Want to live a vegetarian lifestyle without sacrificing your competitive edge? Good news! Recent research supports a level playing field for competitive carnivores and vegetarians alike, when careful consideration is paid to nutrient intake.
According to Dr. Dilip Ghosh, director of Nutriconnect in Sydney, Australia, plant-loving runners should observe the same eating guidelines as their meat-consuming counterparts by balancing their diets between carbohydrates, fat and protein. Ghosh reccomends all athletes, regardless of dietary preference, divide caloric intake by the following percentages: 45-65% carbohydrates, 20-35% fat, and 10-35% protein. And while achieving the right balance is possible for vegetarians, further attention should be paid to those nutrients commonly found in animal products that aren’t as plentiful in a plant-based diet.
Ghosh advises female vegetarian athletes boost their consumption of foods rich in iron, creatine, zinc, B12, vitamin D, and calcium for optimum performance. These nutrients are found in orange, yellow and green leafy veggies, fruits, fortified cereals, soy drinks, nuts and milk (for dairy consumers).
So next time hunger strikes, consider grabbing a colorful treat from this list and boost your run while you’re at it!