Athletes and Their Green Diet

A Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition Benefits for the Athletes

Athletes or sportspersons are physique-oriented people for whom eating healthy and nutritious becomes very important. As the body undergoes a lot of stress and pressure daily, it needs a precise amount of protein and nutrition. Instead of relying upon supplements, we encourage athletes to opt for a healthy and balanced diet plan that gives their bodies the right amount of vital nutrients.

A green diet should be the first and viable option for maintaining his/ her body stamina for an athlete. A green diet is a plant-based diet which consists of plant-based foods like vegetable, seeds, nuts, grains, legumes, fruits, etc. This kind of diet has zero involvement of animal source foods or any kind of artificial components.

Plant-based diets provide all the essential protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals for excellent health. They are rich in fiber and phytonutrients. This cannot be called a vegan diet, as they may include dairy, which is strictly prohibited under veganism. Studies prove that eating green diets is good for health as well as for the environment, especially due to the reduction of ozone-depleting greenhouse gas emissions linked with a vegetarian regime.

Nutritional benefits of green leafy vegetables

Have you ever wondered how veterans and the elderly are still stronger than us? The answer would be the leafy vegetables. In the earlier times, people didn't have access to fast foods and junk foods. The only option they had was vegetables and homemade nonveg food. These meals used to be power-packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals.

For vegetarian people, chowing down leafy green vegetables is the only option. Consuming green vegetables provide almost all kind of nutrition. It is way healthier as the fat and sugar present in green leafy vegetables in a limited amount also make them suitable for a weight loss diet. Green leafy veggies include mustard greens, spinach, lettuce, kale, Brussel sprouts, Turkish kale, Swiss chard, and arugula.

They also help improve our immune system, act as an anti-aging diet, and protect our body from high blood pressure, cancers, and various heart diseases. This is why the dieticians emphasize sticking to a healthy diet, and for this, we have prepared a completely vegetarian diet plan with the help of these green leafy vegetables.

While talking about the sports nutrition diet plan, the below-mentioned points are taken into consideration:

1. Proteins

Thinking about an athlete's meal, the first thing that strikes our mind is protein. Every day, an athlete's body hustles a lot to get the desired shape and stamina. During this hustle, muscles and bone breakage may occur. Hence, the repairing process becomes crucial. This process is expedited by proteins which help in repairing and further growing the muscle fiber.

As per research, an athlete needs 1.6 grams of protein intake per kg of body weight. Hence, if an athlete is 100 kgs, he needs 160 grams of proteins daily. Whether you are a sportsperson, a swimmer, or a runner, you need more energy than an average person. Proteins provide this excess energy. Veggies and beans like mung beans, fava beans, chickpeas, green peas, edamame, potatoes, asparagus, and broccoli are a few rich sources of plant-based proteins.

2. Fats

Fats assist in performing various processes in the body like protecting our organs, supporting in extracting and preparing essential nutrients, hormone production, and also acting as a great source of energy. Hence, fat becomes an inevitable need for the body. Olive oil, walnuts, peanuts, almonds, avocados, chia seeds, and cacao nibs are rich in fat. An athlete can get an appropriate amount of fats from these resources. The team of experts at VMeals recommends including healthy fats food in your meals every day to ensure that the required nutrients are provided to the body. This is essential and can be useful in case the athlete is struggling to get the desired weight. Always keep in mind that digestion of fats is slower than the other nutrients; hence, consuming fat just before hitting the gym can be harmful.

3. Carbohydrates

In the world of athletes, it is said that the type of nutrition decides an athlete's performance. The vital aspect in dealing with the high demands of a workout tackled by athletes and sportspersons seems to be the consumption of carbohydrates. During exercise, athletes should munch an appropriate amount of carbohydrates to keep blood glucose levels in control. This becomes extremely crucial if the event is going to happen for a longer duration. Veggies that are a healthy source of carbs include broccoli, carrot, beet, sweet potato, zucchini, and our good old friend, potato as well.

Our master chefs help the athletes by providing the best-customized athlete diet plans, capable of fulfilling the nutrition requirements of an athletic body.

How can an athlete prepare a healthy diet routine?

  1. It takes a lot of difficulties for an athlete to achieve the desired goals. Hence, one should start his day with a healthy meal, and he/she should consume a variety of fruits and vegetables daily. These vegetables are health-giving sources that are also relatively low in total energy, an effortless inclusion for all athletes, regardless of energy demands. Instead of eating everything in one go, he/she should focus on eating at least five servings per day. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of energy and nutrients that are required for training and recovery. Moreover, these help in keeping the body immune against the flu and cold.
  1. Iron is a crucial nutrient for athletes, because it carries oxygen to the muscles during workouts, helping the body to exercise. Despite the fact that absorption of plant-based iron is not noteworthy as compared to the iron obtained from animal-derived foods, few ways to intensify the absorption are available. Techniques include uniting your green vegetables with a source of vitamin C found in other colorful vegetables and fruits such as capsicum, kiwi, mandarin, and tomato; and avoiding the tannins in excess of tea, coffee, and wine, etc. To maximize iron uptake in foods, it is also important to avoid eating foods high in calcium such as yogurt, cheese, and milk, simultaneously. Furthermore, these vegetables are also essential sources of potassium and magnesium — two minerals that play a critical role in muscle contraction, lost due to sweating while exercising.
  1. Diets abundant with nitrates have many favourable attributes for an athlete. Nitrates are found in various veggies and can be beneficial for performance due to enhanced blood flow to active muscles. This increase in blood flow translates into greater oxygen distribution that may allow substantial exercise output.
  1. Drinking water is a must for everyone on this planet. Staying hydrated becomes really very important for athletes, just as well. When these athletes train, they sweat a lot, so the body will dehydrate if an adequate amount of water is not consumed daily. For staying hydrated, there are many options available like milk, water, fruit juice, and sports drinks. However, you must remember not to depend only on fruit juices or energy drinks, as they have high sugar content.

The best meal for an athlete

When you train, you need a lot of calories and energy. Healthy nutritious meal practice is the key to success for you. But keeping up with the busy schedule, it can be quite a challenge. Hence, meal delivery that won’t make a hole in your pocket can be the best option. We at VMeals focus on starting your day with a healthy meal.

A healthy breakfast includes:

  • Nutty Chocolate Protein Pancakes
  • Strawberry Overnight Oats
  • Coffee Chia Seed Pudding
  • Drinks containing carrot, apple, ginger, turmeric & lemon, etc.

Wholesome lunch and dinner include the following:

  • Vegan white bean salad
  • Lentil & vegetable curry with rice & labneh
  • Chilli bean-&-bulgur cakes
  • Vegetarian paella rice
  • Tofu & vegetable stir fry
  • Quinoa kale salad with cashews & fresh mint

Summing Up

In conclusion, we can say that being an athlete is not an easy task. You must be on your guards, in order to keep your body healthy and weight in control. We salute the efforts put in by the athletes and sportspersons as these people are hustling for the pride of the country and their exertions and sacrifice can never be ignored. If you are an aspiring sportsperson and looking for the best advice on meals, we are just a click away. 

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