Fahrenheit. At approximately118 degrees, you will begin to kill the healthy living enzymes of your foods and leech away their valuable nutrients, rendering them cooked. But food items can be heated up to that point to make the eating process more enjoyable, especially in the cold winter months.

2. All you’ll eat are fruits and vegetables.

When you try to explain a raw food diet to the average person, this is likely to be their first response. Sadly, the culinary imagination of a large portion of our population has been sapped away by frozen entrees and fast food mega meals. So few of us actually prepare our own meals these days, so the idea of not only doing all that work, but limiting yourself in the methods of preparation is unthinkable to a lot of people. But a raw food diet will actually offer you more choices than the average vegetarian grocery list. Not only can raw food enthusiasts eat fruits and vegetables, they can eat a large variety of nuts and seeds, some types of grains, and should they chose to include it, some types of meats and animal by-products like fresh milk and raw beef.

3. A raw foods diet will make you feel awesome right away.

There is an expectation in our culture that what we eat will give us instant gratification. People assume that, after a few short days of eating raw, they’ll be filled with the power of ten mere mortals, and able to prance through life with a perpetual smile on their face. But the truth is, you might feel pretty awful for the first little while. It is to be expected, if you think about it. You are forcing your body to adapt to something completely alien, and find its nutrients in new places. Your body will be a little slow to respond, but give it time. After you properly adapt, you’re going to love eating raw foods.




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