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What To Eat As An Active Vegan

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This post first appeared on Piping Rock. All content belongs to that brand.

Are you someone who hits the gym, cares about your health but is also a total animal activist?  Or are you someone who is very active and wants to become vegan yet fears it will interfere with your progress? We understand the struggles that could be met in getting tone and building muscle while sticking to your admirable diet/lifestyle. In either scenario, we’re here to lend a guiding hand. Below are our top 3 tips to get the most out of your gym time while living your vegan lifestyle.

Protein Power

It’s no surprise that when you bite the bullet and say goodbye to animal-based sources of protein, you’ll be wondering “What’s next?” But it’s not actually that hard to get your daily intake of protein to keep in good shape. It’s recommended that an average male weighing 140 lbs should get about 83 grams of protein daily. So, what exactly does that look like and how can you make sure you’re getting such with your active, vegan lifestyle? Here’s a quick breakdown of a few common high protein foods that are vegan friendly and will land you right in the range of safe:

Chickpeas: 1 Cup (39 g)

Lentils: 1 Cup (18 g)

Black Beans: 1 Cup (39 g)

In the event you’re short on time to cook and have to hustle to the gym that day, you are always welcomed to meet your daily percentage through a yummy protein shake. We have a terrific Pea Protein Powder (Non GMO) Shake you may like.

Be Iron Made

There is a large stigma around the fact that vegans don’t get enough iron and that the most iron is found in red meat. We’d like to say “Halt!” on that one. There are two types of iron in the world, let us introduce you to them: Non-heme iron is from plants, think dark leafy greens, and heme iron, think steak. What’s the difference? Non-Heme only gets absorbed depending on the amount of iron already present in your system and won’t absorb anymore. Heme iron, on the other hand, will be absorbed by the body no matter what. This means that meat-eaters can end up getting more iron than they need. Not good. So for all you vegans out there, here are top sources for iron:

+ Spinach, Cooked

+ Kale

+ Swiss Chard

Supplement That Meat

When it comes to a meat-free diet, there are two key nutrients that we close ourselves off to: Vitamin B-12 and Creatine. Both of these are found naturally in meat; whereas, they are not found in plant-based foods. The result? You’ll need to supplement them to stay in a healthy zone. Here’s a little background on each, just so you’re familiar:

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B-12: Known as the “energy vitamin” is a water-soluble compound that plays a key role in energy metabolism.**

 

Creatine: An amino acid that is found in the muscle and works on the cellular level to aid in the transfer of energy.** It’s beneficial in helping develop lean muscle mass in vegetarians, since as mentioned above, those who don’t eat meat tend to have lower amounts of the nutrient stored in their muscles.**

See, there’s no need to have to be drawn into an ethical conflict any longer. It’s completely possible to have a healthy lifestyle and stand by your values at the same time!

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