Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Can Athletes Perform Well on a Vegan Diet?
New York Times ^ | JUNE 20, 2012 | GRETCHEN REYNOLDS

Posted on 06/21/2012 7:44:38 PM PDT by nickcarraway

With the publication this month of "Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness," by the vegan distance runner Scott Jurek, vegan diets have become a wildly popular topic on running-related Web sites. But is going totally meatless and, as in Mr. Jurek's case, dairy-free advisable for other serious athletes, or for the rest of us who just want to be healthy and fit?

To find out, I talked with three experts about why, and whether, those of us who are active should consider giving up meat or more. None of the experts are themselves vegan, though two are vegetarian: David C. Nieman, a professor of health and exercise science at Appalachian State University, who's run 58 marathons or ultramarathons and has studied runners at extreme events; and D. Enette Larson-Meyer, an associate professor of human nutrition at the University of Wyoming, as well as a longtime competitive athlete and author of "Vegetarian Sports Nutrition." A third expert, Nancy Clark, who describes herself as "two-thirds vegetarian" -- she doesn't have meat at breakfast or lunch, but does at dinner -- is a sports nutrition expert in Massachusetts and the author of "Nancy Clark's Food Guide for Marathoners."

Q.

Will a vegan diet make someone a better athlete?

A.

Nancy Clark: I was just at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual meeting in San Francisco, and there was a presentation about vegetarian athletes that basically concluded that there's not enough research to know how vegetarian -- let alone vegan -- diets affect athletes. But anecdotally, people do fine. It's possible that some vegan athletes are low on creatine, a nutrient that you get only from meat and that can help during short bouts of intense exercise, like sprinting, though supplementation isn't necessary.

(Excerpt) Read more at well.blogs.nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Food; Health/Medicine; Sports
KEYWORDS:
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-57 next last

1 posted on 06/21/2012 7:44:41 PM PDT by nickcarraway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Prince Fielder is a vegan.


2 posted on 06/21/2012 7:46:48 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

I was a lacto-ovo-vegetarian until the 90’s. I did resistance lifting, swimming and running 20 miles per week. I worked full time and went to school full time until 1985. My labs and vitals were just fine. As long as you calculate your MDR of protein (grams per Kg), you’ll do ok unless there are confounding variables in the mix.


3 posted on 06/21/2012 7:51:26 PM PDT by Silentgypsy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

works better with steroid shots, I’d think.


4 posted on 06/21/2012 7:51:46 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (they have no god but caesar)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Many bodybuilders are vegetarians.

There’s a lot of protein in plant material. A person won’t be lacking for protein.


5 posted on 06/21/2012 7:52:42 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway
If I eat only cake?

Photobucket
6 posted on 06/21/2012 7:54:36 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek

100% committed vegan , unless you count the side of beef he eats every day.


7 posted on 06/21/2012 7:55:27 PM PDT by Cyman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

FWIW, when the Sikhs gave up on pacifism and decided to fight back against Islamic agression, their leaders instructed them to eat meat so they would grow strong. Important in an era when combat was hand to hand.


8 posted on 06/21/2012 8:00:00 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Justin Verlander eats his special Taco Bell diet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92ch-9WdysQ


9 posted on 06/21/2012 8:03:18 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Humans are designed to eat meat.


10 posted on 06/21/2012 8:07:26 PM PDT by svcw (If one living cell on another planet is life, why isn't it life in the womb?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Gimme sum meat!!!


11 posted on 06/21/2012 8:10:08 PM PDT by Copenhagen Smile
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

My food is vegan, not me.


12 posted on 06/21/2012 8:17:20 PM PDT by EEGator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cripplecreek
Ya know...

... the more he does that, the tireder he's gonna get...

(Pardon my ignorance, but who is that?)

13 posted on 06/21/2012 8:18:32 PM PDT by dayglored (Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

No. Male athletes need meat. After lifting and practice, we would eat and drink like Vikings. On Saturdays, we did battle. What happened to America?


14 posted on 06/21/2012 8:24:07 PM PDT by MattinNJ (Romney? Really? Seriously?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway; a fool in paradise; Slings and Arrows

Coming out of a downtown cafe this evening a few minutes after 6, I passed a man holding a mobile phone and asking someone on the other end: “Do you have on your menu a macaroni and cheese dish?


