Eating Vegan to Boost Performance
Vegan for Performance

Thanks to the Olympics this year, athletics are top of mind these days. With that is the conversation about how elite athletes maximize their results. And can the everyday person tap into that wisdom to boost performance at the gym or on the field?

While all athletes know the power of nutrition in their routine, more and more are realizing the benefits of a plant-based diet. Could veganism be the way to powerful gains?

A Balanced Diet Is Key to Boost Performance

When it comes to diet and nutrition for athletes, it’s all about macros. Pushing your body to the limit requires proper fuel, which is a breakdown of protein, carbohydrates, and fat. And all of these nutrients can be found in abundance in a vegan diet.


Protein is a vital nutrient for athletes looking to boost performance. That’s because it feeds the muscles and helps with post-workout recovery. When most people think of protein, they think of animal products: meat, milk, and cheese. But vegans have some wonderful protein sources available to them.

Great protein sources in a plant-based diet include:

  • soy products
  • buckwheat
  • hemp
  • chia seeds
  • quinoa
  • sprouted-grain bread
  • spirulina
  • legume-and-grain combinations, such as pita and hummus, rice and beans, and peanut butter and whole-grain bread or bagels


While there are some camps that shudder at the idea of even talking about carbs, much less eating them (hello there, keto folks!), for athletes, they definitely have a place. Generally speaking, the more active an athlete is, the more carbs that are needed to boost performance. Why? Because carbs provide immediate energy, which is imperative following a workout. In fact, pairing proteins and carbs in a healthy shake is one of the best ways to recover post-gym.

There are two types of carbs: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are broken down and used quickly, whereas complex carbs take longer to disseminate into the body.

Simple carbs are found in vegan foods such as fruit, fruit juice, syrup, and refined sugar. While juices, syrups, and sugars should be eaten sparingly, whole fruits are a great pick-me-up to boost performance. Complex carbs should be integrated liberally into your diet as they are perfect fuel for a plant-based athlete. These include:

  • whole grains
  • legumes
  • vegetables
  • leafy greens
  • nuts
  • seeds
  • starchy vegetables


Just as carbs have been attacked by dieters, so have fats. But the truth is that fat is a requirement for your body. Nothing feeds your brain better than fat. Like carbs, there are good fats and bad fats. And all should be eaten in moderation. Aim for more polyunsaturated and monounsaturated options rather than saturated fats and trans fats.

The best types of fats for vegans to boost performance include:

  • flax
  • nuts
  • soybeans
  • tahini
  • avocados
  • chia seeds

Learn More About the Benefits of a Vegan Diet

There’s certainly no shortage of information on how to be a high-performing athlete on a vegan diet. Runners, swimmers, bodybuilders, sports professionals, and wrestlers have found that a well-balanced, plant-based regimen can absolutely boost performance.

If you’re looking for more information, check out The Plant-based Athlete: A Game-changing Approach to Peak Performance by Matt Frazier and Robert Cheeke. Amazon touts this book as “the only research-based guide for connecting a plant-based diet with long-term strength, endurance, and peak athletic performance.”

More into documentaries? Watch The Game Changers on Netflix. The film follows the journey of James Wilks, an elite Special Forces trainer and The Ultimate Fighter winner, as he aims to find the ideal diet to boost performance.

The Vegan Taste Supports Athletes

Whether you’re preparing for the Olympics, want to run faster on your next 5K, or just want to stay toned and fit, eating a plant-based diet will go a long way to help you get—and stay—in peak form. The Vegan Taste makes being a vegan easy with our prepared-for-you meals delivered right to your doorstep. Check out what Chef Jason is making this week and get ready to be the best version of you—powered by nature.

Other Posts You Might Like

What to Expect When You Change to a Vegan Diet

What to Expect When You Change to a Vegan Diet

Are you considering a change to a vegan diet? Awesome! The reasons to make such a lifestyle shift can be as unique as each individual, but they usually include an underlying commitment to health or the environment. Have you wondered what you can expect when you become...

The Vegan Taste and Purple Carrot: Which Service Is Right for You?

The Vegan Taste and Purple Carrot: Which Service Is Right for You?

Looking to add more plants to your diet? Whether you’re shifting your lifestyle to eating more plant-based foods or you’re a long-time vegan, preparing your weekly meal plan is hard work. These days, though, it’s so much easier to stay on track by using a...

The Vegan Taste or Factor Meals: Which Service Is Right for You?

The Vegan Taste or Factor Meals: Which Service Is Right for You?

A busy lifestyle calls for options when it comes to meal preparation. Sure, you can plan meals, buy groceries, prepare dinner, and finally sit down to eat. That works sometimes, but there are other times when you wish you didn’t have to plan or prep; you just want to eat. That’s when you might consider a meal-delivery service. Today, we’re answering the question if The Vegan Taste or Factor Meals is a better for you and your family. It all depends on what you’re looking for and what you want from your service.


Join The Plant-Forward Movement.

Interested in what we're serving up? Opt-in to receive our weekly menu.

You have Successfully Subscribed!