I have the opportunity to spend a lot of time around athletes. From the gym to the City Recreation Center as well as all of the boxing tournaments we attend, I get to talk to many athletes. I am always astounded by the misinformation that gets perpetuated about nutrition. What really surprises me though is how many of them give no consideration to what they eat at all. From candy to fast food, many of them have horrible habits when it comes to fueling their activities. Last week, I had the opportunity to chat with several boxers, who by all appearances are in fantastic shape. These are young men and women from ages 19-30 mostly. In asking about their food habits, I got a run down of the standard American diet.
Many of the athletes I speak with believe that because they work out so much, appear to be physically fit from a vanity standpoint, they can eat whatever they want with reckless abandon. This may be true from a purely visual standpoint. Even champions who are undefeated might think that they are doing all they need to do, especially when they are winning. Running races, playing tennis, bicycling, hiking, golfing, swimming, all requires fuel to feed the body to have the energy to complete these activities. The quality of the fuel varies though, and so may the performance.
If you have been eating the standard American diet and are finding success in your chosen sport, imagine for a moment, what would happen if your body started burning premium fuel in the form of a plant-based diet made up of whole, real foods? Like any machine, you get the best performance when you fill the tank with premium fuel. Your body is no different.
Every year, we hear of athletes who drop dead of a heart attack while participating in sports. Between 2000-2009 28 racers died during or within 24 hours of completing a marathon. The average age of death: 41.5. 93% of the deaths were caused by Myocardial infarction/atherosclerotic heart disease in those 45 and older. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
Working out daily, being fit enough to run marathons or bike 100 miles doesn’t necessarily mean that you are internally healthy. Fuel your machine wisely. Seek out an optimal plan to enhance the skills you are working on. You may get the edge on your opponents, increase your longevity and reduce your recovery time with a plant-based plan.