15 posted on 06/21/2012 8:31:02 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

My friend that was approaching appearing anorexic got some help and decided she could “handle’ being a vegan, not against eating meat, just in her state of not thinking clearly she equated vegan with still not really eating. Later she wanted to start running again and I suggested maybe a little lean meat would help with endurance, muscle, etc. So now she eats turkey, chicken, fish. But has changed her obsession from food to running.

I just think everything in moderation is best. And sometimes more then moderation is good!


16 posted on 06/21/2012 8:35:23 PM PDT by MacMattico
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

The vegan diet is extremely dangerous and can lead to a sickly shortened life.


17 posted on 06/21/2012 8:57:11 PM PDT by bray (Power to We the People)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jonty30

“There’s a lot of protein in plant material. A person won’t be lacking for protein.”

Sure, but you have to consume a lot of plants, and the proper variety, to get enough protein. By contrast, just a bit of meat a day will fulfill most of your needs.

There’s a reason that herbivores spends all day eating and predators can just do what they need to in order to score a meal, then laze around in the sun the rest of the day.


18 posted on 06/21/2012 9:28:31 PM PDT by Boogieman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Jonty30

I’ve never heard of a vegitarian body builder. Lots of them I knew did eat only fish and birds though.


19 posted on 06/21/2012 9:53:48 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: mamelukesabre

Dave Draper I believe.


20 posted on 06/21/2012 9:59:02 PM PDT by EEGator
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan
"FWIW, when the Sikhs gave up on pacifism and decided to fight back against Islamic agression, their leaders instructed them to eat meat so they would grow strong. Important in an era when combat was hand to hand."

Agreed on the need for meat. I can tell you from experience, though, that effective fire and maneuver with small arms requires extreme endurance and strength. It can be more exhausting than a rugby match or prize fight (also from experience).


21 posted on 06/21/2012 10:15:21 PM PDT by familyop ("Wanna cigarette? You're never too young to start." --Deacon, "Waterworld")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: mamelukesabre

Here’s a list of many athletes. Many prominent bodybuilders are in the list.

It’s not Bill Pear, it’s Bill Pearl, just for clarification. :)


22 posted on 06/21/2012 10:16:20 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: mamelukesabre

Here’s a list of many athletes. Many prominent bodybuilders are in the list.

It’s not Bill Pear, it’s Bill Pearl, just for clarification. :)

http://www.thefruitarian.com/index.php/2010/08/famous-vegetarian-and-vegan-bodybuilders-athletes-sportsmen-and-sportswomen/


23 posted on 06/21/2012 10:16:45 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Boogieman

It depends on what you’re eating, just like anything.

Nuts, for example, are full of energy. You can easily get a full days worth of calories from two lunch baggies full of nuts.

Of course, you need more than nuts to subsist, but I’m only making the point that a vegetarian diet does not mean that it will lack useful calories.

I’m not a vegetarian, for the record, but I am aware that you can get a healthy diet as one if you’re willing to educate yourself.


24 posted on 06/21/2012 10:21:31 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Jonty30

“Many bodybuilders are vegetarians.”

Do you have a link to support this claim?

My impression by reading Bodybuilding.com and learning about what serious bodybuilders eat I really can’t find any vegetarians.

My impression is that only about one percent of bodybuilders who compete are vegetarians.

Plant material has “protein” but beans and legumes do not have the same quality as fish, eggs, chicken or beef.


25 posted on 06/21/2012 10:32:57 PM PDT by garjog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Anyone interested in improving their health should seriously question the merits of eliminating meat, fish and eggs from their diet.

Challenging full body exercise and limiting food portion size for meals will improve your health if that is your desire.

Don’t go with weird diets.

See Body for Life by Bill Phillips. http://bodyforlife.com/success-stories/#pg-1

He argues that before you go on someone’s diet plan you should get a current photo of the author and see if you want to look like that.


26 posted on 06/21/2012 10:46:21 PM PDT by garjog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: garjog

I just provided a list of prominent athletes who are vegetarian and there are many more who aren’t on the list. Just because the numbers may not be large, though they are probably more than most people would suspect, doesn’t mean it can’t be done by most people.

It comes down to personal choice.


27 posted on 06/21/2012 10:47:08 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: garjog

If a person makes dietary changes, they should become educated about their choice to ensure it’s a good and viable one.

