Many believe that a paleo diet is beneficial to athletes because that is how people have functioned at optimal efficiency for thousands of years. Their primitive diet helped them to keep their energy levels up as they spent their days moving, hunting and gathering. Even now, a paleo lifestyle can be a great fit for busy people. You might be surprised to find that you have energy to burn after just a few days of following this primal way of eating and moving.

It’s no secret that diet and exercise go hand in hand, and both are needed to accomplish total health. Many people focus strictly on exercise and don’t understand why they aren’t seeing the changes they are looking for. This is why it is important to understand how to eat properly, so that you are able to get the maximum results from your workouts.

For example, many people believe that endurance athletes should load up on carbs before an event, but a paleo diet is basically lean protein, healthy fats, and organic vegetables and fruits. For many paleo eaters, they naturally get enough carbs in their diet so they don’t have to stress about carb loading before their workouts. Many athletes are reporting that they feel better, their health is maximized and their performance optimal after following a paleo diet.

A paleo diet will also naturally provide enough protein for muscle and optimal athletic performance. Focus on the best quality, grassfed animal food sources and you won’t have to think about getting enough protein for your workout. Meat is also calorie dense, and getting enough calories is essential for athletic performance. It will also build new cells for muscle mass. Remember that the more muscle you have, the better your metabolism will function because muscles need energy to move.

As a paleo eater, you will be focusing on consuming healthy carbs from low glycemic fruits and vegetables, so you don’t need to worry about feeling sluggish or gaining weight. Instead you will find improved mental focus and have energy to burn.

But it is important to understand how to use carbs properly if you are participating in a potentially grueling endurance event. About an hour before, the event, you’ll want to eat some low carb food. Even the most diehard paleo athletes still find that they need a fast acting carbohydrate. You will want to save your dense carbohydrate source for after the event as high glucose is essential to the recovery process.

Eating a paleo diet will also increase endurance. You’ll feel fuller for longer periods of time and won’t struggle with blood sugar swings. With its emphasis on healthy fats, you’ll feel full for hours and that will help you to keep your focus on your event. Don’t be afraid of fat! Good fats are very good for you for you and include oils such as coconut oil, grassfed butter and ghee, olive and avocado oil. Even though fat is you friend, you want to avoid it in your pre-workout and post-workout snacks.

Following a paleo diet will also improve your gut health. It goes without saying that if you are struggling with digestive issues and inflammation, your workout will be severely compromised. Additionally, impaired gut health can be a contributing factor to a number of debilitating conditions.

Many professional athletes are crediting the paleo diet with helping them to break past performance records and continue playing their sport for longer periods of time with fewer injuries, faster recovery time, and increased stamina.