vegetarian protein sources

How To Maximise CrossFit Performance On A Vegan Diet

Whether you’ve opted to go meat, egg and dairy free, or are simply flirting with the idea, it’s worth knowing that ditching animal products doesn’t have to negatively impact your performance.

WHAT’S VEGAN?

Vegans are individuals who, whether for health, environmental or ethical reasons, choose to avoid all animal products.

Similarly to the Paleo way of eating, veganism puts a strong emphasis on whole, non-processed foods. These foods, however, do not include any red meat, poultry and fish, nor animal-derived products such as dairy, eggs, gelatin and honey.

TOP PERFORMANCE ON A VEGAN DIET

‘Despite what you might have read or heard, veganism and top athletic performance can definitely go hand in hand.’

You don’t need to take me for my word of it. A simple glance at top vegan athletes will provide confirmation enough!

  • Bodybuilder Robert Cheeke
  • MMA champion Mac Danzig
  • Powerlifter Melody Schoenfeld
  • CrossFitters Billy Prusinowski and Ed Bauer…

Here are a couple of points to keep in mind in order to follow in their footsteps (or at the very least, strive to):

GET ENOUGH PROTEIN

One of the common mistakes made by vegans is to cut out animal products without replacing them by high-protein equivalents. Since protein is needed for muscle function and repair, getting too little can make reaching those PRs harder and the post-workout soreness last that much longer! To get your fill of all the essential amino acids your body needs, simply make sure to consume a wide variety of protein-rich plant foods throughout the day. Great sources of plant-based proteins include:

  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Sprouted grains
  • Seitan
  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Nuts
  • Seeds.

Just keep in mind that, since plant foods are slightly less digestible than animal products, vegans should aim to eat ± 10% more protein per day than non-vegans (1).

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