More and more athletes are adopting a plant-based diet, proving that a very high-level athletic performance can be achieved without the consumption of meat or animal products. As an athlete you need to meet certain nutritional requirements which are mandatory for their performance and are far greater than the needs of non-athletes.

And it won’t come as a big surprise but the highest protein content is found to be in plant based sources rather than animal sources like meat. Foods like legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu, lentils, soy and almond milk, grains like quinoa and oats provide you with a sufficient 17-20 gm of protein for every 100 gm, which is much more than what you need for every kilogram of your bodyweight.

Going vegetarian keeps your calories under control because most of your intake comprises of fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, and nuts. More than the quantity of food consumed, it is the quality and the time at which it is eaten that’s important. According to Competitor magazine, how and what you eat before and after a workout is especially important depending on the duration, intensity and individual needs. Here’s what you should be eating before and after a workout:

Pre-Workout

When it comes to pumping yourself up before a workout, then smoothies are the way to go. They are the perfect blend of fruits, veggies, nuts and are packed with nutrients. Here’s a recipe that our fitness icon Roshni Sangvi, who is a vegan strength and conditioning female coach swears by to fuel up before a workout:

Mix up your greens like spinach and kale with tropical fruits like berries, pineapples and bananas for a quick and easy way to power up. Energize them further by adding flaxseeds, chia seeds, dates or wheat germ powder, which gets absorbed at a slower rate, which will keep you energized for longer.

Post-Workout

To avoid losing out on muscle mass, you need to eat something within the 45-minute anabolic window. A salad with a good amount of carbs, fiber, and protein would be the ideal snack depending on your workout timing. Nut butters added to fresh fruit are also a great way to pack on some healthy fat and protein that is needed after a heavy workout. Check out this yummy adzuki beans and quinoa recipe by Roshni that is perfect to eat after a workout or run. This might take some prep time but is totally worth it!

Your body is a machine. If you want it to perform better, you’ve got to fuel it properly. By choosing generous servings of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts or seeds and whole grains, your body will reap huge benefits when it comes to both performance and recovery.

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