Vegans and Athletic Performance: How Are They Related?

Horizon Clinics

Feb 8, 2021

We, as a society, look up to established athletes for their stamina, physical strength, and dedication. We have been taught that they value their body and diet. But these days we’ve been witnessing a major shift in their diets.

The stereotyped notion of athletes being meat lovers to get energy is being shattered. Today, being vegan doesn’t mean they don’t have stamina.

In fact, the numerous Benefits of Vegan Diet for Athletes prove this diet plan to be of extreme help for athletes. It can even maximize their stamina and strength.

Vegan Athletes

Among many vegan athletes, there are some who converted from a meat-based diet. However, others have been eating plant-based from the very beginning.

Some of the most Famous Vegan Athletes are:

 • Melody Schoenfeld (personal trainer and powerlifter)

 • David Haye (British professional boxer)

 • Kyrie Irving (Basketball player)

 • Colin Kaepernick (Football)

 • Venus Williams (Tennis)

 • Lewis Hamilton (Racing)

 • Molly Cameron (Cycling)

 • Dana Glowacka (World’s longest plank record holder)

Vegan Diet for an Athlete

Earlier, there were lots of debates regarding veganism and athletic performance. People associate strength with meat.

It was thought plant protein can’t help with strength and stamina. But diet is the key to attain strength, irrespective of the source.

Plus, a vegan diet is very unique.

The high nutrient, high carb, high fibre, and zero cholesterol nature of the vegan diet makes it suitable for the athletes.

Such diet increases the oxygen level in athletes.

The high ingestion of fibre increases the process of digestion. Therefore, the body weight and body fat mass ratio remain low.

Beans, lentils, soy products intake increases the intake of complex carb, dietary fiber, antioxidants, Vitamin C & E, folic acid, and other rich nutrients.

This gives a major boost to a vegan athlete’s performance.

The intake of fruits like berries, oranges, kiwi, sour cherries, etc. gives a massive boost to the antioxidant level.

Chocolate drinks which are energy boosters get replaced by fresh fruit juices. Therefore, added chemicals don’t overpower your system.

Natural energy drinks like maple syrup, date syrup, coconut water, and beet sugar keep a check on artificial sugar intake. The market made products are fruit-based chemicals. Therefore, switching to natural ways proves to be healthier for the body.

These are just some of the Vegan Diet Benefits for Athletes. There are many more listed right below.

Benefits of a Vegan Diet

• Helps Control Blood Sugar

Studies show a vegan diet can help control the most common type 2 diabetes.

• Weight Loss

A plant-based diet helps manage weight.

• Controls Cholesterol

The meat-less diet helps control cholesterol. People with clogged heart and high saturated fat intake have a good chance to be healthier with a plant-based diet.

• No Lactose Intolerance

Milk and its derived products have often caused allergies to many. But the vegan diet includes high fiber veggies without causing any such allergies.

• Fruits Benefits

The natural water in fruits and vegetables makes the skin hydrated. It gives an ever-youthful glow.

• No Loss of Protein

Often vegan diets are “thought” of as a protein-less diet. But, legumes, pulses, soya, and beans make up for the lost animal protein.

• Less BMI

Studies have shown that a vegan diet helps lower the body mass index. It boosts metabolism. The results may take time but they have been proved.

• Ethical Benefits

Many people switch to veganism because the idea of hurting an animal doesn’t sit well with them. PETA encourages a vegan diet too. However, this is a personal choice.

How Do Vegan Athletes Make Up for the Protein?

The controversial theory of the vegan diet not having enough protein is mere taboo.

Here are some food items which the runners, weightlifters, and other athletes consume to incorporate protein into their diet:

• Chickpeas

• Avocado

• Spinach

• Cashew nuts

• Chia seeds

• Peanut

• Black beans

• Lentils

• Tofu

• Soybeans

These foods usually make up for the loss of animal meat. These are pretty healthy as well. The studies have shown that plant-based proteins are a better alternative than animal proteins. It reduces any chance of bloating, indigestion, or allergies.

Vegan vs Meat-Eating Athletes

The older notions of insufficient protein, low energy level, and what not have been nothing but a myth. Today, world-class athletes promote vegan diets. Plus, there’s a strong correlation between a plant-based diet and athletic performance.

Moreover, the lack of energy is the work of mind rather than a diet. A plant-based diet offers as much nutrient as an animal-based one would. Though, the results may take some time if you’ve just made the switch.

Vegan and meat diet athletes can perform in the same way. Fitness training and endurance don’t get affected in any manner.

While the choice to switch to a plant-based diet is up to a person, the old stereotypes hold no basis.

Therefore, eat as you wish. Famous athletes give us the lesson that being vegan is not a sign of weakness! Step forth and start a new journey.

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