Disclaimer: It is often assumed that fitness discussions are often pointed towards protein as a macronutrient. However, we will not talk about protein consumption here, that'll be a separate post.
So many of us who decided to turn to being vegan had watched a documentary- either fork over knives(NOT RELATED TO OUR BLOG) or The Game Changers, etc. The Game Changers (Netflix) took us through a variety of fitness sports and how people at the top of the these sports were plant based! What all of these athletes have cracked is that body is only concerned with the nutrients, not the source of the nutrition. Yes, while meat may have an extra essential amino acid or two, but a vegan protein source may always be complemented by another vegan source to fill in the deficiency and that gap.
It was not long ago that vegan diet was considered as un-fit for endurance sports. Thanks to multiple researches along the road, and various books - The China Study, Plant Based Muscle, there is sufficient data available on what is really required. In 1990, Dean Ornish, M.D., proved that a plant-based diet, as part of a healthy lifestyle, could reopen narrowed arteries, improving blood flow and eliminating pain in a matter of weeks.Over the long run it prevents heart attacks. So the same increased blood flow that helps an athlete beat the competition does much more. Turns out they key to athletic performance & sports nutrition is quality of food, which is determined by it's nutrition content and it's bioavailability. Bio-Availability is nothing but how your body absorbs the nutrients your food has. We'll be talking about this topic in more detail really soon.
Meanwhile check out the profiles of these vegan athletes across the globe:
1. Venus Williams - Yes, the tennis player.
Here's what said in an interview - "I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, and I wanted to maintain my performance on the court. Once I started, I fell in love with the concept of fueling your body in the best way possible [through raw, vegan food]."
2. Patrik Baboumian - World's Top Strongman
Gemany's Strongest Man in 2011, he eats 400 grams of protein derived from 5000 calories.
3. Abel Trujillo - MMA Fighter.
4. Lewis Hamilton - The guy who wins all F1 races?
Lewis posted a story on his instagram a few months back, it said "It's been 4 weeks being on a plant based diet, I feel the best I ever have felt in the past 32 years,energy is super high,can lift more weight in the gym, skin is in better condition, feel light, never bloated, feel fresh..."
5. Scott Jurek - Oh he can run some serious marathons.
Having gone vegan in college, Jurek said "It was definitely a long-term decision rather than one made for short-term performance gains."
6. Hannah Tetter - Snowboarder
In an interview with HuffPost, she said "It’s a whole other level that I’m elevating to. I stopped eating animals about a year ago, and it’s a new life. I feel like a new person, a new athlete.”
7. Tia Blanco - Professional surfer
8. Jack Lindquist - Track cyclist
9. Jermain Defoe - Footballer
10. Ruth Heidrich - 83 year old runner
I can keep going with names, but the point is for you to understand that it is a sustained diet that is important for being fit, not dairy, not meat. Many of these top athletes vouch for plant based for being best for endurance & recovery. A vegan diet suits athletes across all disciplines, and many world class competitors credit their achievements to their plant-based diet.