Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Athletes Fuel Up On Plant Protein

by guest blogger Jody Perrecone

Scott Jurek- six time ultramarathoner winner, Patrick Neshek- Minnesota Twins relief pitcher, Brendan Brazier-ironman triathlete, Mac Danzig – ultimate fighting champion, Martina Navratilova – 18 time Grand Slam tennis champion, Robert Parish – Boston Celtics Hall of Famer, Arian Foster – NFL Pro Bowl 2010 and 2011, Rich Roll - world champion ultra man, Billie Jean King – #1 ranking in tennis five times, Carl Lewis nine time Olympic Gold Metal winner and world’s fastest human, Dave Zabriskie – Tour de France winner, Timothy Bradley - WEO welterweight champion – what do these athletes have in common?  #1 - they are all world-class elite athletes. #2 - they are all vegans (don’t eat meat or dairy products).

These athletes fuel up and thrive on beans, legumes, whole grains, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.  When people hear a person is a vegan or vegetarian, the first thought being “Where do you get your protein?” is so predictable! These athletes prove our bodies can function at their best by getting protein from sources other than meat and dairy products. 
While protein is vital to numerous functions including muscle movement, repairing and making new cells, transporting oxygen in the blood, hormone functions, and fighting germs, a protein deficiency would, among other things, cause a loss of muscle mass, something not found in these “best of class” athletes. They report feeling and performing at their best, having more stamina, being more focused, and quicker recovery times between workouts. The myth the more protein the better may be just that – a myth. Bypass the saturated fat and cholesterol found in meat and dairy products.   Like these athletes, you can get your protein from eating adequate amounts of beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruits. And you will thrive!

Jody Perrecone is a corporate manager for the Coronary Health Improvement Project (CHIP). CHIP is an international wellness program focusing on lifestyle interventions to create a healthier workforce and reduce overall healthcare costs. Jody works with hospitals, corporations, and communities to offer CHIP programs throughout the U.S.

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