Plant-Based Diets and Exercise Performance. Do You NEED Meat?

by | Mar 15, 2020

Plant-based lifestyles are gaining popularity, including vegan lifestyles. Often, exercise and sports performance are correlated with protein in the nutrition world. However, does that “need” to be? Are meat-eaters (omnivores) able to gain a competitive edge because of their diets that contain high biological value protein sources? Elite athletes such as Tom Brady, former heavyweight champion boxer David Haye, and Venus Williams are vegans leading their respective sports in performance. Whether you’re a vegan, a committed exerciser with interest in a plant-based lifestyle, or an elite athlete looking for a competitive edge by way of nutrition, we hope this episode brings you some increased knowledge around this topic.

Nutrient Vegan-friendly sources
Protein Pulses, grains, legumes, tofu, quinoa, nuts, seeds, vegetables
ALA Flax seeds, walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds
EPAa Seaweed, algae
DHA Microalgae oil, seaweed
Vitamin B12 Supplements, fortified foods, plant milks, nutritional yeast (fortified), fermented soyb, mushroomsb
Iron Legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, fortified foods, green vegetables
Zinc Beans, nuts, seeds, oats, wheat germ, nutritional yeast
Calcium Tofu (calcium set), fortified plant milks and juice, kale, broccoli, sprouts, cauliflower, bok choi
Iodine Seaweed, cranberries, potatoes, prunes, navy beans, iodized salt
Vitamin D Lichen-derived D3 supplements

aEPA can also be enzymatically converted from ALA and retroconverted from DHA []

bMight not be a reliable source of this nutrient

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Resources and Show Notes

Vegan Diets: Practical Advice for Athletes and Exercisers. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2017

Hippo7 Vegan Supplement

Glory Foods (greens in a can, so delicious!)

88 Acres seed butters

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