How to support athletic performance on a vegan nutrition plan.
So, you’re vegan or thinking about swapping to more plant-based options? Embarking on a new way of eating can be tricky at first, particularly when your eating habits need to support an active lifestyle. That’s why we asked Bodyset Nutritional Therapist Ryre Cornish to tell us how to build a vegan nutrition plan that supports sports performance and everyday health.
Boost your B vitamins
Most of our bodies use carbohydrates as a main energy source. But did you know B vitamins are necessary to make this happen? An athlete eating a higher carbohydrate diet will require more B vitamins to absorb the energy. B vitamins can sometimes be a little trickier to source as a vegan. To help your body soak up energy from carbohydrates, fill your plate with the following vitamin B rich foods: sunflower seeds, navy beans, black beans, barley, pinto beans, lentils and oats, shiitake mushrooms, avocado, sweet potato, cremini mushrooms, lentils, dried peas, broccoli, spinach, and bananas.
Forkful of fibre
Fibre feeds the gut, supports gut bacteria diversity, and optimises nutrient intake to enhance athletic performance. Increasing the variety of vegetables on your plate is important for improving performance. This might seem easy as a vegan, but variety is key! Aim for eight different sources of vegetables and two fruits a day.
Protein for power
Protein is necessary to build the body and repair cells. This is pivotal for athletic performance and you don’t have to be a meat eater to meet your daily requirements. Tofu, tempe, lentils, chickpeas, beans, nuts, seeds, nutritional yeast, spelt, quinoa, peas and spirulina are excellent sources of vegan protein.
Fill up on fats
Healthy fats help reduce inflammation in our bodies – helping to prevent injuries and reduce pain. Aim to consume at least one of the following per day: nuts, seeds, avocado, olives, olive oil, flaxseed and oil, chia seeds, coconut chunks, and coconut oil.
Keep your body alkaline to prevent injury. Additional stress on our system results in a more acidic environment which may result in illness or injury. Celery is a water-rich veggie and an excellent acid neutraliser. This is great for easy snacking during the day to maintain healthy hydration and alkalinity. Aloe juice is incredibly alkalising and loaded with electrolytes, trace minerals, antioxidants and polysaccharides. Pure aloe juice or gel gives one of the quickest alkaline boosts.
Vegan nutritional support
The above tips are a useful guide for anyone aiming to support athletic performance with a vegan nutrition plan. However, Ryre Cornish believes that everyone is unique, with individual nutritional and lifestyle needs. Using practical, manageable, and sustainable recommendations tailored to individual lifestyles and health goals – she aims to educate, empower, and inspire people to optimise their health and thrive in all areas of their lives.
If you’d like to learn more about how to optimise your diet to support your lifestyle and your individual goals, then call 0330 333 0435 to book an appointment or a free 15-minute nutritional therapy consultation today.