Is It Possible to Be an Athlete and Be Vegan_ (Plus The 5 Best Books On the Topic)

Is It Possible to Be an Athlete and Be Vegan? (Plus The 5 Best Books On the Topic)

Veganism is becoming an extremely popular method of helping the environment and living ethically. However, you might be wondering if you can still achieve your fitness goals as a vegan.

Fortunately, we have some great recommendations on books for vegan athletes that will be sure to help you out.

Is It Possible to Be an Athlete and Be Vegan?

There are all sorts of misconceptions about fitness and nutrition, so you have probably heard someone making claims that vegans cannot be athletes because they don’t get enough protein.

This is a common enough misunderstanding that we want to take a little time to tell you the truth about veganism and fitness. Veganism impacts fitness because what you eat affects your ability to build muscle or burn fat.

It is true that protein is a little trickier to come by when you’re vegan. Not only are big chunks of milk no longer an option, but you cannot have things like eggs, whey protein shakes, or other common bodybuilding staples.

Getting protein might not be quite as easy when you’re vegan, but according to dietician and coach Carrie Gabriel, it is still possible. What’s the secret?

It turns out that the key to getting enough protein is focusing on eating beans, lentils, peas, quinoa, and other protein-rich grains and legumes at just about every meal (2). You need to eat a mix of different types of protein to make sure that you get all the essential amino acids too.

There is also the issue of calories. Sports Nutrition lecturer David Rogerson explains that vegan diets are high in fiber, which can make you feel full without providing you with a lot of calories (1). This might be great if you want to cut back on weight, but it can be hard if you are trying to bulk up muscles.

Athletes who switch to veganism tend to agree that there is an adjustment period where they struggle to get enough protein and calories. Ultimately, they report that they end up feeling more focused, healthy, and clear-minded on a vegan diet, and this can actually improve athletic functioning.

All of this information can basically be summed up to mean that a vegan diet is not a huge setback to fitness, but those who are vegan and athletic need to think carefully about what they eat.

What a Vegan Fitness Book Can Do for Your Fitness Goals

As you can see, it is possible to get fit while being vegan, but it is a little trickier because you have to pay more attention to your nutrition. This is where vegan books for athletes can come in handy.

Trying to figure out everything on your own is tough, especially when a quick internet search always pulls up hundreds of blogs with contradicting opinions. A good book provides detailed and accurate nutritional information in an easy-to-search format.

Like any other fitness book, a vegan book for athletes can also give you some tips about how to get fit and build more muscle. You can learn the right exercises for how to achieve your fitness goals.

Finally, books written by vegan athletes can be a valuable source of inspiration and motivation. We know it can be a bit intimidating when you’re surrounded by athletes eating nothing but animal products, but vegan books share the unique and uplifting perspective of athletes who have decided to go vegan.

How to Find the Right Vegan Book for You

Anyone who is even the slightest bit interested in vegan eating and athletics can tell you there’s a huge range of books out there.

style=”font-weight: 400;”>You can find everything from personal memoirs to cookbooks. When looking for a good vegan book, you need to carefully consider your goals before making your choice.

If your main interest is soccer, tennis, running, or other cardio based sports, then you need to look for books that show you how to get enough energy and carbohydrates for lots of cardio.

People who are more interested in getting toned and building muscles should check out some of the books for vegan bodybuilders.

In addition to searching for books with the right overall athletic focus, you also need to be able to find books that give you the information you need.

Are you an indifferent cook who usually just eats out? Then a book with detailed and helpful recipes is going to be important for you.

Do you already know how to cook but are new to the whole exercise thing? Try looking for vegan books that provide exercise routines and tips for how to do recipes.

In our guide to the top five vegan books for athletes, we are going to focus on books that provide a blend of everything you need. The items on our show you how to eat and exercise while providing valuable insight and inspiration to get you excited about becoming a vegan athlete.

Note: If you click some of the links in this article we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Five Great Books That Every Vegan Athlete Should Read

No Meat Athlete: Run on Plants and Discover Your Fittest, Fastest, Happiest Self by Matt Frazier

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With several marathons and ultramarathons under his belt, Matt Frazier has plenty of expertise to share with athletes who want to go vegan. We like that the author has such a friendly, non-judgemental, and positive tone. When you read it, you really feel like you can get in shape and eat a vegan diet without an excessive amount of stress or effort.

