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Sports Nutrition for a Healthy Planet

Erika Rood
Do It Green! Minnesota

Scott Jurek, Murray Rose, Tony Gonzalez, Carl Lewis, Paavo Nurmi, Prince Fielder, Brendan Brazier, and Pat Neshek. What do these elite athletes have in common? They are committed to reducing their carbon footprint through their diet. They eat plant-based diets and maintain professional and/or Olympic athletic careers. By eating a completely plant-based diet, they are each reducing their carbon emissions the same as driving 56,000 miles less per year.

These athletes dispel old beliefs about sports nutrition: diets based heavily on animal-based protein are necessary in order to receive vital nutrients but also to be successful athletes. In fact, the USDA’s sports nutrition recommendations do not even list animal-based foods. They do recommend that you adapt your diet in order for your body to obtain the nutrients and calories to remain healthy and enhance your over-all performance; all of them can be obtained by eating lower on the food chain.

Here are some suggestions to replace animal products in your diet:

Protein    Beans, tofu, nuts, seeds, wheat gluten-seitan, and whole grains
Iron    Seeds, dried fruit, tofu, beans, dark leafy greens, nuts, molasses, and apricots
Calcium    Dark leafy greens, broccoli, almonds, seeds, beans, and molasses
Carbohydrates    Whole grains, bananas, potatoes, yams, whole grain bread, and pasta
Healthy Fats Hemp oil, flax oil, avocado, walnut oil
Read Up

Thrive Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life, by Brendan Brazier. Da Capo Lifelong Books, 2009.

Vegan + Sports: Vegan Nutrition and Endurance Sports, by Arnold Wiegand. Wiegand Beratung & Training, 2006.

Sports Nutrition

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