Vegan Athletes

Shaolin Monks Are Vegans

shaolin monk with musclesBody building and martial arts requires hard work, dedication, patience and commitment. A body builder and martial artist needs to lead a disciplined lifestyle with a very strict diet and extreme workout which develops muscles over a period of time. A body builder must consume a regular balanced diet full of nutrients, vitamins; minerals that help obtain body mass and build muscles. Body building helps in martial arts in regards to developing a body that can take hits and deliver more power.

Although it may be a challenge it is possible to be a vegan and a body builder. A raw foods diet is the consumption of foods that are unprocessed, whole plant-based and organic grown. Raw foods diets consist of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouted greens that are not heated above 105–110°. Vegan is a diet of plant based foods with absolutely no animal products. These include foods like eggs, meat and dairy.

A benefit of plant protein is that it carries with it numerous other advantages compared to the animal product proteins. The main problem with protein from meat, dairy, eggs and other animals is that it contains anabolic hormones that have a tendency of rendering these products harmful to humans. The High levels of saturated fats they contain just make them even worse. When you do not consume animal products, cholesterol levels are balanced and there is an increase in antioxidants. A high quality source of nutrients as well as all the antioxidant protection will keep your immune system strong. People choose this kind of lifestyle due to a wide variety of reasons such as health, environmental issues and animal rights.

Is It Possible To Survive Of Plants Alone?

fat sick nearly dead docoNot only can you survive but you can thrive. Case in point, in the fat sick and nearly dead documentary an Australian guy by the name of Joe Cross managed to  survive for an entire month having nothing but juiced fruit and vegetables, the end result – he lost a considerable amount of weight and managed to cure his medical condition and do away with the medicine he was taking!

A vegan diet enhances the body’s ability to fight and prevent diseases because raw and living foods contain essential food enzymes and nutrients that are destroyed when the food is heated. About three-quarters of the foods eaten should be raw and uncooked. The benefits of eating raw foods can be an increase in energy, emotional balance, mental clarity, weight management and increased healing. A better nutrition will return the body’s cells to a healthier state because these foods are easy to digest.

This creates more energy for healing and cleansing in the body. Our body’s digestive system does not recognize cooked or processes foods, it surrounds the waste it cannot eliminate with water and then it is stored until it finds a way to eliminate it. This waste causes excess weight in the body and the process of storing these toxins in the cells is called disease. If you eat mostly raw plant foods you can help the cells function correctly. By flushing out the toxins and replacing them with nutrients you can keep the cells clean and healthy.

joel kirkilisMost body builders eat a diet full of animal proteins because there is a common misconception that you have to eat a diet with meat protein to build muscle and bulk up. But you can actually eat a plant-based diet and train more intensely. The body has more energy, fewer injuries and recovery time is faster when it is nurtured with a diet full of raw foods. Also for martial artists there is an increase in focus.

Raw foods have a high content of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals. You can expect to lose weight when eating a diet full of raw foods. At first the weight loss will be mostly water, but when you combine diet and exercise you will notice a loss of fat and develop lean muscle mass. In order to thrive on a plant-based diet, it is important to focus on getting nutrient-dense calories from whole plant sources.

The body needs a healthy source of fats because without it your skin will be dry and you will have no energy. It is important to get 20-30% of your calories from healthy fats, such as; flaxseed oil, olive oil, almonds, walnuts, almond butter and avocados. When the body does not have enough calories to burn it tries to burn protein instead. This deprives the muscles of a supply of protein to build on. If you make sure you have enough calories in your diet you don’t need to worry so much about protein.

Some saturated fats are needed for optimal health, coconut oil or coconut milk is a healthy choice for saturated fats. It is important to make sure that most of your diet comes from fresh organic foods. Eating a variety of foods is also critical to get a good array of muscle building amino acids. Black beans and quinoa, lentils and brown rice, rice protein/soy milk shakes and almond butter sandwiches are examples of good combinations to obtain essential muscle building amino acids. It is extremely easy to get the required amount of protein on a plant-based diet. How much protein you require is based on your goals and there is no one size fits all method.

Green leafy vegetables provide plenty of protein but there are other plant-based proteins as well. A protein shake is a popular part of a body builder’s regimen. Pea protein powder is a good option for those who have allergies to animal products, like whey, casein or egg proteins. Pea protein powder is full of branched chain amino acids that help the body maintain a muscle building state during the day. BCAA’s can also help decrease belly fat and keep you feeling fuller longer between meals. It is filled with the same amount of protein as a high quality whey protein powder but contains no lactose, allergens or animal products.

Another source of plant based protein is Hemp. Hemp seeds provide a rich source of gluten-free vegan protein that is loaded with essential fatty acids and fiber. Hemp protein supplies the body with the crucial amino acids plus fatty acids that are not produced in the human body. Hemp is complete with all of the needed amino acids in quality and quantity.

