Being vegan is not just a way to protest the abuse of animals in the food industry, but a lifestyle that shapes your view of the world and the way you perceive yourself as well. Yes, it all starts by deciding not to eat meat, eggs and dairy, wear fur or use cosmetics tested on animals, but veganism slowly makes you think differently and act in accordance with its principles. Over the course of time, this reflects on your performance as well and you may start asking yourself if it’s possible to achieve high performance on a non-meat diet. Therefore, here are a couple of nutrition facts and tips for vegan running enthusiasts who wish to achieve great results.
Focus on protein
No matter what you eat, it’s important to focus on proper and healthy ingredients. And since protein is among the most important ones out there, many vegans wonder how they can make sure their meals are packed with enough protein. Even though you don’t eat meat, you can still find protein-rich foods that give you enough strength for a complete workout, and make sure you do your best. Probably the easiest way to do so is by focusing on legumes that are surprisingly rich in protein, even though most people are unaware of the fact. Some of the items you should thus include in your daily menu are tofu, soymilk, peas, miso and various beans – roasted soybeans, winged, mungo or yardlong beans, as well as your traditional white beans. All of these include a sufficient amount of protein even for the most active vegans and should therefore be an irreplaceable part of your daily menu. Another important point to make is that you can find several types of protein supplements that are vegan friendly – and use them to boost your protein intake further. Make sure you read the labels carefully though, and only trust reputable brands.
Plant-based nutrition boosts performance
When working out, how many times have you felt bloated and full of water? While this may be a result of water retention, it’s most probably caused by inflammatory fats found in meat, milk and other animal-based foods and drinks. Due to that, cutting back on these items will consequently cause no inflammation and allow you to feel lighter and better while jogging. Eating plant-based food during your pre-workout routine means you get meals full of nutrients that are transferred into pure energy – moreover, vegetables are certainly better for your bone structure, heart and muscles than meat! Some of the ideas you should look into include nut butter, oatmeal, dried fruit, as well as coffee and lots of water. All of these are packed with helpful ingredients that positively affect your strength, endurance and stamina.
What about runners?
Since long-distance runners can’t rely on pre-workout nutrients as much as they’d like to, they have to think ahead and come up with a smarter plan to get more energy. While most of them stick to water and coffee to get them going, others explore different options and find more creative and effective solutions. For instance, okra, i.e. ladies’ fingers, is a helpful flowering plant full of delicious and nutritive seed pots that can-do wonders for your running. It gives you lots of energy and packs your body with additional doses of vitamins A, C, E and K, which makes all the difference between running a marathon successfully and quitting before the finish line. And the best way to get enough okra into your system is by preparing healthy recipes day after day – whether you prefer stewed, roasted or grilled okra, these ideas will give you inspiration and strength to move on, without an ounce of meat.
Get more help
If this isn’t enough, don’t worry – there are still lots of vegan ideas that can help you achieve high performance. Lots of people give various supplements a shot and are more than surprised with the results. Since every single time you go running must start and end with a proper pre- and post-workout regime, you can safely rely on supplements to provide enough strength to endure the hard training, as well as help you relax and recuperate afterwards. And if veganism is your choice, you should look for vegan-friendly protein supplements that have the same effect, but include no traces of milk, meat and other animal-based ingredients. So, if you’re worried you might not be as efficient as you could be, give these a try for a while and you’ll start feeling much better.
Keep in mind that veganism shouldn’t stop you from achieving your short- and long-term goals. Whether it’s losing some weight, getting ripped or just trying to stay active, don’t change your lifestyle just to reach a certain result. You can do some of these things almost without even trying that hard – losing weight, for example, is possible by running just two miles a day – but if you make a plan and incorporate your veganism into your workout schedule, there’s nothing stopping you!