The Vegan Athlete: How to Succeed
The notion that someone could have a lean, muscular frame and be in incredible shape while practicing veganism is still a new concept. While vegans have known for decades that it is possible to be an athlete and avoid animal products, it has taken most a little longer to come to that realization.
It helps that a lot more famous athletes are adopting a vegan lifestyle. Some were vegan for most of their lives, while others embraced a plant-based, meat-free diet in a bid to improve or prolong their careers.
How Do Vegan Athletes Succeed?
Being a vegan athlete is easier than ever. There are so many protein options available to vegans, such as beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Those who have recently given up meat can even try meat alternatives, such as tofu, jackfruit, seitan, and tempeh.
There is no need for anyone to consume animal products or byproducts if he or she wants to gain muscle mass and get in shape. By understanding what foods provide the best nutrients, coming up with a satisfying meal plan and remaining healthy in other aspects of living, vegan athletes can succeed even more than individuals who consume animal products.
Creative Meal Planning
The beauty of veganism is the sheer number of options available for meals throughout the week. Non-vegans have this idea in their head, which consists of vegans eating salads all day, every day. It could not be further from the truth. I actually rarely eat a salad.
By combining a few of the protein sources mentioned above with incredible vegetables, vegans can craft the ultimate diet to help them pursue their athletic dreams. Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, squash, broccoli, and cabbage are excellent. Even items such as parsnip, mushrooms, peppers, and cauliflower go great in a stir-fry or other dishes.
Much like athletes who eat meat, vegan athletes must focus on the timing of their meals. Each athlete should have a workout, practice and game schedule laid out in front of them for the coming weeks. Visualizing the schedule can help an athlete understand when they should be eating certain foods.
For instance, eating more carbohydrates in the morning can help deliver the energy needed for a full day of working out. Protein-heavy meals are great after workouts, as they can help the muscles rebuild after the stress of heavy weight lifting, training or game participation.
The misconception that a vegan athlete is being held back by their diet is being tossed aside by famous athletes around the world. Any vegan who is an aspiring athlete should know they will get all the proteins and other nutrients their body needs to flourish while avoiding animal products altogether.