Best Foods for Vegans Who Work Out

 



Proper nutrition is a very important part of our overall health. Our bodies need vitamins and minerals, protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats in order for our bodies to efficiently function. Maintaining a diet that includes all of these foods is important, especially true for those living a vegan lifestyle because it may be more difficult to consume enough protein, iron, zinc, vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. When you add exercise to your day, you now have to refuel your body with some of the burned off nutrients, carbohydrates proteins, etc. 

When you exercise regularly, you need to fuel your body with more healthy food to both give you enough energy to exercise and replace lost nutrients that the body burns. The body primarily uses carbohydrates, fat, and protein (macronutrients) as energy sources to fuel your workouts. Your overall health and fitness goals will determine how much of these nutrients you need to replace. For example, those wanting to lose fat and achieve a leaner figure will want to focus more on adding more protein to their diet and fewer carbohydrates. Regardless of your goals, you will need to fuel and then refuel your body when working out.

Pre-workout nutrition:

You should always eat before exercising so your body has enough “fuel” to power through your workout. It is recommended to eat anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours before a workout. Protein and carbohydrates are optimal for energy, fat burning, and post-workout muscle recovery. 

Post-Workout nutrition:

According to an article by Healthline.com, “Eating the right nutrients soon after your exercise can help your body get this done faster. It is particularly important to eat carbs and protein after your workout.” Post-workout, your body will want to rebuild and repair muscle proteins using glycogen. Consuming the proper nutrients shortly after a workout can help increase muscle protein, restore glycogen, and most importantly, decrease muscle protein breakdown.

Here are some great vegan foods you can add to your diet that are optimal to fuel your pre and post-workout

Protein


Protein is an important part of the cells in our bodies. The body relies on protein to build and repair tissues. Protein also helps to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Nuts

Tofu

Vegan yogurts 

Vegan cheese

Vegan (plant-based) protein powder


Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are a major source of fuel and nutrients for our bodies. There is a big stigma around carbohydrates that they hinder weight-loss and maintenance as well as building lean muscle. This statement is both true and false. Our bodies need carbohydrates but how much depends on your overall health and fitness goals. It is recommended to contact your physician if you have questions about how many carbohydrates you need, especially if you want to lose weight or gain lean muscle. 


Try adding these delicious foods to your diet to help you fuel up with nutrient-rich carbs.

Sweet Potatoes

Bananas

Apples

Oats

Brown rice

Quinoa


Healthy Fats

Fats are a primary energy source. There are two main types of fats we can consume, unsaturated and saturated fat. We need to consume both types of fats but it is healthier and more important to consume unsaturated fats.

These unsaturated fats are great for anyone, especially vegans.

Coconut

Olive Oil

Avocado

Nuts

Chia Seeds

Legumes

Tahini

As advocates for healthy living, we are providing researched-based tips and suggestions. Be sure to consult your physician before beginning any fitness or dietary plan. 


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