Rebecca Boatman On Making a Vegetarian Lifestyle Work for Runners
Rebecca Boatman, a vegetarian and fitness enthusiast, explains how the lifestyle can work for long distance runners.
PHILADELPHIA, PA, August 12, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Rebecca Boatman is a fitness enthusiast who regularly enjoys hikes and yoga classes. She also leads a vegetarian lifestyle, noting that it has helped her to feel better and enjoy more energy. Now Boatman is speaking out on a new article from Runner's World that explains how a vegetarian diet can still provide the energy a long distance runner needs to endure a tough workout.
Dr. Dilip Ghosh, director of Nutriconnect in Australia, took a look at a number of studies in order to analyze how this kind of diet would impact a runner. He found that by focusing on certain foods, a runner is able to get the protein, iron, zinc, and other nutrients they need to perform well without eating meat. Items that should be targeted include leafy vegetables, fruits, soy drinks, fortified breakfast cereal, nuts, and milk products.
Ghosh notes, "Vegetarian athletes can meet their dietary needs from predominantly or exclusively plant-based sources when a variety of these foods are consumed daily and energy intake is adequate." He presented this information in a speech at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists' annual meeting held in Chicago recently.
Leslie Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Center for Sports Medicine, agrees, "Can a runner meet protein and nutrient needs on a vegetarian diet? Absolutely. But it does take some strategizing, selectivity, and planning. A half-cup of black beans has seven grams of protein, but to get 20 grams of protein at a meal, you'd have to eat 1.5 cups of beans, or swap in edamame, which have more protein, or use a combo of beans, tofu, and nuts along with quinoa, which is a higher protein grain."
Vegetarian runners must have a solid understanding of nutrition in order to plan meals that provide the proper amounts of protein and other nutrients that they will need to stay sharp as they compete. Meat-free foods that are nutrient dense include: edamame, roasted soy nuts, soymilk, tofu, nut butters, nuts, quinoa, seeds, seed butters, and vegetables.
Nancy Clark, a sports nutritionist, explains that many runners do not consume as much protein as they believe they do. "I counsel too many runners who eat a few beans on a salad and think they have gotten enough protein. You need to eat a whole cup of beans to get the protein in 2 ounces of chicken," she states.
"Any athlete should understand how the foods they eat impact their body, and therefore their performance. However, this becomes especially important for those who avoid meat, as it is necessary to find other ways to get proper nutrients to ensure a successful competition or workout," states Rebecca Boatman.
Rebecca Boatman is a fitness enthusiast who can regularly be found hiking Runyon Canyon in Los Angeles or taking a yoga class. She is dedicated to fitness and good nutrition, and follows a vegetarian diet. She believes that this lifestyle has helped her to feel better, both physically and mentally. Boatman is also dedicated to philanthropic efforts in her community.
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