Lewis Hamilton, Virat Kohli, Novak Djokovic and Romelu Lukaku. These are athletes who are not only at the top of their sport, but also pioneers of the plant-based movement. After making the switch, many of them have reported a significant increase in their performance, their recovery etc. But how did a plant-based diet alter their performance?
In an interview with Men’s Health magazine, Lewis Hamilton confessed that he felt the best he has ever felt in his life and he felt “incredibly clean and healthy”.
Novak Djokovic also confessed that switching to plant-based foods helped create a “balance between his strength, speed and performance”, which allowed him to remain one of the finest players in tennis today.
Here are the benefits of going plant based:
- Lean Physique: Within a high-performance diet, one inclusion is fibrous foods such as Oatmeal, Legumes, Green Peas and Quinoa. These fibrous foods often take longer for the body to absorb and break down, hence leaving an athlete feeling full for a longer period.
By eating foods that make you feel full for a longer period, the body develops a leaner physique, which is highly beneficial for athletes.
- Better Oxygenation Circulation: High-intensity sessions are part of the daily routine for an athlete. During these sessions, they must maintain enough oxygen for their muscles to pump through. A diet heavy with fat is often an issue since complex fat molecules enter the bloodstream and can restrict the flow of oxygen to the muscles.
Consuming more plant-based foods allows the body to work more efficiently and allows more oxygen to reach the muscles.
- Glycogen: Glycogen is a carbohydrate which is present in our liver and muscle. It is the source of energy during a workout. Natural sources for glycogen include natural sugars and starches, grains, beans, potatoes, and quinoa. Increased glycogen often gives the muscles the ability to go the extra mile.
- No excess cholesterol: A meat-heavy diet is rich in bad cholesterol and chemicals that can affect the body’s performance. The risk of high cholesterol also increases the possibility of elevated blood pressure and heart disease.
With dependence on meat increasing every day, mainly for processed meat, research indicates a variety of side effects for people with meat-heavy diets. In fact, the WHO in 2015 cautioned that a diet heavy with processed meat could be one of the causes of cancer.
Findings from a forward-looking study on diet and cancer in human history revealed that eating just one-quarter of a chicken breast per day increases the risk of some of the fastest-growing cancers, like lymphomas and leukaemias, by up to 280%.
- Better Recovery: Muscular inflammation and sore muscles are common after workouts, which can conflict with the athlete's performance. Plant foods are rich in polyphenols, which are also excellent in reducing inflammation and boosting blood flow to help recover faster.
As for athletes finding it difficult to switch after a prolonged meat-based diet, plant-based foods have a solution for that. Plant based meat!
These all-natural alternatives developed after years of research and innovation can replicate the taste, texture, strength and structure of meat.
These alternatives, which are made from plant sources such as peas, legumes, soy, and seitan, provide the nutritional benefits these athletes need.
This is why here at Sudo Foods, we have prioritised the nutritional aspect of our plant based meat foods. Our easy-to-cook kebabs, samosas and popcorn are made of with natural ingredients such as soy, seitan and tofu. Moreover, they are high in protein and contain no trans fat and cholesterol, which makes them perfect for the on-the-go lifestyle.