Pros

  • The book contains multiple training manuals, so you can find one that matches your fitness level and athletic ambitions.
  • You can find sections on basic cooking skills to get you started.
  • There are plenty of recipes to give you an idea of what to eat as a vegan athlete.
  • An extremely motivational tone really inspires you to eat vegan and learn to love running.

Cons

  • The structure of the book can feel slightly unorganized even though the content itself is solid.

Shred It! Your Step-by-Step Guide to Burning Fat and Building Muscle on a Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet by Robert Cheeke

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Robert Cheeke has done quite a few books on being athletic and vegan in the past, but this one is definitely our favorite. It focuses primarily on building muscle and burning fat, so it is great for athletes who want to get into peak condition.

Pros

  • Lots of testimonies from other vegan athletes lend a nicely personal touch.
  • You get a simple introduction to plant-based nutrition that is helpful for any athletic goals you need to achieve.
  • Guidelines and recipes for daily meals give you some ideas of what to eat.
  • Science based tips for burning fat and building muscle help you to get very toned.

Cons

  • There are no individual meal plans in the book.
  • It focuses a little more on aesthetic results instead of athletic fitness.
  • Calorie and nutrition information is not provided for all the recipes in the book.

Thrive: The Plant-Based Whole Foods Way to Staying Healthy for Life by Brendan Brazier

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As a professional athlete who eats an entirely plant based diet, Brendan Brazier is definitely knowledgeable on this subject. In addition to going a little deeper into the philosophy and mentality of eating vegan than some of the other items on this list, he also gives you realistic tips for getting fit while dealing with dietary constraints.

Pros

  • The 12 week whole food plan takes all the stress out of eating as an athlete.
  • Brazier’s sections on exercise guides you through various fitness plans.
  • With detailed instructions on things like when to eat food after exercising, you do not have to use guesswork to get fit.
  • There are also raw food, gluten free, soy free, sugar free, and wheat free options if you need to follow a special diet.

Cons

  • Some of the foods are expensive and tricky to get.
  • Some of the parts of this book, particularly the section on the alkalinity of food, are not backed up by scientific research (3).

Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek

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In this book, Jurek shares his story of transition from a meat filled diet to veganism while continuing to be an endurance runner. His tale is very motivational, and he encourages you to also focus on your fitness goals as you read. We like that this book manages to combine an interesting narrative with plenty of helpful information.

Pros

  • As a record-making ultrarunner, Jurek is sure to inspire any serious athlete.
  • All the tasty recipes give you ideas for how to stay seriously energized on a vegan diet.
  • The intensely personal storal gives you a real perspective on what it is like to switch to veganism.

Cons

  • There are not really any detailed exercise plans within the book.
  • Jurek primarily focuses on ultra-long marathons, so those who mostly need strength or sprinting speed may not get as much out of this book.

The Vegan Athlete: Maximizing Your Health and Fitness While Maintaining a Compassionate Lifestyle by Ben Greene

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This helpful overview is tidily divided into a few basic sections. It contains a helpful overview, a series of chapters on dietary needs for vegan athletes, and a handy exercise program. Greene’s book is ideal for those who just want a basic, no-nonsense guide to training and improving your fitness while still being vegan.

Pros

  • A wide range of lifting routines and exercise plans lets new athletes figure out something that works for them.
  • Tasty recipes help you to get enough nutrition while still eating vegan.
  • The book addresses the social stigma of being a vegan athlete which is often ignored.
  • A 3 step guide to going vegan helps you to smoothly transition to veganism over a couple weeks.
  • You can easily look up any meal in the book with the recipe index.

Cons

  • The nutrition and recipe section of this book could be a little more comprehensive.
  • Some sections are far too obvious and basic for those who already know about veganism and fitness.

Our Ultimate Favorite

While Shred It! is a great choice if you want to get ripped and Eat and Run is useful for marathon runners, we think the most comprehensively helpful option is No Meat Athlete.

Frazier’s book walks you through meal and training plans that build muscle, drop fat, and increase cardio capability. It manages to give detailed, step-by-step advice without being boring for those who already know a little about fitness and veganism.

By the time you finish this book, you will be comfortably vegan and well on your way to reaching your fitness goals.

Is It Possible to Be an Athlete and Be Vegan_ (Plus The 5 Best Books On the Topic)

Sources

(1) http://theconversation.com/the-high-performance-vegan-athlete-new-research-shows-it-is-possible-84868

(2) https://www.onemedical.com/blog/eat-well/yes-you-can-build-muscle-on-a-vegan-diet/

(3) https://www.webmd.com/diet/a-z/alkaline-diets