The best nutritionist in Bangalore says, vegan diets have become the talk of the town amongst millennials and gen-z as they become more and more aware about health and lifestyles. The craze around vegan diets and its benefits have also found their way into sports nutrition and the number of athletes going for vegan diets and switching their dietary needs and lifestyles are rapidly increasing. Several famous athletes such as Scott Jurek (runner) and John Salley (basketball player) have recently revealed that they follow a vegan diet. 

As per the best nutritionist in Bangalore, it is important, here, to understand the basic difference between a vegetarian and a vegan diet. Vegetarians do eat mostly plants, but allow some dairy, eggs, or even fish is a part of their diet. Vegans, on the other hand, eliminate all animal products from the diet. They may even avoid supplements that come from animal sources or even clothing made from leather or animal products. However, the question does remain in the minds of an individual as to whether such diets work well for all sports and can any athlete switch to such a lifestyle?

To start eating a diet that is a well-planned plant based diet is a great way to manage and in some cases, possibly prevent chronic diseases and lower the risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and even cancer. Such a diet can be a nutritionally sufficient and adequate for the average person but a diet as such which has the strictest restrictions on the food that a person consumes, an athlete with special nutrient requirements may face a problem in fulfilling his additional needs.

In order to supplement a higher level of performance and long hours of physical training, the nutrition needs increase which if ignored, can lead to a mildly suppressed immune function due to increased killer cells and neutrophil function. Also, higher level of physical activity and performance puts athletes at a risk of developing increased oxidative stress, which can lead to long term body damage and putting the body at a high risk of contracting diseases.

According to the best nutritionist in Bangalore, this can be neutralised through the consumption of highly oxidised food items. Vegan diets full of fruits and vegetables help to take care of both of these conditions. Most of the fruits and vegetables have a high amount of antioxidants thereby helping the body of the athlete to attenuate some of the damage caused due to intense physical exercise and activity on a daily basis.

The potential for vegan diets, however, goes further too. A well-planned vegan diet can prove to be highly beneficial to help faster recoveries from the antioxidants. However, it is still difficult to shake the belief that some people have regarding animal products being a necessity for athlete performance due to their high protein content. As per the best nutritionist in Kolkata, it is a common mistake to idealise that animal protein is absolutely critical to athletic performance.

This biased view and over emphasis over the importance of protein makes athletes ignore the need for sufficient carbohydrates that are essential for a body to perform. They are overlooked also because of the misconception that consumption of carbs make you gain weight without understanding hoe the body stores glucose which is essentially the fuel the muscles need to perform. The more ready these fuel stores are, the more readily will the muscles perform and yield a higher energy output. Thus, a higher intake of these healthy carbohydrates allows athletes to perform at high intensity levels.

Animal protein like eggs and meet have in store all of the essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own, but vegan sources for the same also exist. Combining different sources of plant protein can also give the body all the amino acids.  Having said all this, special nutritional concerns do arise when prescribing vegan diets. These are some of the primary nutrients that can become a source of concern for athletes since they may be lacking in vegan diets: omega-3s, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12. As per the best nutritionist in Bangalore, supplements need to be prescribed in accordance with these deficiencies to ensure the athlete doesn’t suffer due to a change in his eating style and rather be able to enjoy the benefits of switching to a vegan lifestyle.