Strength and Endurance – Scientists tell us what we already know
Scientists at the University of Arizona have just confirmed through a rigorous study what many vegetarian athletes already knew. Vegetarian athletes have just as much peak muscle strength, and even more endurance than their meat-eating counterparts. This is borne out by the many athletes who are choosing to be vegetarian or vegan these days, because they find that it improves their performance.
Take football player David Carter, a defensive lineman with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and formerly with the Oakland and Dallas teams, for example. He became enthusiastic about his vegan diet after seeing the results and learning about the effect of his food choices. Eating an entirely plant-based diet, David experienced more energy and his stamina went through the roof. All his numbers in the weight room actually went up. This is a guy who can bench 470 and squat 660. Amazingly, he found himself quicker, more agile and responsive than ever. Another example is San Diego quarterback, Brandon Flowers. Everyone says he looks noticeably fitter recently. He says the big difference in his ability was his decision to go with a vegan diet.
Weightlifters have also gained impressive results by following a vegan diet. In 2011, shortly after being named Germany’s strongest man, Patrick Baboumian went completely vegan. The 38-year-old already holds world records for log lifts and overhead beer keg lifts, and in 2015 carried a yoke loaded with just over 560 kilograms (1234.59 pounds) 10 meters (32.8 feet), the heaviest load ever carried — equivalent to a large horse.
Looking for the best endurance? Look no further than Scott Jurek, an ultramarthoner. In 2010 he set the American record for most miles run in 24 hours at 165.7 miles, not to mention his seven consecutive victories from 1999-2005 in the Western States 100-mile Endurance Run. In 2015, Scott completed the 2,189 miles of the Appalachian trail in 46 days, 8 hours and 7 minutes – an all time record, and it was all done on a vegan diet.
Resilience is also improved by following a vegan diet. Wilson Chandler of the Denver Nuggets went vegan in an effort to stay on the court, and out of the training room. “I’ve always had a pretty healthy diet, but after dealing with several injuries, I wanted to find a diet that would help with inflammation,” he says “My recovery time is faster, I’m in a better mood, I feel more explosive on the court and I’m leaner,” he says. Along with his better diet, we’re happy to report he’s scoring more points.
So whether you’re looking for strength, endurance, or resilience, it seems you can’t beat a vegan diet to keep you at peak performance.