It has been revealed by several top athletes that they follow a vegan diet, and according to many, it is the main reason for their peak performance. Besides, people are switching to this type of diet due to the scientifically-proven benefits that make it useful in preventing the development of chronic diseases. The purpose of this article is to give an overview of a vegan diet for athletes.
What Is The Distinction Between Vegan Diet And Vegetarian Diet?
Vegetarians mostly eat plant-based food items, but they do use animal products and by-products like milk, butter, cheese, and eggs, etc., in food preparations. On the contrary, a vegan diet excludes all types of animal products and by-products. They use alternatives like soy, oat, and almond milk, and tofu, etc., in their vegan meal prep. The most widely cited reasons for people opting for a vegan diet are the health benefits, followed by ethical and religious beliefs. Whatever be the reason, people are motivated, and the trend is catching up. Also, the revelation by athletes following this type of diet has added to its credibility.
Benefits Of Vegan Diet For Athletes
Athletes require nutrition that supports their high levels of performance, and this must be kept in mind when switching to a vegan diet. Also, their intense training has a minor adverse effect of weakening the immune system because of the sustained levels of physical stress. This makes them prone to diseases and infections. Besides, it has been found from studies that the immune-boosting properties of plant-based food make those who follow them less likely to get sick.
The other issue with intense athletic training is the high levels of oxidative stress due to the formation of free radicals as a result of increased metabolism. This can potentially damage the cells and tissues. Many plant-based foods have high antioxidant content that neutralizes free radicals and protects the body from damages due to oxidative stress. So, consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables attenuates the damage due to intense athletic training.
Nutritional Concerns Of Vegan Athletic Diet
A well-planned vegan diet gives athletes the right nutritional benefits, protects their body from damaging effects of their intense training, and helps with faster recovery. Listed below are the primary nutrients that are important for better athletic performance.
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
On a final note, when planning a vegan diet for athletes, you must consider the amounts of critical nutrients mentioned above contained in the food.