It also has a good balance of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats. Hemp is GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) free; it can be grown organically with no pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers. Hemp protein is an excellent source of nutrients for a vegan body builder or anyone seeking a healthier diet.   An individual on a plant-fueled diet experiences enhanced recovery, an increase in strength gains and are leaner all year round with less intense training. Vegans have a lower risk of suffering from heart attack, stroke, asthma, obesity, constipation and certain types of cancers.

It is important to consume organic whenever possible. A vegan diet is healthier for your body and the environment. It is important to avoid processed foods because they usually contain high amounts of carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are not suitable because they come from extremely high amounts of processed sugars that can be toxic. Conventional crops usually contain chemically derived herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers. These chemicals cause mild stress on our bodies, cloud our mind and cause chaos in the body.

These hormones, pesticides and antibiotics can cause damage to the body after being consumed on a long term basis. Seven of the most toxic chemical concoctions know to man have been permitted for use as pesticides in the production of foods. One of the greatest risks to our environment and our health comes from the use of chemical pesticides in our foods. These poisonous chemicals work by poisoning the pollen and nectar of flowers which can kill the needed pollinators like butterflies and bees. The toxins from pesticides can remain in the body and build up in the liver. The effects of the chemicals on the body can be mild to severe.

Possible reactions to toxin build up are fatigue, skin irritation, nausea, headaches, reproductive damage, brain or blood damage, liver and kidney damage, cancer or even death. Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is a hormone that is given to dairy cows to increases milk production. It has been suggested that even thou rBGH alone appears to be safe; it can cause chemicals in the body that feed cancer. These added hormones show up in the beef and the milk from cows and studies have shown that this makes their estrogen and testosterone levels higher than normal. It has never been studied to find out if the use of these hormones can cause harm to humans. Casein, which is the main protein of cow’s milk, has been linked with increased cholesterol levels and early heart disease. It is also the most relevant chemical carcinogen identified.

The consumption of animals is also harmful to the environment because unnecessary amounts of water are used when raising livestock; this is water that could be used for other purposes. Some forests have been destroyed to make grazing land and housing of livestock. The amount of grain that is fed to cattle could be used to feed starving nations instead. Humans do not have a biological need to consume animal products, consuming animal products is a choice. By eating a vegan diet you reduce the amount of chemicals ingested into your body and the environment. You can live a healthier, longer and more energetic lifestyle.

A vegan body builder can also take supplements to enhance their nutrient intake and muscle building. A multi-vitamins, B12, hemp protein powders, meal replacements powders, glutamine and essential fatty acids are vital to building muscle. Calcium, iron and branched chain amino acids are essential for building muscle tissue. An iron supplement can help fight the symptoms of fatigue you may be feeling or you can simply load up on broccoli and spinach. Key foods for a body builder to consume are grains, such as; brown rice, oats, millet, corn and barley. Quinoa is a grain, which appears to be a cross between oats and rice, but it is richer in protein than rice. It also contains great minerals, like magnesium and iron.

Legumes are a vital source of protein and these foods include green peas, lentils, sprouts, beans and alfalfa. Nuts and seeds like cashews, almonds, pecans, pumpkins seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds and flax seeds, are a beneficial source of unsaturated fats.

A handful of nuts will boost your intake of good calories and help build muscle. These foods should be consumed on a regular basis to form a balanced diet rich in nutrients, minerals, proteins and carbohydrates. Start the day off with a protein shake containing hemp, rice or pea protein powder. Mix with organic coconut milk and water. Add a banana and some berries. A few cups of green tea during the day, is a great way to stay energized. Body builders on a vegan diet can eat a meal every three hours because these foods are not heavy and do not take long for the body to digest.

Eating small meals at regular intervals throughout the day increases the metabolism in the body and the result of this is proper blood circulation and proper distribution of nutrients to the cells. By eating often you ensure that muscles will remain energized and nourished. Lean muscle mass is created which is a very important to body builders. It is also very important for a vegan body builder to consume plenty of water or coconut water. Water hydrates the body, processes the proteins the body has received from the foods eaten, keeps the body active and helps accumulate muscle mass. A healthy nutrient dense diet and a consistent workout routine will help you acquire the body you are seeking.

No matter what your diet consist of if you do not have a solid training routine you will not obtain the muscle mass you are working for. When you work out for a long period of time your body will require more protein. A vegan will lose muscle mass during a long work out because there is not enough protein to nourish the work out. It is important to aim for a shorter more intense work out. Three short 10 minute sessions are just as effective as one 30 minute session. It is possible to build muscles and be a vegan. With discipline, hard work, confidence and strong will you can have the body you have always wanted. And you will not feel underprivileged after you taste how luscious it can be to build muscle while eating vegan.


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