If we know anything about training in this day and age, it’s that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to nutrition. Genetics, physiology, how you train, and your sport are just some of the elements that determine how we fuel as individuals for exercise performance and get the most out of our bodies. It’s unsurprising, then, that a growing list of high-profile athletes including Scott Jurek, Kyrie Irving, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams have become herbivores to help with their performance. This alone proves that a plant-based diet has multiple benefits for all types of athletes and disproves any stubborn, long-held beliefs that balanced, high-protein diets cannot be achieved with veganism. Here are the greatest benefits of a plant-based diet for athletes: For Recovery Discovering how to recover quicker in order to train harder is an athlete’s pot of gold, and since inflammation slows the process of recovery, ‘alkalizing’ your body helps to reduce inflammation. Not only do plant-based foods help reduce acidity for this purpose, they also provide essential inflammation-fighting antioxidants. After a hard effort, it’s important to take-in nutrients within 30-minutes, which is where REGO Rapid Recovery Powder is of most value. REGO is more than just convenient, it’s a complete recovery product and contains 20g of soy protein isolate and 22g of carbohydrates plus electrolytes and vitamins and minerals. For Immunity Eating lots of fibre contributes to a healthy gut, and a healthy gut absorbs more nutrients. Many athletes experience ailments when they’re reaching their peak because they’re taxing their bodies and pushing their immune system to the limits. Fruits, vegetables and grains contain a full range of macro nutrients and minerals that help to maintain a strong immune system. Particularly if you travel a lot for your sport, and because your immune system can be suppressed for up to 72 hours after periods of heavier training, it’s beneficial to supplement with an immunity booster such as Immune Tablets to keep as healthy as possible. For Weight Maintenance There are multiple reasons why vegan diets help contribute to weight maintenance. Plant-based foods typically contain less calories than foods like butter, cheese, and meat while providing all the energy you need for performance. And while fats are important in any diet, consuming less saturated fats contribute to keeping your weight down, which is particularly important if you’re an endurance athlete. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans are also packed with fibre, which all help to keep you fuller for longer without adding extra calories. On the whole, vegan diets tend to reduce the number of calories you consume on a daily basis. For Variety Another common concern for those thinking about a plant-based diet is fear of missing out, particularly with protein. But many actually find the opposite is true and you’ll likely be surprised how much protein a vegan diet can provide. Plus, it opens up your diet and encourages you try new foods, particularly when finding substitutes for animal products. A full spectrum of amino acids is easy to achieve either by eating foods like quinoa (a ‘complete’ protein), or combining foods such as rice and beans, hummus and pita. There are also lots of high-quality meat substitutes like tofu, soy and Quorn. And protein shakes and bars like REGO and Protein20 are great to help supplement your diet, especially during heavy periods of training and for when you want to give your body extra. Remember, though, that the key to any good diet is variety, so avoid falling into the trap of being too rigid and you’ll ensure you get everything you need as well as finding it easier to maintain your microbiome (healthy gut). Our entire range of nutrition supplements is 90% vegan-approved and includes protein powders and bars, energy gels, vitamins and more. Written By Nick Burt In a previous life Nick played American football professionally before becoming a secondary school teacher. Nowadays he works as a freelance copywriter where amongst other things he gets to write about his first love – sports. In his spare time, he lifts weights, plays and coaches baseball (which he calls his retirement sport), and travels with his wife to as many countries as he can.