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By Adam Galuszka
June 15, 2014

Attention Athletes: You can all benefit from adding more plant-based nutrition into your diet. Now, we’re not saying you need to be a full-time vegan or vegetarian, but going easy on the meat and beefing up your greens intake can enhance your athletic performance and increase your overall well-being. Most of us probably associate protein with meat. But did you know there are some great plant-based sources of protein that not only provide all the essential amino acids you need to build muscles, but that also carry a host of other benefits too? Plant protein is alkaline-forming, which helps maintain the pH balance of your blood. These proteins are low in saturated fats which gives your arteries a break from the heaviness of animal fat. Plant protein will give you feeling of fullness without bloating or adding to your fat stores. It’s also easier for your body to digest plant protein. We’re all about efficiency in our workouts, why shouldn't we be efficient with our digestion too? And, the less energy your body has to spend on breaking down your food, the more energy it can spend on using those nutrients to build you up. Great sources of plant-based protein are nuts, seeds and beans. Over the past 50 years or so, America became crazed by low-fat diets, labeling fat as the enemy and making us think we should stay far away from it. However, science is finally revealing that fats are actually a necessary part of a healthy and complete diet. As an athlete, fat is especially important because it’s necessary for hormone production, including growth hormone used to increase muscular strength. Walnuts, almonds, avocados, chia and flax seeds contain essential fatty acids like omega-3’s and 6’s that not only help build muscles but they ease your joints, can lower your cholesterol, and give you great skin and hair. Eating plants doesn’t have to taste bad! There are all kinds of plant-based bars that are decadent and filling. Vega also makes great supplemental powders, which have a huge supply of plant-based nutrients in 90-160 calorie packages. Just add any of these mixes to your favorite smoothie or shake to reap all the benefits. Try incorporating some of these foods into your diet, and see how you feel. You’ll be glowing, energized, and exceeding your athletic goals in no time.   Not sure where to start? Try out our Vegan Nutrition Box!