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The Paleo Diet for Athletes: A Nutritional Formula for Peak Athletic Performance Paperback – October 13, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; 1 edition (October 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594860890
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594860898
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.3 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

LOREN CORDAIN, PH.D., a world-renowned scientist and the leading expert on the Paleolithic diet, is a professor in the health and exercise science department at Colorado State University. He is a member of the American Institute of Nutrition and the American Heart Association, among other organizations. His work has been featured on Dateline and the Wall Street Journal. He lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.

JOE FRIEL, M.S., is founder and president of Ultrafit Associates, LLC, an association of elite endurance coaches. His books include The Cyclist's Training Bible and The Triathlete's Training Bible. He lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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Customer Reviews

This book is packed with some very useful information.
Benjamin E. Sauter
Make sure you eat lots of protein, but all the protein has a high amount of acidity and you shouldn't eat any food that is acidic to recover.
D. Grant
A lot of the information is geared toward the Endurance athletes.
Dennis POOLE

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

122 of 124 people found the following review helpful By Johnson Cognito on December 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book changed the way I look at nutrition. I have always been active and eaten a decent diet, but I knew I was too heavy on sugars and carbs in general. When I got into triathlons, I got Joe Friel's The Triathlete's Training Bible, and it turned me onto the Paleo Diet.

Since both authors have advanced degrees (Loren Cordain has a PhD in Exercise Physiology and Friel a M.S. in Exercise Science), it is heavy on science. The authors base their claims on numerous sources, and reference these sources throughout.

The basic premise is that the way we currently eat is contrary to how our bodies evolved over the millions of years prior to agriculture. Lean meat, fish, and fresh fruits and vegetables should be our staple, with a small twist. Paleolithic man could never have been a high level endurance athlete, as he just wouldn't have gotten enough carbohydrate to replenish his glycogen stores after a long or very intense workout.

This book, then, makes adjustments to the standard Paleo Diet to include certain types of foods normally not allowed during SPECIFIC periods of the pre and post-exercise window.

Post Script: Though I don't like to comment on others' reviews, I feel I must say that I don't agree with the assertion that the book doesn't place enough emphasis on when to eat the foods you eat. After the intro, the entire first few chapters are exactly that: What types of food to eat, and EXACTLY when to eat them.
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113 of 126 people found the following review helpful By Kay on July 12, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased the book because I was particularly interested in learning some a-little-less-than-laymen explanation of what happens physiologically in the body of the Paleo runner. But this book stayed very, very on the surface (a whole section on how to hydrate? Hey, that's filler!) and sophistication-wise, was a far cry from Gary Taubes (or, really, any competent blog on the subject, of which there are a few).

Most disappointingly, this book is standard high-carb advice for runners. A majority of its content is indistinguishable from any other guide to endurance nutrition. So, basically, you are advised to eat x grams of low glycemic carbs x hours before a race, and x grams of higher glycemic carbs as you approach race time. In fact, there is little in this book with regard to true paleo diet metabolism or low carb/high fat fueling and how that diet effects running. Perhaps the argument there is that one cannot be an endurance athlete while truly paleo. Touche. But don't write a book called "The Paleo Diet for Athletes."

But here is where my real beef is, and what really made this book a waste of time. Where the authors do seem to describe the Paleo diet, they get it pretty wrong. For instance, they push lean fats (not fatty animal ones) and warn of cholesterol and "bad" saturated fats, while encouraging vegetable oil consumption, issues at the very core of Paleolithic nutrition that have been specifically and comprehensively studied and debated, to the opposite conclusions that these authors come to. In fact, these authors are, by definition, not paleo at all, maybe just picky about which carbs and how many.

At the very least, if these writers had meant to promote neolithic nutrition, and totally diverge from paleo, I really wish they would've explained why.
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108 of 126 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because my diet was already headed in the Paleo direction without anybody's book telling me to do so, but also because Joe Friel's web site recommended it. That made me curious about the details of why I should eat that way. I have slightly elevated blood pressure (pre-hypertension), and managed to bring it down from an average of about 129/84 to 124/81 or so just by eating low-sodium (I already was riding my bicycle 150-300 miles a week, so clearly more excercise wasn't needed). After having real trouble finding low-salt foods, I discovered that the produce section was my best friend, and the fresh meat/seafood section too; that was pretty close to Paleo already. But I was still eating lots of grains and beans, and this book convinced me to go full Paleo for non-sports reasons. Now I seem to be recovering much quicker and no longer have any of those rides where my legs are dog-tired. I've also gotten a bit leaner, though I was already at just 8% body fat. I then bought his first Paleo Diet book and read that. I now have pretty much gone completely Paleo, with some intentional lapses, and I don't really follow this second book so much. I follow his first book with its non-athlete orientation primarily to maintain my health as I get older, but I find that I can eat a Paleo omelette for breakfast, and ride for three hours with no sports drinks or gels (though I do bring dried fruit for any ride over three hours, and sports drink for long races or very hard training rides). Leaves me wondering if this second book was really needed. I strongly recommend his first book, and this one only if you're in the Ironman Tri, RAAM, or something extreme like that.
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49 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
I was excited to try the Paleo Diet in conjunction with a general fitness improvement plan. However, I was slightly disappointed by the fact that the book is focused almost entirely on endurance athletics. Barely a mention is given of Paleo in conjunction with weight training or general weight loss.

The book does give lots of details for implementing the Paleo way of eating for intense athletes, so it's a great book if you fit that category.

Regardless of fitness level, there are many tasty sounding Paleo recipes in the book, so it will be a good companion to the original Paleo Diet book even if you're not a high-volume athlete. But for beginners, I would recommend the original Paleo Diet book first, because it is geared more towards general fitness and weight loss.

And one thing that I like about both of Cordain's books is that they have an extensive bibliography of references, so you can be sure his research is backed-up with lots of research.
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