The plant-based diet, or vegan diet, is perfectly compatible with the sports lifestyle. Many may believe that following a vegetarian or vegan diet can bring endless nutritional deficiencies for those who practice it. Indeed, this is true. A person immersed in a vegan lifestyle can develop weaknesses, just like a person who is not. No matter what type of diet we try to carry out, if we do not do it correctly, deficiencies, imbalances, and deficiencies will arise. If you are vegan or interested in being vegan and want to start exercising, I hope this article can be useful.
How does it work
Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are considered energy nutrients since they all provide fuel when we exercise. It has been seen that during high-intensity workouts, carbohydrates give the most fuel for muscle contraction. When carbohydrate stores are in lower concentration, the result is fatigue. So what types of carbohydrates are ideal? As I have discussed on previous occasions, complex carbohydrates are the best for athletic performance.
The carbohydrate complexes are found in barley, rice, sweet potato (batata), corn, oats, wheat, and other cereals and pasta products. Beans, lentils, soybeans, chickpeas, kidney beans, and other legumes are also good, complex carbohydrate options. The fruit and vegetables give us a good amount of vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants. Using them after training is very useful for recovery after training due to its fructose content. There are components in plant foods that affect the absorption and metabolism of some nutrients. Being more specific, vitamin C has a fundamental role in this matter. Consume sources of vitamin C improves the cellular capacity to assimilate iron. This mineral is closely related to hemoglobin, a protein that transports oxygen to the cells, improving energy sensation.
Vegetables rich in vitamin C can be spinach, peppers, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and other green leaves. Fruits rich in vitamin C can be a kiwi, melon, papaya, lemon, and other citrus fruits and berries.
Putting in practice
Examples of meals before training can be from a simple fruit such as an apple to making combinations to form a complete meal that includes cereals or legumes, vegetables such as green leaves, and a little fruit. The types of food and the quantities will depend on the goal we are looking for or the sport practiced. For example, a runner may need more carbohydrates and less protein, unlike a strength athlete, who needs more protein and slightly fewer carbohydrates than a runner. It is important not to consume large quantities of fat before training, as its digestion and assimilation can cause heaviness.
The post-workout or post-workout meal can be divided into 2. The first entry should be liquid, in the form of a shake. This can be composed of some fruit, water, or some vegetable milk and protein powder as a supplement (optional). The main meal can be a blend of cereal with legumes, vegetables, and sunflower seeds. Food after training is one of the most important, as it promotes immediate recovery. Protein-dense foods like black beans, soybeans, lentils, tofu, almonds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds, to name a few, are great amino acid-providing options for muscle recovery.
Assume we want to perform at our best and have a good intensity in our routine. In that case, we must avoid consuming simple carbohydrates from refined foods such as flour, sugar, and other processed products containing these ingredients. Always try to choose whole foods. In any case, the consumption of green juices can benefit anyone starting a Fitness lifestyle.
Applying the principle of individualization is important. At the end of the day, look for the options and combinations that best suit our case and experiment with them until we find what works for us, but always trying to adhere to the comprehensive recommendations.