Shirtless man in yoga inversion pose.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that people generally want to get in shape. Whether you consider yourself a professional athlete or someone who simply wants to improve their fitness, the physical rigor is only one aspect to getting started. Nutrition plays an equally important role in getting into shape. And yes, vegan diets can get you to where you want to be, despite the popular misconception that veganism is a protein-deficient regimen.

Vegan nutrition is not inferior to animal-based nutrition.

Period. However, as those who have achieved their fitness goals can tell you, an effective nutrition and exercise plan needs to be in harmony in order to see the best results. Below are four exercise and diet tips for vegans to boost their physical fitness and overall wellness.

Nutrients

There are really three primary nutrients that are essential to getting in shape: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. As a vegan, finding good protein may seem tricky, but it’s actually quite simple. Tofu, tempeh, lentils, and beans are excellent sources of protein. Tofu is a popular substitute for meat-based products. As far as health benefits are concerned, tofu contains all nine amino acids, as well as iron and calcium. Avocados, nuts, and even dark chocolate are fat-rich options for vegans that provide the necessary amounts of fat for your exercise routine. What people often do not realize is that instead of depriving your body of important nutrients, vegan- and plant-based diets actually help you enjoy a higher nutrient profile than those who stick to a typical American diet.

Protein Powder

To support lean muscle growth it is insanely important to make sure that your body is getting enough protein in the workout process. While protein can be obtained from vegan-friendly foods like quinoa, lentils, and nuts, protein in supplement form is another easy option. Whey or rice protein powders are a convenient way to ensure that you have enough protein calories to build muscle. So, if you have aspirations to become the next vegan bodybuilder, protein powder is a safe and simple bet. Besides, recent studies have shown that consuming too much animal protein can contribute to chronic illnesses. If all of this isn’t enough to convince you, NutritionFacts.org has conducted research that has debunked the myth that plant proteins are incomplete; in fact, they contain the same amount of amino acids as animal protein and dairy.

Alkaline for Recovery

When eating for energy in your workout routine, increasing your intake of alkaline-rich foods is a great idea. Don’t let a word like “alkaline” fool you into thinking that you need to drastically change your eating habits. In fact, consuming energizing, alkaline foods really only means that you eat more fruits and vegetables. Alkaline plant-based foods keep the body from becoming too acidic, which can lead to reductions in bone density and muscle wasting. Alkaline-rich fruits and vegetables not only promote musculoskeletal health, but they are extremely important to the recovery process after a day’s worth of your workout routine. Foods like bananas, spinach, or sweet potatoes are examples of alkaline-based foods that will help keep your energy levels up in the gym, and your recovery effective while resting at home.

Align Your Goals

This step is so often overlooked whether you are vegan or not. Making adjustments to your exercise routine and eating routine is crucial to ensure that your goals are aligned. For example, if you plan on cardio training for any given day, then you should also plan on consuming carbohydrates. If you want to lift weights, make sure that you increase the consumption of proteins on the days when you hit the gym to do so. Making these adjustments is an important step in optimizing the efficiency of your workouts. Remember to give yourself at least three to four hours between meals and exercise to avoid nausea. Most importantly, ignore the general misconceptions that vegan diets will not help you achieve your fitness goals. Vegans all over the world enjoy fulfilling and healthy lifestyles, and you can too!    

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About The Author

Indy Summers's picture

Indy Summers is a freelance writer interested in fashion, healthy living, and fitness. She has worked as a master in esthetician, as a personal trainer, and as a freelance model for several years so considers herself an expert in these industries. For more of her work, visit https://nouw.com/indysummers.

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