We dove deep into the theory that athletes need protein from meat to main their competitive advantage, and found huge results from vegan athletes vs. non vegan athletes. I personally became a tremendously better runner when I started my vegan diet. But by all means do not take my word for it. There’s tons of professional athletes that don’t eat meat, like world class runner Bart Yasso is vegetarian. One of the greatest marathon runner of all time, Scott Jurek is on a vegan diet. If you weren’t aware he currently has the American record for a 165 mile run in 24 hours! Iron man triathlete Brendan Brazier is also on our list of vegan athletes. Bodybuilder Robert Cheeke makes lifting look easy while on his vegan diet. The plant-based vegan diet for athletes is really not all that different from a regular diet, aside from the meat aspect.
If you’re looking to loose weight the first thing to do is dump the fast food, you will loose weight immediately. Sure the new diet will take some time getting used to, but if you’re smart about what you put in your body and take a little time to research the proper vitamins, calorie and protein intake you need to live a full vegan diet you’ll be happy in the long run. But if you’re ready to take it to the next level and be in the category of vegan athletes then you can also lean toward a raw, gluten-free vegan diet for even further athletic gains.
Transitioning To A Vegan Diet
For those thinking about making the transition to a vegan diet fear not my diet still includes amazing foods that “normal” people eat. There’s also a lot of great books that will guide you on how to maintain an ideal vegan diet, from the standpoint of athletic performance. Even more hardcore, a vegan diet, high-raw, alkaline. You can eat that way but it’s very difficult. However, diet that is vegetarian, that can also be easily made into a vegan diet that’s substantial enough to support top of the line training. Once you’re used to the vegetarian or vegan diet, and training on that diet that’s when you can start thinking about taking it to the next level. But then there’s everyone’s question, where does the protein come from? Easy answer, there’s protein in a variety of foods other than meat, you just need to do a little research.
You can even add a plant-based protein powder to your workouts for to ensure you’re not only getting your protein, but you’re getting enough to repair your muscles and stay competitive as part of the group of vegan athletes and non vegan athletes. Though it’s easy to get your protein on a vegan diet, if your goal is to consume the recommended amount of protein for athletes, you’ll just need to work a little harder at it. Unless you’re highly competitive bodybuilder than you don’t need an abundance of daily protein. Fruits, vegetables and grains are all high in protein. Continue to do your research to a live a long and healthy life as a vegan athlete or just on a normal vegan diet.
Vegan Diet Foods
This list will help you find common foods that will help you meet the needs for a proper vegan diet for high endurance vegan athletes. The goal here is to provide you with foods found in common grocery stores that aren’t foreign from what you’re used to seeing.
– All Vegetables- raw or cooked
– Beans and other legumes: lentils, chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans, adzuki beans
– Starchy vegetables like potatoes and sweet potatoes are good for a proper vegan diet
– Whole-wheat pasta, Whole-wheat bread, pitas, and bagels
– Brown rice
– Agave nectar- for vegan athletes this is great workout fuel
– Protein Powder- good blends include hemp, rice, pea, and chia
– Soy products– tofu and tempeh, but make sure not to over due it
– Teas and coffee- also make sure not to over due the caffeine
I never count calories unless i know within my vegan diet meals I’m not getting enough calories, nor do I think about carbohydrate-protein-fat ratios(unless I’m eating pasta twice a day all day everyday). If you’re vegan athlete, vegetarian or normal athlete I don’t believe you should worry about this too much. But, if you’re switching to a vegan diet it is a good idea to look at the ratios within different food sources. In other words, take your most used diet numbers and make them work with a no meat vegan diet. Athletes diets tend to be very high in carbohydrates so you’re going to continue to get that regardless of the change to a vegan diet.
Even though I don’t pay close attention to counting calories, I still am concious of what I put into my body and the portions I eat. See Lance Armstrong’s former coach, Chris Carmichael on his Food for Fitness book. His recommendations differ depending on training period look something like this,
If your target is to hit these numbers with a vegan diet it shouldn’t be too difficult at all.
How Much Should You Eat?
Continue to eat until you be comfortably full, but not bloated and stuffed. As endurance vegan athletes we have the luxury of consuming greater calories than that of non athletes. We burn more calories so we need more to intake. If your ultimate goal is weight loss, or you exercise more or less than myself then your food intake will differ from mine. Again I go back to the infamous word, research. Do the research to see what works best for you and make your body feel it’s absolute best on your vegan diet.
Eating around your workouts, before and after is extremely important for your vegan diet, or any diet. Calorie and protein replacement is huge for vegan athletes
And that’s it, a very achievable vegan diet for vegan athletes.