• Anna Hardman

Will a plant based diet improve my running performance ?

Will a plant based diet improve my performance?

Slowly but surely plant based diets are the taking over the world of running 🏃‍♀‍

First of all I would like to define a ‘ plant based diet’ this is a diet of foods which are derived from plants with few or no animal products.

The types of plant based diets include:

🧀 🥚 🥛 Lacto-ovo vegetarian eats dairy and eggs but no meat or seafood

🥚 Ovo-vegetarian eats eggs but no other foods from animals including dairy

🌱 Vegans – do not eat any animal product at all

With this in mind can you really get the most out of your performance eating a plant based diet? By cutting a whole food group out can it have a positive impact on your performance ? Absolutely in some cases!

The cornerstones of a healthy diet are fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds which are the basics of a good plant based diet.


✅Often people feel better from additional nutrients in their diet by eating more fruit and vegetables and improving the quality of their diet they have more of the key nutrients which improve performance

✅Reduced risk of heart disease, some cancers, and total cholesterol

✅Improved immune system

✅Saves the planet - Our planet is in trouble, global warming is real and it’s happening right now. Farming animals for meat and dairy is contributing to around 15% of green house gases.


❓Will you get enough protein, it is not impossible to meet protein requirements but before making changes make sure you research good protein sources to include in your diet.

❓Will you be getting enough calories plant based foods are often not as calorie dense so you need to get used to eating larger amounts to ensure sufficient energy for running.

❓Will you get enough iron? Iron is essential for running and health. Iron is found to be rich in meat however in smaller amounts are present in plant sources it’s important to be mindful of this if your considering to change your diet.

A well planned plant based diet can support a healthy balanced diet and improve health for everyone! However often performance is improved in some cases when runners who have a diet with poor nutritional value before they start a plant based diet, therefore this is not to say a plant based diet will improve every runners performance. Sometimes it may be the change in mindset about nutrition which makes people feel better for example they follow a plant based diet and feel instantly healthy so eat less sugary foods and drink less alcohol etc which helps to improve performance. A poorly planned plant based diet increases the risk of nutrient deficiencies and have a detrimental effect on performance. Before making any drastic changes to your diet, also seek support from a trained health care professional don’t just jump into it.


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