You may be telling yourself that being a plant-based athlete or becoming one isn't possible. How can one get all the nutrients to develop muscle strength without animal products? You might be surprised to hear that following a plant-based diet is a very effective way to be successful with training and recovery! We asked Registered Kinesiologist and Training Coach Lance Codner for a few tips on how he finds success.
One of the biggest concerns many athletes have is getting enough protein in their diet. Lance states, “I try to explain to my clients that our bodies do not need as much protein as we are lead to believe... it’s very easy to get adequate amounts with a Vegan diet.” People often over consume protein with an animal-based diet as we’ve been told it should be the main component to every meal. Lance also mentions “The benefit from getting protein from plant foods, is that along with all the protein, your body is getting important vitamins and minerals, but avoiding saturated fat and cholesterol."
The next common concern is if the athlete is eating enough calories. Plant-foods such as grains, legumes, and nuts, are nutrient and caloric dense, meaning they will fill you up and give you long-lasting energy. We asked Lance what a typical meal would look like for him, he says “My favourite meal is lentil curry with rice and vegetables, and for breakfast, I usually have a bowl of oatmeal with apple, blueberries, peanut butter, a banana, and sometimes a protein shake.” Plant foods are very high in fibre meaning they will keep you full for longer, which is ideal for athletes.
Finally, people are often worried about running out of energy too quickly. We asked Lance what the most noticeable change was for him when he transitioned to a plant-based diet 2 years ago, “The first change was an increase in energy and feeling less ‘sluggish’. I feel a steady energy level now.” Since plant-foods are so nutrient-dense, your body is able to supply the needed vitamins and minerals to recover much quicker.
Lance also mentioned it was so much easier to lose body fat since he was naturally eating less fat and cholesterol. He didn’t feel like he had to starve himself or eat less to be thinner.
Being a plant-based athlete is becoming more common as we’re starting to learn the amazing health benefits from eating this way. More and more athletes are converting as they see the results and enjoy the overall benefits. The important thing to remember is to eat a balanced meal with grains, vegetables, and legumes, and don’t be afraid to eat a lot!
Lance is a Professional Training Coach at NOVA Health Club in Oakville. NOVA would like to offer all of Savor's clients a FREE initial consultation and training session. To take advantage of this generous offer, you can email email@example.com and someone will get back to you ASAP.