The reasons why going vegan today and adopting a plant-based lifestyle could be a game changer for you.
A lot has been said about the vegan diet, especially after the documentary “The Game Changers” went viral. But is it worth switching over to the vegan lifestyle? With so much conversation surrounding the topic, we’ll help answer this question today.
While many gym bros ask you to follow a diet for the sake of it, we are recommending the vegan diet based on research, and the superior results it can provide over the vegetarian and the omnivore diet. Although you may be skeptical, we are here to lay out the facts for you in a way that makes sense so you can make an informed decision for yourself.
What Is A Vegan Diet?
A vegan diet consists of food that does not contain any animal products. This includes meat, eggs, and dairy and people follow a vegan diet for a number of reasons. For some it is the morality about how we treat animals and our consumption of animal products, for others it is about eating a plant-based diet for the health benefits, and for many it could very well be a combination of both.
There are many variations of the vegan diet and it can also be combined with other diets like intermittent fasting, where you only eat in a select window. So while it is strict with no animal products, you do have some versatility in how you conduct a vegan diet. The whole food vegan diet, for example, is based on whole plant foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables, or the raw food vegan diet which is based on raw fruits, nuts, and plant foods cooked at lower temperatures. Whatever you choose, it is ultimately your preference on how you wish to conduct your vegan diet.
Benefits of Following A Vegan Diet
Protein is Not a Problem
Most people dismiss the vegan diet on a lack of protein basis. Some ill-informed people ask aspiring athletes to stay away from the vegan diet. According to these gym bros, eating a plant-based diet can’t give you enough protein.
There is enough data (and recipes) which prove that a vegan diet can help you achieve your daily protein goal of 0.8 gram of protein per kg of body weight – which is recommended by the USDA. As an example, a peanut butter sandwich has roughly the same amount of protein as three ounces of beef or 3 large eggs. For athletes, this is becoming more popular in the world of sports nutrition knowledge (1).
Supplement companies are now starting to make vegan protein powders and supplements so you never have to miss out on any protein. Made with rice or pea protein, and loaded with other nutrients, these are great aids to add to your workout.
Check out our list of the best vegan proteins here!
Considerably Lower Inflammations
Animal products have shown to cause inflammation in your muscles and joints. Plants have anti-inflammatory properties which tackle the muscular inflammations you can get after a workout. Inflammation occurs as the body’s natural response to foreign substances or physical trauma which can lead to chronic pain. Plant-based foods have an abundance of vitamins and minerals to help prevent, stop, and treat inflammation to get rid of any unwanted pain.
On the other hand, if you’re eating animal products like dairy or meat, the anti-inflammatory benefits of the plants are consumed in fighting the inflammations from the dairy products, and your muscles and joints are left on their own. By eliminating animal products, you give your muscle and joints relief from inflammation and let these plant-based foods work their magic (2).
Say No To Animal Cruelty
It’s no secret that inflicting harm on the farm animals is a part of animal agriculture. The cruelty doesn’t stop at the slaughterhouses. The bringing up of cows for milk production forces them to live outside their natural habitat.
In their efforts to stop the inhumane acts done to the animals, vegans abstain from using animal products. Apart from consuming dairy and meat, vegans also stop wearing leather, fur or any other animal skin products.
Save The Environment
The breeding of animals for consumption purposes has one of the biggest carbon footprints. According to this study, plant-based agriculture generates around 1.5 trillion more pounds of “product” than animal agriculture.
Based on these numbers, the report concludes that “plant-based agriculture grows 512% more pounds of food than animal-based agriculture on 69% of the mass of land that animal-based agriculture uses.”
Other Health Benefits
High cholesterol levels are one of the most common problems with meat-eaters which can be completely eradicated by switching to a plant-based diet. Apart from the high cholesterol levels, a vegan diet is the only diet that has shown to reduce the chances of heart diseases (3).
Going vegan is ultimately your choice. With much debate surrounding this diet and lifestyle, each person that commits to the vegan diet is doing it for their own set of reasons. Whether that be morality towards animals, the great health benefits, or a combination of both, you can really benefit from a vegan diet. With companies starting to catch the bug as well, plenty of supplements and other health products are geared towards this diet to help advance your goals in a positive direction. Look into the vegan diet and see how this great lifestyle can really benefit your health, fitness, and performance goals.
*Images courtesy of Envato
- Rogerson, David (2017). “Vegan diets: practical advice for athletes and exercisers”. (source)
- Watzl, Bernhard (2008). “Anti-inflammatory effects of plant-based foods and of their constituents”. (source)
- Kim, Hyunju; Caulfield, Laura E.; Garcia-Larsen, Vanessa; Steffen, Lyn M.; Coresh, Josef; Rebholz, Casey M. (2019). “Plant-Based Diets Are Associated With a Lower Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Disease Mortality, and All-Cause Mortality in a General Population of Middle-Aged Adults”. (source)