Many athletes that are considered to be the best of the best are going with a vegan diet. However, many people wonder if going vegan will affect their abilities to perform and if this is overall even a healthy option for athletes to consider?
What is a Vegan Diet?
For those who think they know it all, vegan is not the same thing as vegetarian. This is where many people get confused when it comes to diets. Vegans are going to be eliminating all animal products from their diet. Thus, they only eat plant based items. So, the question really is: is veganism for athletes beneficial or good for them?
Veganism for Athletes: Is It Realistic?
Considering all the rules that are in place for those who are going on a vegan diet, then take into consideration the fast paced life an athlete has, it means that several people find it harder to stick to this strict diet. However, this does not mean that it is not within the realm of possibility. With proper planning and having someone to turn to for the proper diet plans, any athlete can stick to this diet.
However, is this diet going to help the athlete to perform? This type of concern is coming from the fact that most people realize that with a vegan diet you are getting less protein than if you were to be eating a healthy diet consisting of the food pyramid recommendations. However, studies have shown that those athletes who eat a vegan diet yet they also increase the calories they are eating with this diet are able to turn their food into protein that the muscles can use. So, in essence, an athlete is not going to be losing any muscle mass when they decide to go vegan.
Other concerns about a vegan diet for athletes is whether this will affect their overall performance since they are going to be eating a complete plant based diet. One of the biggest things that athletes will have to watch out for is their iron intake. They need to make sure that they are getting plenty of iron or they would suffer from a lowered amount which could affect their overall health. Otherwise, as long as they maintain the proper vitamins and minerals in their system, they will find there should be no effect. In fact, studies are showcasing that this can help the athlete to become a bit better as it is a form of clean eating!