When it comes to making a diet plan, especially if you’re an athlete, it’s important to take a creative and dynamic approach. This involves weighing your diet plans in terms of both short term (energy provision) and long-term (adaptation of body) goals. Vegetables are considered an important food group for athletes.
Rich in Vitamins
The biggest benefit of vegetables is that they contain a huge repository of vitamins, and this goes for almost every vegetable. But the connection between vitamins and vegetables is much more complex. Vegetables are more than just a storage room for vitamins.
Vegetables contain vitamins that most supplements don’t, which give them a unique advantage. In addition, vegetables contain a number of other vitamins that aren’t usually produced commercially—since the body needs them in only small quantities and industries don’t produce something unless it is needed on a large scale.
Furthermore, vitamins are needed by the body not to gain muscle or mass. They don’t even serve as a source of energy. Simply put, they do not give you any boost in the performance or build your muscle.
Essentially, vitamins help process other substances. So if carbohydrates serve as the source of energy, the body needs vitamins to process the carbohydrates and get the energy out of them.
Similarly, if proteins are turned into muscle mass, the body needs vitamins to process those proteins into muscle mass. In other words, the body needs vitamins to execute the complex chemical reactions for energy and muscle again. They are needed only to facilitate the reactions. They don’t take part in them as such.
Therefore, you do not usually need multi-vitamins to supplement your diet. All you need is an adequate supply of vitamins that can keep the really meaningful reactions going. And, a vegetable diet gives you just that—a rich, balanced supply of vitamins.
But be careful, unnecessary intake of vitamins could lead to serious health problems, so always try to stick to the happy mean—something you can do without conscious effort if you make vegetables a small part of your diet.
High in Fiber
Vegetables also enrich your diet with naturally available fibers—something athletes absolutely need. The reason is, all athletes pivot their diet around a huge intake of proteins, which often disturbs the body’s normal function. This leads to a range of problems, including indigestion, constipation, etc.
The fibers present in the vegetables prevent such disorders in the first place and serve as a remedy to those already existing. So making vegetable part of your diet can offset the side effects of proteins.
High in Iron
Vegetables are also rich in minerals, especially Iron, which is essential for athletes. Low iron content in the blood results in more fatigue during workout—something athletes often (and erroneously) refer to as poor stamina. Vegetables provide the body with the much-needed iron intake that increases endurance during workout sessions and boosts stamina.
They Don’t Build Muscles
Vegetables might contain a rich assortment of vitamins and fibers, but they don’t give you carbohydrates or proteins in the required amount. The thing is, athletes require a large intake of proteins to build muscle mass, and they need a large intake of carbohydrates to get the energy needed to carry out the exercises to gain the muscle mass. But vegetables provide neither. So if you are trying to build muscles, protein sources are a far better alternative than most vegetables.
Limiting Yourselves to Vegetable Diet Can Cause Kidney Stones
Many athletes make the deadly mistake of taking vegetables in an unnecessarily large amount. This leads to kidney stones, a painful problem that many athletes mistakenly associate only with unnecessary protein intake.
Regardless of the type of eating plan you choose to adapt to supplement your workout, make sure that you research the benefits so that your gains do not suffer.
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