Vegan Athletes will there be any at the Olympics?
The short answer is NO. I was asked to provide some comment by a journalist who works for the Metro Newspaper in London, in particular to a couple of diets and articles one form the Daily Mailthat have been suggesting that athletes are eating a vegan diet and will be competing at the Olympics. Some of these journalists (Kirsty Lau) need to up their game. Michael Arnstein Marathon Runner and the 80 10 10 diet. The Daily Mail that says he is training towards the Olympics, it is disingenuous to say that as his times are in the region of 2 hours 30, the winning male time will be around 2 Hours 8 minutes. he wouldn't even get close to a medal in the women's race as Paula Radcliffes world record time is around 2 hours 18 I think. Anyone can say the are training towards the Olympics. The 80 10 10 diet advises 80 percent of your food comes from fruit 10 from fat and 10 from protein. This type of diet might be suitable for a 3 day detox but as a long term living style I would *NEVER* recommend it for a member of the public let alone an athlete. Firstly the protein levels are way too low, the components of the immune system are formed from proteins so there is an increased likelihood that you will get ill especially if you are training hard and putting your body under stress. When an athlete trains hard they damage their muscle fibres and these are repaired by protein. So the longer term effect of this diet would be a loss in lean muscle mass, decreased strength and a look that resembled a stick insect. Also the fat levels are way too low, fat has been demonised in western society over the past 40 years or so with an over reliance on refined carbohydrates this has helped cause the obesity epidemic, did anyone watch the Men Who Made Us Fat? Every single cell of our body is composed of fat, the cell membranes are fat, vitamins like A and D are soluble only in fat and require fat to be able to be moved around the body. This diet would be very low in Omega 3 oils, plant based sources of omega 3 oils are not as effective as those we get from fish and to begin with the overall fat levels are way too low. The author of the 80 10 10 diet has no medical or nutrition training and it is a shame that he somehow manages to get himself being promoted in the mainstream press. I would be astonished if any medallist at the Olympics ( unless it is something like shooting or archery that does not require any level of strength or fitness) could claim that they were following a diet like this. Brendan Brazier and his company Vega, I've had a quick scout around about him on his website he is a Pro IronMan, he stopped competing in 2006 and did not have any really big wins in any major events. He started his supplements company soon after his last race. One is left to presume that he was following his plan when he was competing but there is no proof of this. I looked at some of his meal plans on his website they were in the region of 1200-1500 calories a day anyone is going to lose weight on that low a number. All his meal plans also require you to use his supplements or mixed drinks. Not a bad business model to help you make money! For an ultra endurance athlete it is not a good idea to follow a raw or vegan diet as I've mentioned before they tend to be low in carbs and complete proteins and physically it's hard to eat enough carbs from raw foods, an endurance athlete would need to have some energy dense carbs that need cooking like rice and potatoes to fuel their long sessions.
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