TitlePowered by Plants – Vegan Sports Nutrition
College of Medicine, UK
Plant based diets are nutritionally adequate for not only the general population of all ages but also for athletes. The consumption of whole plant foods such as vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, fruits are far more important in improving sports performance than just focussing on avoiding meat and dairy. While it is common for athletes and sports people to depend on processed nutritional supplements and performance enhancers, the key to improved sports performance is antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and fiber from whole foods. Antioxidants play an important role in sustained sports performance. The overall mean antioxidant content in plant foods is approximately 12 mmol.100g- whereas is 0.18 mmol.100g- in animal based foods. Non refined plant based food due to their high micronutrient content can provide the sports advantage amongst those following vegan diets. High fat content and inflammatory proteins in animal based foods can suppress the immune system as well as result in increased oxidative stress. Whereas consuming vegan food can aid sports people improved immunity due to phytonutrients. Also, oxidative stress a natural outcome of intense training amongst athletes can be effectively managed with Phyto rich whole plant based diets. It is a myth that vegan diets do not offer sufficient protein for sports performance. In fact, there is sufficient evidence that excess protein intake can affect kidney functions, bone health, cardiovascular health and affect calcium stores. Both for sports performance and long term health, whole plant based diets are adequate. This presentation will discuss the sufficiency and the advantage of whole plant based diets for sports performance. The presentation will offer specific guidelines on plant based foods and their impact on sports performance.