New research by Ticketgum says there are “several benefits” to be had from a vegan diet, particularly for athletes or those who engage in regular exercise.
A study emphasises the “crucial” role of maintaining adequate levels of vitamins and nutrients, particularly vitamin B12.
It says vitamin B12 is essential for the body’s blood and nerve cells.
A deficiency in this vitamin can lead to weakness and fatigue, affecting the ability of athletes to perform at their best, it claims.
Ensuring sufficient B12 intake can also provide the energy needed for expert performance, according to the study.
Commenting on the findings by Ticketgum,senior GP Hana Patel said, “Vegan diets offer a wide range of health benefits and may provide performance enhancing effects in various types of exercise.”
“This is attributed to their high carbohydrate levels and a rich concentration of antioxidants and phytochemicals found in plant-based foods.”
Nutrition expert, Scott Harrison further emphasised that a “well-planned vegan diet” can provide an abundance of nutrients and is often associated with lower risks of heart disease due to lower saturated fat and cholesterol intake.
However, he warns that achieving a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats is essential. It’s important to remember that just because a food is ‘vegan’ does not mean it is healthy.
Further comment comes from physiotherapist Kieran Sheridan who said, “Compared to meat, vegan diets are low in saturated fat and high in fibre which can prevent inflammation and damage athletic performance.
“Plant-based diets are also free from cholesterol which can improve blood flow and thickness.
“Plant-based diets can also improve oxygen levels that reach muscles which helps athletic performance and agility.
“Since a vegan diet can reduce body fat, it will help athletes use oxygen to fuel their exercise.
“Having a plant-based diet also raises VO2 max, the amount of oxygen that can help an athlete be resilient to intense exercise.”
For athletes following a vegan lifestyle, nutrition expert Scott Harrison adds, “Ensuring an adequate intake of protein from a variety of plant sources to support muscle growth, maintenance and repair.
“As well as this, it’s essential to prioritise the consumption of a diverse range of essential macronutrients and ensure proper hydration. Staying well-hydrated is crucial for your body and athletic performance.”
Tulik Vova, a Ticketgum spokesman, added: “Understanding the ins and outs of adopting a vegan lifestyle, from choosing the right foods to ensuring a balanced nutrient intake, is crucial for cultivating a strong, powerful, and resilient body and mind—even more so as an athlete or someone who regularly exercises.”