health news
June 20, 2012 posted by

No Meat? No Problem.

In the wake of last week’s post on vegan boxing champion Timothy Bradley comes an article from the NY Times asking the question Can Athletes Perform Well On A Vegan Diet? While the champ offers an anecdotal yes there are further considerations, which is where Gretchen Reynolds’ piece begins by questioning three nutrition experts about what might be missing should one go meatless. This, of course, begins with protein.

You do have to be diligent about protein intake if you’re vegan. I have clients, especially women, who say, ‘Oh, I put a few chickpeas in my salad.’ But that’s not going to do it. Women need about 60 to 90 grams of protein a day, and athletes are on the high end of that. That means you have to eat cupfuls of chickpeas. And you can’t eat a quarter of that cake of tofu. You need to eat the whole thing. It’s not that there aren’t good sources of vegan protein. But it’s not as bioavailable as meat. So you need to have more.

Most of you are already aware of the protein issue but other things, such as B12 weight loss, and creatine are also evaluated. It’s a quick read, and not all that earth shattering, but weighs the issue with a healthy dose of common sense.

I like to tell people that if we got most Americans to eat one less serving of meat every day, there would be far greater impact from that, in terms of improving overall public health and the health of the planet, than convincing a tiny group of endurance athletes to go full vegan.

And while the article focused on endurance parameters only, leaving Bradley alone as the torch bearer for power athletes, all experts agree that it’s possible to get all of your nutritional needs without meat and dairy, something that heavily-lobbied USDA isn’t ready to admit yet.


  • If god didn't want us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?Well, ok, seriously – anyone who wants a more ethical take on not eating meat should read Jonathan Saffron Foer's book Eating Animals.As for me, bow-hunting season is coming soon and there is a freezer to stock. The venison burgers we had 2 nights ago we're frickin' delicious.If you don't kill and dress your own meat, you shouldn't eat meat. The stuff they're serving you in grocery stores and restaurants is an affront to real food.People who eat chicken because they think it's better than beef for themselves and the planet deserve to be fed to lions. People who eat fish and call themselves vegetarians are likely to be mistaken for doormats.Josh

  • "If you don't kill and dress your own meat, you shouldn't eat meat."

  • Vegetarians are cool. All I eat are vegetarians, except for the occasional mountain lion steak.

  • You've got to kill it before you can grill it.

  • Search "Frank Medrano" on YouTube. Incredible athlete, and he's vegan. Actually, even google "vegan calisthen-x", there's a whole vegan group of these guys (and a girl) that try to promote that there aren't vegan deficiencies that so many misinformed people think.

  • OMG. Shred much.I think I'll create a wikipedia page for "Ripper". Frank will be there, for sure.

  • Did you see this? friggin impressive. I'd call him a good testament to veganism, although I'd still give the nod to Hannibal for this kind of stuff and I'm not sure his diet doesn't mainly consist of Colt 45 and Kools.

  • Hannibal:"that shit is bananas"

  • Yeah I've seen it. It's really cool how well these guys mix gymnastics with calisthenics to make some really cool and impressive total body freestyle type workout. Mixing front levers with muscle ups and planche and pushups? So cool. Just incredible to see.Hannibal is absolutely incredible too. The increasing street calisthenics stuff really got taken up to the next level in the past half decade or so from a couple guys' YouTube videos.

  • I've said it before, someone needs to get these dudes to a crag. If they have even a tiny bit of finger strength they're gonna crush it.Someone get SuperPipe to send out the sponsorship guy. Reed, are you available for contract negotiations?

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