There is a huge misconception that if you are training to become a competitive athlete, or you are in the process of preparing for a massive athletic event, you are not going to be able to get in the right shape on a vegan diet. It is a misconception because a vegan diet for competitive training is not only possible – but it may be the healthiest way to achieve the level of strength and endurance you want.
Some of the best athletes in the world have improved their longevity and athletic performance by switching to a plant-based diet – instead of consuming the same animal proteins they were always taught to believe would make them stronger. And you can incorporate a vegan diet for competitive training into your regimen – but it will take some education. By learning about the best foods and meal plans, you can ensure that you are in great shape for your athletic event.
A Vegan Diet for Competitive Training
Your mornings can begin as they would normally – with some water and a cup of coffee or tea. Caffeine is good for you in moderation – and a vegan diet is no exception to that rule. If you are planning on a light training session in the morning, you do not even need to eat anything.
But if you are going through a major workout early in the day, you may want to think of making a healthy vegan smoothie to give you the fuel that you need to perform at an elite level. By using your blender of choice, you can add leafy greens like kale or spinach, beets, berries, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, coconut water and a banana – and you are good to go. You will be shocked at how much nutrition and healthy protein is present in this smoothie. And it will taste amazing too!
Vegan snacks are perfect when you are training. Whether it is a plant-based protein bar, a banana, some sweet potatoes or dates, you will get the sugar boost and fuel that you need to continue training or going about your regular routine.
After training, it is all about going with as much nutrition as you can. Another smoothie is a great option if you do not want to sit down and have a massive meal right after working out.
You can add the same foods you did to the first one – and you can put in some plant-based protein powder into the mix too. Adding oats to the smoothie not only gives it some texture, but gives you the carb boost you may need after burning so many calories at the gym.
Lunch and Dinner
For athletes, it is often a choice between lunch and dinner for the big meal of the day. When on a vegan diet for competitive training, it is all about your schedule. If you are not working out the rest of the day, and you are planning on a nice outing in the evening with your family, a big lunch may be in order. You can go with anything that is healthy and plant-based – veggie burgers, rice and beans with veggies, enchiladas or burritos can work great! These are affordable and healthy meals for any athlete.
Your other meal should be a light salad, as you do not want to overdo it on the carbs. Adding fruits, nuts and leafy vegetables to your salad is a great way to get the full spectrum of nutrients that your body needs while training. And if you feel you are missing out on any nutrients, you can make up for it with B12 supplements or other vitamins!
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