Saturday, November 7, 2009

Who says you have to eat meat to be a successful athlete?

Back in April of 2008, after watching a couple DVD's/documentaries, and reading a couple books to further educate myself about diet, sports nutrition, and the real history of what humans ate as we evolved (dietetically) I decided to go mostly vegan. By mostly, I mean I am not going to turn down a chocolate chip cookie if it was made with butter, instead of vegan margarine. Also, many people hear 'vegan' and think non leather wearing-twig eating-tree hugging-anti hunting-weirdo, etc, etc. Its not like that. The word vegan is the same as saying 'strict vegetarian', but when you say vegetarian, people think you don't eat meat, but think you still cheese/dairy. The common question someone asks when they hear you don't eat meat or dairy are: "How do you get your protein?" Followed by a close second is: "How do you get your calcium?" Truthfully, the thoughts we have about sources of protein and calcium are not based on nutrional facts, but based mainly on marketing by meat and dairy producers, but that's a whole different conversation.

Anyway, I found an article that highlights a handful of athletes, from various sports, that are vegan or mostly vegan. Before you read the article thinking that these are going to be obscure nobody's, here are the athltetes who's stories are in the article:

In the article, you'll see that a vegan diet doesn't make you bullet proof nor does it make you perform better, necessarily, but from a common-guy standpoint, I can attest to the common claims touted by others that you recover faster from workouts, you suffer less lactic acid build up (as certain dairy products contribute to that), you feel better overall, have more energy and are quicker to 'wake up' in the morning. And I can bunny-hop a bus with my road bike. Ok, that last one is not true. Click below for the article--its a good read:

Who says you have to eat meat to be a successful athlete?

NOTE: not mentioned is Dave Scott, 6 time Ironman World Champion--he won all his titles on a plant based vegan diet. He has since added some meats to his diet (mainly of the fishy kinds).


rideonpurpose said...

please don't show my girlfriend this- it's awful hard to find egg, in particular, free meals locally at restaurants. Seems virtually all condiments are egg based. Neither of us eat a ton of meat though, and she has been a long-time vegetarian who is trying to go vegan.

Mario said...

Thanks Mar for being so dedicated to improving our diets at home. Becoming mostly vegan has been great for our family. Striving for a plant based diet vs. a diet that is heavily animal based truly has it's benefits and what better way to have more control over your health.
Your Wife.