What do all of these successful people know about a plant-strong lifestyle that 95% of Americans don't? They know the power of whole plants control their health destinies. They don't want to play Russian roulette by eating meat, dairy and refined garbage.
Now, what about the athletes? Well, how about Tony Gonzalez, former Kansas City Chiefs tight end, and currently on the Atlanta Falcon's team. He read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell in 2007 and with some help from a plant-eating coach, he broke the record for both touchdown receptions by a tight-end and career receptions by a tight end by the end of the 2007 season.
What about Rip Esselstyn, author of The Engine 2 Diet? He states that he made the leap from a meat-weak diet to a plant-strong diet in 1987 when he decided to become a professional triathlete. Plants gave him an abundance of phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, protein and water to support his body in its recovery phase after training and racing. He would train 4-8 hours a day and he states plants protected him from the stresses of this type of endurance. He believes plants gave him arteries and vessels that were youthful and elastic, improving blood flow to working muscles for killer oxygen uptake and a strong immune system that kept him healthy and free from illnesses. Plants gave him a lean body and a muscular body that was perfect for slicing through the water, pedaling efficiently on a bike and running like the wind.
During the first hour of exercise, carbs provide half of the energy your body consumes. The harder you push, the more carbs you use. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that athletes base 70% of their diets on this type of plant food, focusing especially on complex-carbs, the whole-grains and starchy vegetables.
Fat is your backup source of energy. Along with glycogen, your body metabolizes fatty acids for fuel, especially after the first hour of exercise. If you don't have enough, your engine will start to sputter. This is where most people turn to meat without thinking about what they are putting into their body.
At the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, the endurance athletes that are following a high-carb, low-fat diet perform longer than those on a high-fat, low-carb diet. They get their fat from healthful whole-food sources like avocados, olives, oats, nuts and green leafy vegetables, (YES, green leafy vegetables have about 9-11 percent healthy fats!).
The amount of protein athletes need is actually quite small, about 10-12% of their total calories, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. No one recommends that any athlete, even strength-training ones, eat more than 2 gr of protein per day for every 2.2 pounds of body weight. Remember, you can get all you need from leafy greens, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds. The Nevada state government recommends that even boxers get their protein from vegetable sources rather than meat.
Rip Esselstyn says that athletes should think of their body like a car. If you put in premium fuel, it will run longer and better than on economy unleaded. Meat isn't premium fuel. Meat comes with a lot of baggage that isn't doing you any favors. Athletes on a plant-based diet are generally advised to eat 3000-6000 calories a day.
You might consume more calories than meat eaters, but a full tank of premium beats a quarter-tank of economy any day!