A plant-based diet may not necessarily lead to better running performance, but it can be easier on your stomach and help lower the risk of heart disease. Plus, there are some great vegan protein bars to help power you through your workouts! Protein is one of the most important nutrients for runners. Runners who are vegetarian or vegan must ensure they get enough. The best sources include grains with legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu, lentils, cheeses, cow and soy milk, and fruits and vegetables.
Easier on the Stomach
If you’re a runner, you know that you need to fuel your body with plenty of carbohydrates. And a plant-based diet provides a good source of complex carbs, which are essential for running performance and recovery.
In addition to a higher intake of complex carbohydrates, a plant-based diet promotes better blood flow and oxygenation of your tissues. A plant-based diet has been shown to increase the rheology of your blood (a measure of its fluidity) within just six weeks.
This can help improve the movement of your lungs during and after runs, which helps you breathe easier and absorb more energy during training and racing. Athletes on plant-based diets have also been shown to recover faster and be more resilient for the next workout, compared with athletes who eat meat or other animal-based products.
However, a plant-based diet can still be difficult for many people to get used to. The best way to get started is to slowly decrease your intake of meat or other animal products over time, and make sure you are still getting enough calories from a balanced diet.
Better Blood Flow
Once a fringe movement, plant-based diets are now gaining popularity among runners. These diets have a lot to offer, and they could make a huge difference in your running performance.
One of the biggest benefits is that a plant-based diet can improve blood flow and oxygenation to your muscles. Athletes can expect thinner or less viscous blood on a plant-based diet, which can make it easier to move through your body and oxygenate tissues.
A plant-based diet also helps reduce the risk of high cholesterol and heart disease. Studies have shown that people with a plant-based diet have lower levels of saturated fat and higher amounts of anti-inflammatory nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, and omega-3, which are all beneficial to cardiovascular health.
Lower Risk of Heart Disease
Runners who stick to a plant-based diet are more likely to avoid heart disease. Specifically, they’re 30 percent less likely to die from all causes and 45 percent less likely to die from heart-related diseases like stroke or heart attack than non-runners.
Those who are persistent runners are even more likely to enjoy these benefits. They’re twice as likely to live longer than never-runners, and that’s because they have a reduced risk of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and other health conditions.
A plant-based diet for runners also helps you keep your weight in check. It can help you shed body fat and increase your VO2 max, the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use when running.
As a general rule, a plant-based diet includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and low-fat dairy. It also limits processed foods and fatty meats, sugary drinks, and salty snacks. Ideally, it’s also low in saturated and trans fats, which can be bad for your heart.
A plant-based diet can provide runners with more energy to complete their training. Vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains are filling without being overly caloric.
Plant foods also contain many of the essential nutrients runners need, including fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients help reduce inflammation and speed recovery after workouts, helping you perform better.
Protein is another important nutrient to consider when eating a plant-based diet. Runners often need more than the average protein intake to support their training and recovery, so incorporating a variety of seeds, nuts, whole grains, and beans will ensure you get the nutrients you need.
In addition to protein, vegan athletes should make sure they are meeting their iron needs. This mineral is necessary to form hemoglobin, which helps carry oxygen throughout the body during exercise.
“The Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet for Runners” is an informative article that discusses the advantages of adopting a plant-based diet for runners. Such a diet can improve overall health, boost energy levels, and enhance athletic performance. Another aspect that can impact runners’ health is abdominal fat, which can be effectively reduced through a tummy tuck surgery. However, to maintain the results of the surgery, it’s crucial to adopt healthy lifestyle habits, including regular exercise and a balanced diet. In this regard, a plant-based diet can complement the benefits of a tummy tuck by promoting weight loss, reducing inflammation, and improving cardiovascular health. Learn more about whether belly fat comes back after a tummy tuck surgery by following the link.