There has been an ongoing debate about whether or not a plant-based diet or veganism is ideal for athletes — whether single, married or with a family. A lot of people claim that it is completely impossible to become a vegan athlete since the body necessarily needs some vitamins and nutrients that can only be found on animal foods or by-products.
On the other hand, several sports enthusiasts and athletes claim that they have not experienced any decline in performance after they shifted to a vegan diet. The question now is: Which between the two views is correct? In this article, we are going to explore the affirmative side of the issue that emphasizes the possibility of becoming a vegan athlete. Here are some of the things that you need to know:
Myth No. 1: It Decreases One’s Energy Levels
The most common misconception about veganism is that it will lead to depleted energy for people who are following it. This statement is incorrect because a plant-based diet tends to increase one’s consumption for fiber, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins.
While it is true that this form of diet can be low in vitamin B12 as well as in omega-3 fatty acids that are only found in meat, fish, dairy or eggs, athletes will not have a problem in increasing their energy levels. The reason behind this is because of the existence of other animal-free food alternatives that can supplement the lack of nutrients from animal food items. As such, it is safe to conclude that a plant-based diet, an athlete gets to have more energy that can help a lot in improving their performance.
Myth No. 2: It Is Difficult To Follow
A typical day for athletes necessarily involves long hours in the gym or a training area. They need to practice on a regular basis to be skilled in what they do and to train the body to reach its maximum potential. For this reason, many individuals are afraid that shifting to veganism can cause the athletes to fail in finding sustenance for their day-to-day training.
At the same time, they also claim that a plant-based diet is difficult to follow because most of the readily available food items contain ingredients that are sourced from animals. Clearly, this is another misconception because the truth is that vegetables and fruits are available everywhere. The reality is that there are already new establishments mainly dedicated to serving the vegan market. Aside from this, anyone can quickly prepare a vegan dish at the comforts of one’s own home. Plant-based recipes are now readily available too.
Myth No. 3: It Can Hinder Training
As already mentioned above, a plant-based diet does not result in depleted energy levels. Therefore, it cannot be said that veganism hinders training activities or plans for athletes. Many physically active individuals are now stronger than ever because of their vegan lifestyle. Clearly, veganism has not taken a toll in their life.
If you are going to look into the list of active athletes in the US, you will see that a large number of them are practicing veganism. You will be surprised to find out that they have become more energetic and powerful because they have chosen to eliminate meat from their diet. When this continues to happen, it will eventually lead to hindrance in their training.
Tips For Vegan Athletes
Now that you are aware of the facts about veganism, it is time to consider it for your own good. Below are some tips that you need to know if you want to start practicing the plant-based diet:
- Take your time to understand more about veganism. Be sure to gather information about being a vegan so that you will know how to follow such a lifestyle correctly.
- Look for a friend or family member who has experience in being a vegan. Connect with this person and feel free to inquire about the things that you need to know. Remember that it is essential to be knowledgeable about the to-do and don’ts.
- Make your own food so that it will be easier on your part to stick to this diet. Do not be easily tempted with sweets and soft drinks. Be sure to resist unhealthy or natural foods that will only prevent you from not achieving your fitness goals.
- Consult with a medical doctor. Do not make any self-diagnosis because it can be dangerous for your health. Book an appointment to your psychiatrist today for a priority.
- Use positive reinforcement in practicing veganism. Whenever you have followed the plant-based diet for one complete month, find an effort to reward yourself. You deserve it since you did not let temptation bring you back to an unhealthy lifestyle.
Plant-based diet or veganism is fantastic, which is probably the reason why it has become so popular around the globe in these modern times.