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Here’s the quick and dirty truth about gearing your body up for athletic feats: optimizing your body for plant-powered athleticism isn’t all that difficult; in fact, it might be even easier than when on conventional diets for the following reasons:
Now that we have that covered, let’s think more about what you should be doing to gear your body up, plant-based style:
Food affects your brain, plain and simple. For many of us, it’s a lot of psychological stuff —should I eat this? should I eat that?—but, for all of us, it’s a physical reality. Most people these days know that they should be eating omega-3 fatty acids, but not all of us know why. Well, it’s a brain thing, and beyond that, there are many other foods, vitamins and minerals that keep the brain amped for performance. And, remember, while athletes undoubtedly need strong muscles and endurance, the brain is pretty important for things like reaction times, motor skills and concentration.
Luckily, a plant-based diet in no way lacks what we need for a well-fueled brain:
Water, water, water, water, water. Say it again: water! Every single diet specialist tells us to stay hydrated, to get that adequate amount of water each day, and they are right. Especially when it comes to being an athlete. As far as I know, this by-and-large stays within the plant-based criteria. Another important part of hydration that gets thrown around is electrolytes—what all the sports drinks bang their bottles about. Well, we got those, too. Natural versions!
Topping off your fluids before, during and after workouts is amongst one of the most important thing an athlete does.
Again, muscles are great, but without the energy to run them, they are more or less fodder for photos. Athletes need energy – typically, lots of it. I would dare to say all sports require it. So, it’s important to keep the body stocked with the right stuff, and it is not protein. Here we are looking for some B vitamins, potassium, magnesium and, yes, some sugars — like from whole fruits — aren’t a bad thing for kicking into overdrive.
Plants are all about providing us with energy:
The point here, however, is that plant-based nutrition is a super source for athletes, and it’s no big achievement to optimize your body on plants alone. In fact, looking back at this list, it’s probably a good idea. Some would say logical.
Image source: tableatny/Wikimedia Commons
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