Pasta’s street cred has taken a hit recently as more athletes shun gluten and prioritize whole grains. But spaghetti still deserves a place on your plate for the simple reason that it's one of the best performance foods you can buy.
Mikaela Shiffrin’s stock has never been higher. The slalom phenom won Olympic gold in Sochi, and is now on track to claim her third consecutive World Cup slalom title. She’s talented, she’s articulate—and she’s fueled by pasta. She just released a pasta cookbook together with Barilla, which, admittedly, is one of Shiffrin’s keystone sponsors. But, says Shiffrin, “I do eat pasta almost every day after training.”
Her pasta predilection wouldn’t have seemed surprising ten years ago, when pasta reigned as athletes’ go-to fuel and marathons routinely hosted pre-race pasta dinners (remember carbo-loading?). But times have changed. Recent concerns about inflammation and gluten sensitivity have prompted many athletes to forego pasta and other wheat-based foods.
But don't blacklist pasta just yet.