I agree with you.

I’d go further and say that it should be done under the guidance of a dietician. Don’t make changes on your own.


28 posted on 06/21/2012 10:49:25 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: EEGator

“Dave Draper I believe.”

No, you are thinking of Bill Perl who was a lacto vegetarian.

If you eat eggs, whey protein and milk and take supplements like zink then you might be able to build a body. But, it would be much more difficult to do that with veganism I think.

http://www.davedraper.com/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/PmWiki/Vegetarianism

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/babyboom81.htm


29 posted on 06/21/2012 10:57:36 PM PDT by garjog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Jonty30

OK, thanks for the link.

I did searches on all of the body builders listed. 8 are Lacto ovo vegetarian and 6 are vegans.

Eating eggs and whey protein powder should be enough to build muscle, but I really don’t understand how the vegans can do it.

Perhaps different body types are suited to veganism?

Bill Pear — Lacto ovo vegetarian
Roy Hilligenn — Lacto ovo vegetarian
Tiffany Croker — Lacto ovo vegetarian
Andreas Cahling — Lacto ovo vegetarian
Albert Beckles — Lacto ovo vegetarian
Roy Hilligenn — Lacto ovo vegetarian
Tiffany Croker — Lacto ovo vegetarian
Luiz Freitas — Lacto ovo vegetarian

Ed Bauer — Vegan
Aura Andrew — Vegan
Joel Kirkilis — Vegan
Patrick Reiners — Vegan
Robbie Hazeley — Vegan
Torre Washington — Vegan


30 posted on 06/21/2012 11:23:20 PM PDT by garjog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: garjog

There are 20 amino acids that we need, of which we are incapable of creating 9 of them.

histidine
isoleucine
leucine
lysine
methionine
phenylalanine
threonine
tryptophan
valine

In addition, children need arginine.

As long as we get these nine in adequate amounts, our body is capable of breaking them down and reforming them to meet its needs. There are amino acids in almost all foods, including many fruits, not that I’m advocating a fruitarian diet. :)

When you consume meat, the body breaks it down to amino acids and reforms them into the particular combination it needs. If your source of amino acids is from plant material, it does the same thing.

It depends on how well educated a person is willing to become and the time they are willing to spend on their diet. Probably the main disadvatage a well-founded vegetarian diet is the time it takes to prepare meals. But the main advantage is that you can save a fair bit of cash.


31 posted on 06/21/2012 11:38:13 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Jonty30

Some dieticians have told me that if you have O blood, you should incorporate some animal protein for optimal health, even if it’s only eggs.


32 posted on 06/21/2012 11:39:50 PM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: svcw

Not entirely. We can’t it raw, that is aside from steak tartar from time to time but over all the meat we humans eat has to be cooked. Cooking brings out certain enzymes raw meat doesn’t. We don’t have a digestion system to process raw meat. We also don’t have the kind of teeth for meat eating that meat eating predators have.


33 posted on 06/22/2012 12:14:22 AM PDT by jmacusa (Political correctness is cultural Marxism. I'm not a Marxist.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway


34 posted on 06/22/2012 12:29:42 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas exercitus gerit ;-{)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jmacusa

Not to mention that carnivors have short digestive tracts, whereas human digestive tracts are fairly long.


35 posted on 06/22/2012 12:41:02 AM PDT by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: jmacusa

Our ancestors thousands of generations ago did just fine eating meat. We’re all around today because they fought their way to the top of the food chain.


36 posted on 06/22/2012 1:12:21 AM PDT by wastedyears ("God? I didn't know he was signed onto the system.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Vegan is an old Indian word that means “bad hunter”.


37 posted on 06/22/2012 1:17:33 AM PDT by circlecity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway


38 posted on 06/22/2012 1:17:45 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Mater tua caligas exercitus gerit ;-{)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

I think that certain forms of malnutrition (e.g., those caused by eating bizarre fad diets such as vegan) take years to really become symptomatic. I’ve seen little evidence that people are able to stick with a vegetarian or vegan diet for more than a few years.

Vegetarians always appear to me to have a rather pallid, unhealthy look.


39 posted on 06/22/2012 3:23:48 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: familyop

No personal experience in deadly combat, but from what I’ve read adrenalin and other hormonal responses to the greatest stress anyone can be under are largely responsible for the exhaustion factor. I’m not sure the specific variety of combat makes a great deal of difference.

