Day by day, the number of athletes cutting off animal products entirely from their diets and incorporating plant-based foods instead are increasing rapidly.
Famous professional athletes including surfer Tia Blanco, bodybuilder Nimai Delgado, ultra-marathon runner Scott Jurek, NFL star Tom Brady, the entire Tennessee Titans defense, tennis player Venus Williams, mixed martial arts pro Mac Danzig, and strongman Patrik Baboumian have all adapted a plant-based lifestyle.
While the vegan diet is quickly nudging its way into the mainstream of our ever-evolving society, a lot of individuals have numerous questions regarding the benefits it provides. One of the most common questions being: do plant-based athletes have an advantage over carnivores?
The straightforward answer to this query is: yes they do! However, there is a lot more to this dilemma than a simple yes or no! Here is everything you need to know about the advantages that vegan athletes have over non-vegans:
Benefits of Switching to a Vegan Diet
Animal products usually include highly-processed foods and therefore, they contribute to elevating the levels of inflammation in your body. Chronic inflammation has been linked to many health issues including diabetes, strokes, heart attacks, autoimmune diseases and development of atherosclerosis among other severe conditions.
Plant-based diets on the other hand are high in antioxidants, fiber and other beneficial phytonutrients and thus they are naturally anti-inflammatory. Therefore, by switching to a vegan diet and consuming products such as plant-based supplements can help reduce inflammation levels in your body naturally.
Promotes Weight Loss
Many athletes switch to a vegan diet in the hope of building muscles and shedding some fat. Several observational studies suggest that individuals who consume plant-based foods on a regular basis tend to have lowers BMIs than those who don’t.
Furthermore, vegan diets are high in healthy carbohydrates and fiber and make you feel fuller, eventually reducing your calorie intake. Hence, when it comes to implementing a diet that helps promote weight loss and doesn’t require you to limit your serving sizes, vegan meal plans are the way to go!
Improves Overall Health
Not only do studies suggest that people who consume plant-based nutrition might have a lower risk of dying from cancer but they also might have lower blood sugar levels, less risk of developing diabetes and higher insulin sensitivity.
Eliminating animal products from your diet and incorporating more fruits, legumes and vegetables in it have also been linked to a reduced risk of heart diseases. Moreover, when it comes to reducing blood sugar levels and total cholesterol, plant-based diets are believed to be extremely effective.
Along with all the aforementioned health benefits of switching to plant-based foods and vegan supplements, following are some environmental benefits involved too:
- Reduced global warming
- Reduced production of methane / nitrous oxide
- Increase in conservation of water
- Protection of animal species and their habitats
- Prevention of bee population
- Protest against animal testing and animal abuse
We understand that entirely cutting animal products from your diet and becoming a plant-based athlete can seem like an overwhelming task. However, implementing small changes in your meal plans will allow you to switch to a healthier lifestyle in no time and enjoy all the advantages that vegan athletes have over animal-based-diet eaters!
Written By: Elevate Nutrition Founders, Jillian Salomone and Paul Salomone