Mark Teixeira Goes Gluten Free. Will It Improve His On-Field Performance?

Pro athletes Mark Teixeira and Steven Jackson claim their gluten-free diets allow them to stay healthy and on the field.

The mark of a great player is a willingness to adjust his regimen for the sake of improving his performance.

New York Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira has always stayed ahead of the curve when it comes to taking care of his body, but with injuries to his wrist, hamstring and lower back affecting his on-field performance, Teixeira elected this past off-season to observe a strict, gluten-free diet.

Teixeira believes the new diet, which eliminates bread and adds a lot of buffalo meat, will reduce inflammation in his body. The New York Post reports that Teixeira lost 13 pounds of fat and added 15 pounds of muscle.

The 34-year-old Teixeira says he "feels like a kid again." But will the gluten-free diet help Tex return to form as a power hitter in the middle of the Yankees lineup?

Eliminating gluten is supposed to enhance recovery time and cut down on gastrointestinal distress, but  according to Amy Jamieson-Petonic, a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant to the Cleveland Cavaliers, it may not affect sports performance as much as people think—although if you have a clinical issue with gluten, then yes, avoiding it will help you feel and perform better.

After undergoing back surgery in 2010, Atlanta Falcons RB Steven Jackson went gluten-free, and he credits the diet for keeping him healthy. "I was looking for ways to make sure that I can put myself in the best position to stay healthy and stay on the field," Jackson says. "It allows me to be lean, it allows me to have the energy and get the rest that I need to be able to perform week in and week out."

Check out the video at the top of the post to learn more about Jackson's conversion to a gluten-free diet.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: DIET | POWER | ENERGY | SPORTS | RECOVERY | LOWER BACK | SPORTS PERFORMANCE | SURGERY | INFLAMMATION | NEW YORK YANKEES | BREAD | DIETITIAN | REGISTERED DIETITIAN | GLUTEN