The “Protein Myth” that won’t go away
Lately, I have been hearing questions from readers and in lectures about the special “protein” needs of highly-trained athletes. Here is one of those questions—followed by a response by my son, Jason and two short videos from world-class athletes.
Dear Mr Hicks, I am a student at Holy Cross and a member of the varsity swim team. A big topic of discussion and concern for and from athletes, both amateur and professional, is that a plant-based diet does not provide enough nutrients, protein, and energy source that an athlete needs to perform in his or her sport.
I was advised to read into the work of vegan Iron-Man tri-athlete Brendan Brazier who is the creator of the Vega diet and author of the book Thrive. I have read most of the book and I find it to be very interesting and convincing in his argument for not only why a plant-based diet is sufficient for athletes, but superior and perhaps necessary for those looking to perform at their maximum potential. Please let me know your thoughts on this topic. Best, Richard
Jason’s response: Dear Richard, Congrats in finding a huge competitive advantage by heading in the 4Leaf (plant-based) direction—indeed the superior diet for athletes with decreased recovery time and increased energy/focus. My wife and I are also quite active (skiing, hiking, biking, , adventure races, tris, etc…) and Brazier’s book was a huge help to us as well. Also see “The All Pro Diet” by Tony Gonzalez (long time all pro TE on the Falcons).
In addition to 4Leaf, we also take plant protein supplements like the Brazier’s Vega. We make plant protein smoothies daily and consume them immediately after our workouts. It is also less expensive than the Vega, can be easily ordered via amazon and substituted within Brazier’s smoothie recipes. Click here for the one on Amazon that we use. Best, Jason
Two short 3-minute videos by Martina Navratilova and Brendan Brazier
Most professional tennis players retire in their mid-30’s; Martina won a U.S. Open Mixed Doubles title just shy of her 50th birthday. Her video is an excellent “big picture” look at how to eat a superior diet. Sounds to me like she’s high in the 4Leaf range.
Notice that neither one of these great athletes even mentioned the possible “need” for eating ANY animal protein. As far as they are concerned, there is no “protein myth.”
Still not convinced? Take 2 minutes to see what Dr. McDougall has to say about meat and dairy sources of protein and the risks that go along with them.
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Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen. Got a question? Let me hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com
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