Most of the times, vegetarians always have a tough time following a high protein diet. But, if you are an athlete who desires to stay healthy and energetic, then it’s better to follow a high protein vegetarian diet. Read on this post to know do’s and don’ts of vegan diet for athletes.
In case the individual wants to tone up his body, then the daily calorie intake should be as much as 1600 kcal. Moreover, the 1600 kcal diet should constitute 18 percent protein which is equivalent to 80 grams of protein.
If the objective is to enhance muscular strength, then the daily calorie intake should be 2500 kcal. With 0.75 grams of protein / lb, the percentage of protein should be 25 percent which is equal to 125 grams of protein.
Apart from protein, an individual requires sufficient minerals and vitamins to perform the activity. Iron is also important because it helps to supply an adequate amount of oxygen to active muscles. For the development of bones, the athlete should also munch on calcium rich food items. Hence, with the essential nutrients in mind, let’ look at the food items which an athlete can eat.
- 1 Best Vegan Diet Foods for Athlete
- 2 Foods Athletes Should Avoid
- 3 Plant Based Diet for Athletes
Best Vegan Diet Foods for Athlete
Sweet potatoes offer many health benefits for sports enthusiasts. While the yellow colored tubers are a rich source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A, they also constitute Vitamin B. The best time to eat sweet potatoes would be when the person is having his lunch and dinner. He can either have them along with black beans or cottage cheese.
If the individual is seeking to increase energy, then he can think about oatmeal along with a protein shake. This breakfast staple would help to increase the calorie count and supply the body with carbohydrates. Besides, since oatmeal is obtained from 100 percent whole grains, the food item helps in mitigating the risk of heart ailments.
Bananas are ideal for those who are active all day long. As the fruit is rich in potassium, it helps to retain the electrolyte level which might drop due to perspiration. Ways beyond, bananas support muscle development and aid to control blood pressure.
In case you are going to eat the fruit during breakfast, then you can have them with peanut butter or chocolate milk.
Under the category of fruits, oranges should always be included in the diet for athletes. Such kinds of fruits are rich in Vitamin C which boosts the immune system. Regular consumption of the citrus fruits can help to increase the level of testosterone which plays a vital role in the development of muscles.
Berries always have a positive impact on health because it’s full of anthocyanins and chemicals good for the brain. According to a research, quick recovery could be attained after drinking a blueberry smoothie. Alternatively, the individual can complement some blueberries with yogurt or eat oatmeal with raspberries.
Nuts & Seeds
All nuts and seeds are considered to be healthy if they are eaten in limited quantities. While the former reduces exercise induced physical stress, the latter maintains overall health due to antioxidants. When it’s time to enjoy a breakfast, the athlete can have pecans, almonds, cashews and Brazil nuts.
Foods Athletes Should Avoid
Carbonated drinks like diet soda should never be drunk after a workout. Since it contains plenty of artificial sweeteners, the drink may mean taking more calories even when the person thinks that he is consuming real food. High sugar intake can also affect health and may not help the person to pace ahead with the fitness goals.
Canned soup is rich in Sodium and may be the root cause for high blood pressure. So, if you’re an athlete, you should resist the temptation of drinking soup because you won’t be able to show your best performance.
Rice cakes have a glycemic index as much as 91 which is close to plenty of glucose. So, once you start enjoying these cakes, the pancreas would secrete more insulin and thereby change the blood sugar level. You would be disappointed if you are chewing on deceptively low calorie snacks.
If an athlete thinks that white bread is a healthy option, then he is under the wrong impression. As he tries to build energy, the bread made from whole wheat wouldn’t furnish the body with fibers. This would ultimately impact the energy level to a greater extent.
Pasta that you eat for a dinner has the same nutritional value as white bread. After all, this can’t be the best food item because it contains zero calories. Alternatively, it’s safe to eat something prepared from whole wheat.
Though the person would like to relax on a weekend, he should avoid drinking alcohol. The beverage is bound to slow down muscle recovery and may not help to sustain weights once he hits the gym the next week.
Nibbling on popcorns roasted in a microwave oven is actually unhealthy because it contains fat and sodium. It’s even worse if you eat popcorns packed in bags lined with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). But, if you wish to have them for snacks, then roast he popcorn in a pan because then you would be supplying the body with a number of antioxidants.
Plant Based Diet for Athletes
A plant based diet should typically include fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. The individual can add supplements like wheatgrass, barley grass, spirulina and alfalfa. For those lip-smacking cuisines, the food should be cooked in olive or coconut oil. It’s always a good idea to enjoy juices, green smoothies and salads.
For breakfast, the athlete should eat juicy fruits and a handful of raw nuts. As an alternative, he can eat Chia seed pudding smoothie with one pound of fruits and three spoons of Chia seeds. In case he prefers eating nuts, then they should be soaked at least for half an hour.
When it’s time have lunch, the individual can drink vegetable juice, and a palate of green salad consisting of lettuce, cucumber, celery, and peppers. After some time, he can think about steamed vegetables and three fourth pounds of mashed potatoes.
Dinner should always be eaten 3 hours before going to bed. The person must have 8 ounces of fresh vegetable juice, green salad, and steamed vegetables. For the green salad, he can enhance the nutritional value by adding avocado or a few slices of fruit.
Finally, as you plan after skimming through the best vegan diet for athletes, you should think about items that would detoxify the body. You should also be patient to see the results as it takes some time to get used to the diet.
Hardip Koradia is a pro health blogger with years of experience in writing resourceful articles on different health topics like alternative health, natural health, home remedies, yoga, diet, etc. His passion for health inspired him to start AyurHealthTips, a growing health blog.