Can Serious Athletes Thrive on a Vegetarian Diet?
Proteins and amino acids are the building blocks of our muscles, which power us through athletic training and competitions. When we think of protein, often the first things to come to mind are juicy steaks, buckets of chicken, crispy bacon, and pretty much every other form of meat.
Yes, meat is a great source of protein, but that doesn’t mean vegetarians can’t excel on the field. In fact, some very successful athletes are loud and proud vegetarians, including ultramarathon great Scott Jurek, football legend Joe Namath, grand slam tennis superstar Martina Navratilova, Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder, and world champion Ironman Dave Scott.
If these men and women can stay at the top of their game on a vegetarian diet, so can you! You’ll just need to work a little harder to make sure you are getting a complex mix of protein and essential amino acids in your diet. You can infuse your diet with protein by eating egg whites, soy protein, chard, spinach, kidney beans, almonds, watercress, sunflower seeds, broccoli, asparagus, walnuts, and more. You can also find several good vegetarian protein powders on the market, which typically contain blends of hemp, pea, chia, and rice protein.