Do You Have to Eat Meat if You Exercise?
Many might still believe that fitness, athletes, and eating a lot of meat for protein are the “holy trinity” in sports. However, many athletes have adopted a plant-based diet and continue to achieve success in their respective fields. The Plant-Based Athlete by Matt Frazier and Robert Cheeke will answer your questions.

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In The Plant-Based Athlete, you'll find that many top athletes choose to adjust their diets to a plant-based diet as it is fully capable of maintaining their nutritional needs. Some even notice improvements in their athletic performance after adopting a plant-based diet. If you are exercising, adopting a plant-based diet gives you new possibilities to satisfy your body's nutritional needs.

The Story of Long-Distance Runner Mary Snyder
Mary is a long-distance runner who qualified for the 2020 USA Olympic Trials in the marathon with a personal best time of 2:42.01. Mary has been an invaluable member of the Prado Racing Team in San Diego, CA, and won numerous races across the United States.
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Even though Mary is a highly trained and experienced athlete, her journey in nutrition and sports was turbulent. Mary suffered from a chronic iron deficiency that puts her iron levels well below the level needed for optimal performance. Two months before Mary’s shift to a plant-based diet, her iron level was 46 mcg/dL, compared to a normal range from 40 to 190 mcg/dL, and she was always tired and therefore could not reach her workout goals.

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How do you supplement protein on a vegan diet?
When Mary switched to a plant-based diet, she was obsessed with protein because she was used to eating a lot of meat. Mary's concern was, "How do I get my protein intake? But after just four months of being a vegetarian, Mary's iron levels nearly doubled to 76 mcg/dL.

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Mary's recovery rate dramatically improved, and she gave full credit to her plant-based diet. As a result, she could run farther in training and compete more often. Marie also noticed that the change in her diet also changed her body composition, increasing muscle mass and decreasing body fat.

What she learned was that proteins are in most plant foods, and it accumulates throughout the day.
Be Smart About Plant-Based Protein
Even though Mary's long-distance training and marathon runs are fueled mostly by carbohydrates, she makes sure to include foods that are high in protein, including all kinds of beans, lentils, tofu, and tempeh (fermented soybeans).

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After reading Mary's story, one can see how plant-based diets will not interfere with an ongoing training program. For more information, please read The Plant-Based Athlete.


The Plant-Based Athlete: A Game-Changing Approach to Peak Performance
Author:Matt Frazier, Robert Cheeke
Publication date: :June 2021

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