You might be surprised to learn that the vegan diet is not unheard of to many top performing athletes. Here’s a quick list from wikipedia:
- Ken Bradshaw (Professional Big Wave Surfer)
- Peter Brock (Australian touring car driver)
- Mac Danzig (professional mixed martial arts fighter)
- Scott Jurek (ultramarathon runner)
- Carl Lewis (track and field star)
- Mike Mahler (Professional strength coach)
- Martyn Moxon (English cricketer)
- Salim Stoudamire ( Professional NBA Player)
Many people are afraid of what they might be giving up if they commit to a vegetarian or vegan diet. Surprisingly, many find that they discover a way of living and eating that they were missing out on. Recovery fuel is very important after a workout. Several athletes turn to sports drinks to replace electrolytes and restore glycogen that gets depleted during activity. For a while milk was campaigning that it was the perfect way to recharge after a workout. It’s not. Nor is it a prime selection for the average human being. Just for a moment, forget everything that you’ve been brought up believing about milk. Now think about your strong, energetic dog who can play fetch endlessly without growing as tired as your pitching arm. When Fido was a puppy he drank milk from his mother. The puppy drank dog’s milk; not cat’s milk, not cow’s milk, or any other milk produced by any other animal. Once Fido grows out of the puppy stage and can safely survive without his mothers milk then he gets his nutrition from solid food sources and when he is thirsty – yep, water. No, he doesn’t go seeking out any milk sources from any other living being.
Then same goes for all animals. Babies need their mothers milk, but beyond that they survive and thrive without milk products. Milk allergies are actually very common in adults. The idea that a person’s nutrition or sports performancde will suffer with out milk is a false notion. There are plenty of nutrients in the fresh diet that athletes and active people should be consuming. Check out the Vegan Athlete for ideas. Vegetarian Sports Nutrition is a book that suggests meal plans for activities ranging from endurance sports to bodybuilding. Even if you are not wanting to go vegan, variety it the spice of life. Please your palate with something new and don’t be afraid to question what and why you put something into your body. Just because it’s been done for decades doesn’t mean it has to be done anymore. Viva vegan, viva happy! -pm
“When you have no restrictions you have less options” -David T. Wilcox on being vegan.