Discover how plant based nutrition can power your New Year fitness sessions. Words by registered nutritional therapist and Alchemy founder Karen Newby.
Plant vs whey protein
There are lots of advantages to opting for vegan protein powder over whey. Whey protein can often cause symptoms such as bloating, zapping us of our energy. As a dairy based food, it’s also pro-inflammatory containing arachidonic acid. Inflammation is the scourge of every athlete and it’s important to keep it in check which is why our Sport Elixir has a base of vegan hemp and pea protein. Plant protein also contains more fibre and hemp protein for example also contains omega 3 which is known to help keep joints supple.
Here are some examples of vegan protein sources:
- Hummus on oatcakes – 3g
- Almond butter on oatcakes – 4 g/tablespoon
- Coyo yogurt – 1 pot/3g 2:1 carb/protein
- Mixed seeds & nuts – 20g/4g protein
- Just 12 almonds contain 3g of protein.
- 4xfalafel 125g/8g protein
- Alchemy Sport Elixir – 4 g/serving
- Alfalfa or chickpeas (sprout them yourself or buy ready sprouted) are all fabulous sources of protein. If a seed is sprouted it increases the protein content of the food by approximately 30%.
- Our Pink Recovery Smoothie has 12g protein
Nourish your gut!
Plant protein as opposed to whey protein is also a natural source of fibre which nourishes the gut, often in need of some TLC especially if you run or cycle. Mechanical symptoms are more common in runners due to the repetitive gut impact, where as cyclists endure increased pressure on the gut.
Have a smoothie daily to increase gentle plant based fibre.
If your immune system is sluggish then your performance is likely to be too…
So often people don’t look after their immune system and then get injured or ill. Vitamin C is essential to help support the immune system after training and has also been shown to help support lean muscle mass (which is why our Sport Elixir contains over 110% of our recommended daily allowance of Vit C in every 10g serving). Zinc is also important – plenty of nuts and seeds, brown rice and even dark chocolate!
Natural plant based energy boosters
Natural energy production is also essential rather than relying on caffeine shots which can lead to increases in the stress hormone cortisol.
Vitamin C is essential for energy production – with over 200% in our Energy Elixir which can also be used as a pre-workout.
Magnesium – a key mineral to aid energy production (along with 300+ roles in the body!)- eat plenty of leafy greens.
Boost your B Vitamins to help enhance energy production. Eat 5 portions of veg a day (steam rather than boil as B Vitamins are water soluble so can be lost in the water when boiled).
Adaptogens such a maca (found in our Energy Elixir) was used by the Incas to help with stamina and strength prior to battle and can be used as a natural pre-workout booster.
Foods to minimise
Additional foods to minimise prior to training to help optimise our New Year performance:
- Total sugar load – refined sugar and simple carbohydrates.
- Caffeine can cause gut spasms.
- Reduce dairy and gluten.
- Excessive stress