To attempt to salvage my original point. I suspect combat with edged weapons is more dependent on sheer physical strength than modern combat, for which stamina is more important.


40 posted on 06/22/2012 3:41:56 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Probably the healthiest looking Vegan I have ever seen is Carrie Underwood. And man is she healthly looking. :)


41 posted on 06/22/2012 3:56:38 AM PDT by catfish1957 (My dream for hope and change is to see the punk POTUS in prison for treason)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan
FWIW, when the Sikhs gave up on pacifism and decided to fight back against Islamic agression, their leaders instructed them to eat meat so they would grow strong. Important in an era when combat was hand to hand.

There was a reason why Medieval peasants were not allowed to hunt, and the nobles ate lots of meat.

42 posted on 06/22/2012 4:00:50 AM PDT by PapaBear3625 (If I can't be persuasive, I at least hope to be fun.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Didn’t the founder of Vegetarian Times magazine call a press conference a number of years ago to announce that he was giving up vegetarianism and that he enjoyed eating meat?


43 posted on 06/22/2012 4:45:39 AM PDT by Salvey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jmacusa

We have ripping and tearing teeth as well as grinding teeth. As humans we have the ability to adapt which included eating meat that has been cooked and killing instruments. We don’t need to kill prey with our teeth.


44 posted on 06/22/2012 6:36:58 AM PDT by svcw (If one living cell on another planet is life, why isn't it life in the womb?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

As they say, correlation is not causation. But I remember Bill Walton’s very brief career punctuated by a series of unending broken bones and other injuries. Walton was a vegan or vegetarian and swore off meat and dairy products. One doctor who examined x-rays of Walton’s often broken foot said it clearly looked to him like a case of insufficient calcium. Of course, many people will state that Walton might just have been an injury-prone athlete who would have had the same problems if he had eaten meat and dairy products. We may never know about the effects of a vegan vs. an omnivorous diet, but I do know what happened to Walton.


45 posted on 06/22/2012 7:43:34 AM PDT by driftless2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

Well? Sure. Optimally? No.

Also, talking to two vegetarians and one “almost-vegetarian” about whether vegetarianism or veganism is healthy is about like predicting the winner of the presidential election based on polling three zip codes in Berkeley.


46 posted on 06/22/2012 8:28:58 AM PDT by Turbopilot (iumop ap!sdn w,I 'aw dlaH)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway

I recall that the once-great basketball player Bill “the Mountain Man” Walton was a vegetarian. After early success, he broke his foot. Itnever healed very well, and some experts blamed the vegetarianism.


47 posted on 06/22/2012 10:36:48 AM PDT by Dr. Sivana ("You forget, it isn't who you claim, but instead, who claims you. We don't claim you!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: svcw

We started life off as prey for things like big cats. Most of the teeth we have aren’t the kind predators have.


48 posted on 06/22/2012 11:28:01 AM PDT by jmacusa (Political correctness is cultural Marxism. I'm not a Marxist.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]

To: wastedyears

Yes they did fight and that is something I tell vegans. Point is though we not true meat-eaters in the sense that other predator animals are.


49 posted on 06/22/2012 11:35:48 AM PDT by jmacusa (Political correctness is cultural Marxism. I'm not a Marxist.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

My experience is nearly all from training and no long tours but still relevant (never “beeped” in fire and maneuver in six years with a light combat unit...in for seven but with a “heavy,” not-so-combat unit for the last year). Someone else here might offer more from experience about needs for endurance and strength in actual combat. I can’t even imagine some of the real battles that some soldier and Marine friends have been though (days).

All I can say here is that assaulting light soldiers must move often and fast in fire-and-maneuver (with gear) in most scenarios to avoid being hit by contemporary, efficient weapons. Rough, too (e.g. flying from a run onto rocky terrain on one’s belly). And in combat, that could go on for hours...or days. As physical as in the distant past, probably not, for some tasks (e.g., transportation). But very physical, sometimes with much mobility. Wounds, probably just as nasty (disembowelments, etc.) but with much better medi-vac and medical now.


50 posted on 06/22/2012 4:48:00 PM PDT by familyop ("Wanna cigarette? You're never too young to start." --Deacon, "Waterworld")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-57 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson