4 Reasons to Eat a Plant Based Diet as an Athlete24 Jan 2017
If you’re an avid athlete and regular fitness-junkie, you might have been told that you should be eating a diet rich in animal meats and fats rather than a plant based diet. The typical persona of a strong athlete looks something like this: dominant male, bulging muscles, and a tub of whey protein powder sticking out of his gym bag. Fortunately, this persona of active lifestyle is no longer relevant. These days, it’s common to see men and women of all different ages and walks of life taking on a variety of athletic challenges - from running marathons to competing on an Olympic team. While conventional wisdom has stated that diets centered around animal protein are best for serious athletes, new research offers up a different option in the form of plant-based diets.
What Is A Plant Based Diet?
A plant based diet is one that consist mainly of foods that come from plants. This diet is often also referred to as a vegan or vegetarian diet. The main difference in a plant based diet vs. vegan and vegetarian diets is that while vegan diets specifically exclude animal proteins and fats, a plant based diet is meant to be mainly comprised of whole, plant based foods, but may include small sources of animal protein depending on the individual athlete.
Why Should You Consider Becoming a Plant Based Athlete?
1. Plant Based is Better For Your Body
Research over the last few years has shown us that unprocessed, unrefined, whole foods are better for our bodies in the long run. Even the U.S. government (through their updated healthy plate guidelines) agrees that a nutrient rich diet is one that consists mainly of plant based foods like fruits and vegetables. These foods are naturally engineered to work with our bodies rather than against them, and are powerhouse sources for many of the vitamins and minerals we need to function at our best. As an athlete, eating foods that give you fuel on your performance days while helping you recover on your days off is vital to your overall success.
2. It’s Nutrient Rich Food
The more calories you burn and the more energy you expend on physically taxing activities, the more nutrients you need to have in your diet. This means eating far more dark leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables, and “eating the rainbow” when it comes to incorporating fruits into your diet plan.
3. It’s Easy to Include Protein
For protein sources, many beans, grains, and legumes will be excellent additions to your diet. One cup of cooked black beans provides approximately 15 grams of protein, while the superfood Quinoa can serve up 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per serving.
4. A Plant Based Diet is Efficient
Among the many plant based diet benefits is the overall efficiency of your body. The nutrients in plant based foods metabolize more easily, and can be more readily used during your intense workouts and training sessions. Consuming a diet rich in natural food sources of vitamins and minerals - nuts, seeds, and plant based oils (think coconut or extra virgin olive) - will keep you in tip top shape, and will help you handle any athletic feat you can dream of taking on.
Although, in order to really ramp up your performance, supplementing your plant based lifestyle with other methods of recovery and wellness is important.
Naturally Boost Your Plant Based Diet
As any true athlete knows, diet and nutrition are only small parts of your overall health and success. To optimize your performance, you need to train smarter, not harder. With new research and proven results from trials, new technologies such as CVAC are emerging that offer athletes natural ways to maximize recovery and achieve performance enhancement without supplements.
Combined with a plant based diet, athletes in the 21st century can achieve remarkable results from their training without the need for meat-based protein and expensive (or illegal) performance enhancing supplements. Why not make the switch, today!
Devin Haman | BHRC Co-Founder
Devin Haman is the co-founder of the Beverly Hills Rejuvenation Center, an anti-aging and medical spa specializing in state-of-the-art treatment methods that make you look and feel younger. He is recognized as one of the 100 most powerful people in the United States according to Item Magazine, and founder of the famous Sunset Tan tanning salons, frequented by pop culture princesses Britney Spears, Megan Fox, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Kim Kardashian.