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5 Reasons it Rocks to be a Vegan Athlete


Most athletes know how much dedication it takes to not only reach their goals but also go above those goals to achieve greater things down the line. They also know that exercise and fitness aren’t the only key parts of a successful athletic journey. Good nutrition is just as important as your workouts and helps you reach your goals sooner while also supporting your body long-term. For example, many plant-based athletes have actually embraced a vegan diet not just for ethics, but also for athletic performance. This is no surprise since plant-based foods offer something animal-based options can’t; they support the body long-term and are incredibly versatile in their ability to be customized for the athlete depending on gender, age, activity level, weight, goals, and current health needs.

If you’re considering changing up your diet to improve your performance, energy, recovery time, and even other areas of your health, check out these five benefits of embracing a vegan diet. Though it starts with what you put on your plate, the health benefits of doing so are far and wide, and everything in between.

1. More Energy

Workout-1119x800Official U.S. Navy Imagery/Flickr

Animal byproducts require so much energy for the body to not only digest but also to break down and eliminate the excess wastes from the inflammatory proteins. This can contribute to fatigue, inflammation, and for many, digestive upset (which also robs your energy!). These foods also don’t have the raw source of nutrition like plant-based foods do because they’re higher on the food chain. What does this mean? Well, animals have to eat plants to get their nutrients, so when we eat animals, we’re basically taking one extra (unnecessary) step to gain nutrients from plants such as B vitamins, iron, protein, magnesium, and complex carbs that all naturally improve our energy levels.

2. Enhanced Recovery

runner-1200x794Simon Thalmann/Flickr

Plant-based athletes normally also recover much more quickly because there is less inflammation in the body, therefore athletes don’t need as much “down time” to get back on track. This allows athletes to spend less time dealing with muscle aches and pains and have more time to practice their sport and reach their goals. In fact, these amazing athletes all testify that a plant-based diet immensely improved their recovery time.

3. Anti-Aging

greenproteinsmoothie-1200x800Courtney Boyd Myers/Flickr

Exercise ages the body naturally, even though it’s necessary to keep us healthy. Tearing down our muscles isn’t easy on the body, but the right nutrition plan can help reduce the aging effects of exercise naturally by supporting the body on a cellular level. Animal-based proteins (specifically dairy) on the other hand, contribute to aging and can even lead to arthritis due to its detrimental effects on the body. Check out these 5 Soy-Free Vegan Protein Foods, which are a great example of anti-aging foods that actually have more protein than beef per serving!

4. They Get Alkaline Sources of Protein


The protein part of any meal plan is normally where athletes offer up the most concern. No meat, no dairy, no egg whites, chicken or fish? That’s right — you don’t need these foods to be healthy, strong, or even build muscle. Many plant-based foods that help you build muscle are actually alkaline, which means they improve your body’s pH levels to prevent against inflammation normally associated with heavy sources of protein like animal-based options.  Great options for protein include hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, tempeh, beans, legumes, quinoa, oats, tahini, almonds or almond butter, and leafy greens, which are all natural sources of amino acids. See this fitness trainer’s perspective for more tip on getting enough nutrition, including amino acids (protein).

5. There is So Much Variety!


A plant-based athlete will never have to look at another plate of lean chicken breast, brown rice, and broccoli again.Typical “lean” athletic foods eaten on an animal-based athletic plan and may seem harmless, but they aren’t the best options for long-term nutrition (except for the spinach, broccoli, and brown rice, of course!). Plant-based eaters get to choose from so many foods and the combinations are limitless. Check out this plant-based meal plan for instance- it’s packed with versatility and variety!

Skip the energy drinks, the stimulants, the muscle enhancers, and all that other jazz that some athletes find they need to not only perform, but to also recover. Eating more plant-based foods is the answer to gain more energy and improve overall health. If you need further inspiration, check out Common Benefits Athletes Experience When Switching to a Vegan Diet and see some tips on preparing vegan foods for your workouts.  You can also check out one of our favorite bodybuilder’s tips for how he stays energized and buff the plant-based way!

If you made the switch to a plant-based diet and found your athletic performance improved, let us hear from you in the comments!

We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!


Lead image source: Hyun Lee/Flickr

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0 comments on “5 Reasons it Rocks to be a Vegan Athlete”

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1 Years Ago

After being in relationship with Wilson for seven years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that don\'t believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I meant a spell caster called Dr Zuma zuk and I email him, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email: [email protected] or call him +2349055637784 you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything. CONTACT HIM NOW FOR SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR PROBLEMS\'

How I Get My Husband Back With The Help Of Dr Brave The Best Love Spell Caster
3 Years Ago

Hello to every one out here, Am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me,My name is Mary Owen, I live in London,UK. we got married for more than 11 years and have gotten two kids. thing were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my husband started to behave in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way he treat me and the kids. later that month he did not come home again and he called me that he want a divorce, i asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying is that he want a divorce that he hate me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was mad and also frustrated do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 2 weeks because of the divorce. i love him so much he was everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told my sister and she told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. i contacted Dr Brave for the return of my husband to me, they told me that my husband have been taken by another woman, that she cast a spell on him that is why he hate me and also want us to divorce. then they told me that they have to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and the kids, they casted the spell and after 1 week my husband called me and he told me that i should forgive him, he started to apologize on phone and said that he still live me that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that he Dr Brave casted on him that make him come back to me today,me and my family are now happy again today. thank you Dr Brave for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. i want you my friends who are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact Dr Brave ,if you need his help you can contact him through his private mail: [email protected] or you can contact him through his website http://enchantedscents.tripod.com/lovespell/ and you will see that your problem will be solved without any delay.

Great Vegan Athletes
3 Years Ago

More good reasons to go vegan. Next time someone asks you \'where do vegans get their protein\' just show them our facebook group or website: www.greatveganathletes.com.

John Mayer
3 Years Ago

Your conclusions—give up meat and dairy and turn to a plant-based diet—are right on the money. Your "scientific" explanations, though, are almost entirely bogus. I\'d give details item by item, but it\'s late, it would be a bit of work, and, based on experience with those who make such claims in the past, you don\'t care and won\'t correct them.

So I\'ll just say, better to do the right thing for the wrong reasons than the wrong thing for plausible reasons.


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