21-Day Vegan Kickstart

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Forums: January 2012 Kickstart Forum: Athletes
Created on: 01/04/12 03:04 PM Views: 1353 Replies: 4
Athletes
Posted Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 3:04 PM

My kids and I have joined the kickstart. My husband eats a little dairy so he's vegetarian but at mealtimes he eats what we are eating. He's very supportive.
My husband and daughter are both hardcore long distance runners all year long. (She's in high school). Typically, every morning they share a smoothie made with whey protein powder. Is there someway to alter the protein supplement so they can still partake in the drink together? I think they'd try an alternative for 21 days.

RE: Athletes
Posted Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Hi! There are so many vegan protein powders on the market. I would probably opt for a more "natural" one such as pea powder, hemp powder, or rice powder. And I would take it only if getting protein from food is not an option, in other words, burning thousands of calories a day such as a professional athlete might.

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: Athletes
Posted Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Do you mean that because of the calories or because it's not as healthy as a whole food? Or just because sometimes people think they need the extra protein but they really don't because they get enough by eating well?

If calories, they both need them. She's so thin that she can't eat huge meals without discomfort, so she eats constantly! She also eats nuts at school for a snack. (along with her fruits and veggies). Fortunately, she loves salads and beans etc... They were making their smoothies with juice till a month ago when they switched it out to rice dream in an effort to lower the sugar level.

RE: Athletes
Posted Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 4:07 PM

Sorry, to clarify, I mean taking in extra protein that you do not need carries certain risks including taxing the blood and kidneys. Athletes need only slightly more protein per kilogram of body weight than inactive people, but since most of us consume far more protein than we need, athletes are usually already covered.

And as we consume more calories, which it sounds like your daughter needs to be doing, protein intake naturally increases, since all whole foods contain plenty of protein (fruit is the exception with only minimal amounts). My favorite fun fact is that broccoli is 33% protein!

I would consider a smoothie with lots of whole foods (plant milk, berries, frozen bananas, etc.) and skip the added protein powders. But, if your daughter is more comfortable with this option, I would focus on a whole-foods product as possible. Tri-athlete Brendan Brazier sells a formula called Vega. I know some super-athletes who use it and think it's great!

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: Athletes
Posted Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 11:18 PM

This is great to know. It was really helpful and enlightening for all of us. Thanks!!!


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