One of the biggest questions that arise to anyone who wants to follow a vegan diet or is simply curious about it is, do you get enough protein?
Almost all of us grow up believing that the only sources of protein are animals. So how on earth can someone following a vegan or a vegetarian diet get enough protein to build muscles or be an athlete?
Vegan/Vegetarian Diet For Athletes
A vegan, or vegetarian, diet is an adequate way for athletes to get in their required proteins, complex carbs, and all other nutrients.
Most of the calories for an athlete following a vegan/vegetarian diet should come from complex carbohydrates such as whole-wheat, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, fruits, and vegetables. Complex carbohydrates are essential for fueling the muscles with energy.
As for the protein, many vegan/vegetarian options contain an abundance of protein; legumes, nuts, whole-grains, and tofu. There are also many options for vegan/vegetarian protein supplementation.
A lot of vegan/vegetarian foods contain fats; nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados contain the fats that the body needs for optimal functioning.
Famous Athletes That Follow A Vegan/Vegetarian Diet
Mike Tyson, Boxer
Mike Tyson, former boxing heavyweight champion attributes his current health to going vegan. It first began when he was trying to detox the congestion he had from all the drugs he has done, high blood pressure, arthritis and overall bad health. After going vegan and seeing how all these health issues have diminished, Tyson embraced the plant-based lifestyle completely.
Venus Williams, Tennis Player
After being diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease causing fatigue and aching joints Venus Williams took the decision to become a vegan. Williams drinks a lot of juices and smoothies and prefers to eat a lot of raw vegan foods. She credits her athletic performance to the shift in her diet that gave her back energy and the ability to manage her disease.
Mac Danzig, Martial Artist
At age 16, Mac switched his diet and lifestyle to a vegan diet out of respect and care for nature and animals. He was advised to go back to eating meat in order to perform well in his matches, but Danzig insisted and went back to veganism a month before one of his fights, which he won as well as the 12 fights after that.
Carl Lewis, Track and Field
During his career, Carl Lewis won a total of 10 medals, 9 of which were gold. Lewis decided to turn Vegan for the health benefits that are associated with the diet and lifstyle. A Vegan diet offered him more satiaty and less calories, all of which he believes played a role in his performance. Lewis set all his personal records as the age of 30, when he had started following a vegan diet.