Hello dear readers!
Let me introduce myself. My name is Christophe and I am a devoted runner and cross-country cycling junkie in my free time. I do this mostly solo, sometimes accompanied by my brother, my spinning coach and other folks with who I share these activities.
The question of living a lifestyle combining high intensity sports while tackling a plant-based diet is very common and spoken about in the sports world. A lot of us start wondering if it’s possible to be a conscious eater and a powerful athlete at the same time. The answer is YES. Absolutely. By avoiding the toxins provided by animal proteins, the body can perform excellently.
Here are a few examples of plant-based athletes:
- Scott Jurek (vegan), 7 times a winner at the Western States Endurance race, 160km long and established a new record in the USA in 2012 by running 266km in 24h.
- Murray Rose, an australian swimmer, quadruple olympic champion on 400m, 1500m and 4 x 200m free swim.
- Surya Bonaly, french iceskater and currently a coach. 5 European champion titles, 3 junior world championship medals and 3 senior world championship medals.
- Martine Navratilova. Professional Tennis player. Has won 18 tournaments at Grand Chelem in simple, 31 in double women’s (a record).
- Edwin Corley “Ed” Moses, american athlete specialising in 400m hurdles, 122 undefeated victories between 1977 and 1987, received 2 olympic and 2 world titles.
- Carl Lewis (vegan) famous short distance runner, 9 Olympic medals (8 gold ones).
These are just simple examples of athletes who practice different high-intensity sports and associate human conscience and the purest respect of their bodies. Also, another important thing to note is that these athletes did not gain weight or become overweight after their career. We’re looking at you, Eric Cantona and Bjarn Riis!
Albert Einstein used to say:
Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.
The guy knew exactly what he was talking about.
An athlete or a person practicing some type of exercise definitely needs a range of nutrients to recover their body and build their endurance and strength, as power comes first from within. Proteins are a very important part of them, as digestion transforms them into essential amino acids, 8 of them being essential. In order to succeed doing this, it’s best to play around with different plant-based protein sources such as pulses, grains and nuts. Take a look into this article by Linda to get an insight into plant-based protein sources.
Despite the fact that I am not a vegetarian, I figured out that my best athletic performances have happened when I have been following a plant-based diet the weeks before. What I love to do to complement this nutrient-rich diet is to boost it even further them by snacking on antioxidant-rich foods such as goji berries, integrating the healthiest super powders like spirulina or maca into yoghurts or smoothies, or even create my own treats by combining protein-full quinoa with dark chocolate.
Interested in boosting your athletic performance? Try it and see how you feel about it!
Oh, before I forget! Another athlete that Linda suggested I’d add to this article is Brendan Brazier. A triathlete, he has written a few really great books on plant-based nutrition for athletes, has his own plant-based protein powder formula and his online community to inspire others. Check him out.
Credits: Photo treatment by Linda Dieschbourg.