As the experts in triathlon nutrition, we get lots of calls and emails from triathletes, both rookies and veterans alike, that are vegetarians. Most of the questions relate to “ensuring they are doing the right things” related to their intake and meeting their needs when it comes to not only calories but also iron, protein and other macro- and micronutrients. Vegetarians often make excellent clients as they have already demonstrated an aptitude for modifying their diet and are obviously dedicated to making changes when it comes to what they eat.
“There are numerous myths associated with the consumption of a vegetarian diet. In particular, vegetarian triathletes are thought to be deficient in protein, iron, or other nutrients that can easily be obtained from meat. Allow me to be the first to dispel these types of folklores. Vegetarian triathletes can obtain all of the necessary nutrients to adequately fuel the body for hours of training and racing. In fact, a vegetarian diet may be more appropriate for triathletes because of their necessity to consume a large percentage of calories from carbohydrates. A vegetarian diet has also been associated with numerous health benefits, including lower rates of ischemic heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity and certain forms of cancer. Should we stop eating meat and head to the Italian market for pasta and vegetables? Perhaps, but let us first examine the key players in the vegetarian triathlete’s diet.”
Read the entire article, entitled “Triathlon Nutrition: Vegetarianism” here.