The Right Nutrients for the Vegan Athlete

The Right Nutrients for the Vegan Athlete

Over the decades, veganism has been stigmatized and many people dismiss any idea that seems to deduce any form of athletic strength and prowess from consuming a vegetarian diet. Many believe such prowess can only be achieved through the consumption of diets rich in meats, dairy and poultry products.

In the recent past, however, more and more athletes have embraced veganism owing to the positive results and this trend might soon absorb the remaining “meat-eaters” across the sporting community.

That said! In this article, we will take you through the basic nutritional tips for a vegan athlete or those that are planning to adopt a vegan diet.

Have a meal plan

Any sportsman should have an eating plan whether vegan or not. The vegan should know what to eat before work-out, the recovery nutrition and hydration each day. It is important to note that there are certain nutrients vegan athlete needs and they should get enough of them on a daily basis.

The proteins

Most people think that a vegan diet must be free from any proteins. Contrary to this, a vegan diet must include enough proteins but you need to be very mindful of what proteins to incorporate in every meal. Protein intake should be spread throughout the day meaning that equal portion must be included at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Vegan proteins include;

  • Peas
  • Lentils
  • Soy
  • Nuts
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts
  • Nut butters
  • Seeds (pumpkin seeds, chia, etc.)

Lots of Calcium

Calcium is undeniably an important nutritional component in an athlete diet owing to the fact that the bones are subject to immense stress on a daily basis; as such calcium is needed to strengthen the bones.

Include the healthy fats

Vegans athletes need to consume enough calories and healthy fats from plants such as avocados, algae, nuts, and oil so as to help replace the calories lost during workout sessions. The fats also help to keep the heart healthy which is important during strenuous activities.

Do not forget about B12

Vitamin B12 is mostly found in meat and poultry products and as such, a vegan athlete is likely to miss on this important nutrient. Most vegans opt to take a supplement but they are a couple of vegan sources of B12 for athletes.

Check the label on nutritional content

Always check on the nutritional contents for possible inclusion of any animal products. Most sport nutritional products contain honey which is why you should always check on such products before making any purchase decision.

Try and cook your meals if possible

As stated earlier, a vegan should always think about what to include in the meal beforehand and the best way they can do this is by preparing their meals whenever possible. This helps to ensure they get all that they need. This can easily be achieved by following the approved vegan recipes for athletes and such information is available in the public domain

The Perfect After Workout Snack

The Perfect After Workout Snack

Do you ever notice that athletes put so much effort into planning their diet prior to training? Most athletes go to great lengths to ensure that their bodies have all the nutrients they need before training. But what you eat immediately following your workout is just as important but many athletes seem to neglect this vital recovery period. By neglecting to give their bodies the nutrients that they vitally need they are often missing the narrow window of opportunity to replenish damaged muscles.

Using Energy

During a hard workout, your body will have burnt up much of the protein that you so carefully consumed prior to your training. And a lot of people think that they don’t really need to take protein again until just before their next workout. This makes it very difficult for your body that is trying to recover and strengthen itself immediately after a workout. It’s at this precise time that your muscles need the correct snacks to aid a speedy recovery.

Getting Protein

The amount of protein and carbs your body will need will depend on the intensity of the workout you have just undergone, as well as the type of exercise. The recommended amount of protein that your body will need immediately after a workout is about 0.14 to 0.23 grams for every pound of your body weight. But don’t be afraid to take more protein if you want to. And the important thing to remember here is that this protein needs to be taken as soon as possible after finishing your workout. This is the window of opportunity you hear nutritionists talking about. It’s often said that as soon as you have caught your breath it’s time to snack.

Protein and Carbs

So a snack that is high in protein and also high in carbohydrates is what your body craves following a good training session. But what are the best snacks? The good news is that there is a wide selection of great tasting foods that fit the bill. Given that you have worked so hard to take care of your body it’s unlikely that you will want to take highly processed foods. And you’re correct to avoid them where ever that’s possible and convenient.

White bread is high in carbs and is perfect for sandwiches or even roll. Remember that you still need to satisfy the protein requirement and there are plenty of foods that fill that bill as well. Some salmon in that white bread sandwich would perfectly fit the bill as would most red meats. If you’re adding read meat to your roll or sandwich you may like to remove the fat first. If a drink is more to your liking why not try a non-fat chocolate milk drink, very refreshing as well as satisfying your thirst. A friend of mine always takes a few dates just after a workout but that won’t be to everyone’s taste. A tin of creamed rice pudding can be eaten straight from the tin and is a great post-workout snack too.