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New Perception On Extreme Endurance Coaching and Well being- The Function of Wholesome Weight-reduction plan – BionicOldGuy

I’ve been inquisitive about what constitutes “an excessive amount of of factor” with endurance train for a while. I first mentioned it in my publish “How A lot Train Is Too A lot?” and gave an replace on it right here. I just lately got here throughout an article within the peer-reviewed journal Vitamins that gave an attention-grabbing perception into the connection between endurance train and weight-reduction plan [1], particularly with regard to cardiovascular well being. They reviewed disturbing proof that those that do numerous endurance train could also be at elevated threat for coronary artery illness, and commented “surprisingly, endurance athletes might have extra superior atherosclerosis and extra myocardial harm, in contrast with sedentary people, significantly as they age”.

The authors then identified that endurance athletes are likely to eat greater than their sedentary counterparts, to gasoline their exercise. However this further gasoline just isn’t essentially wholesome, particularly if they’re consuming a typical trendy weight-reduction plan just like the Customary American Weight-reduction plan. Since many consultants consider such a weight-reduction plan incorporates extreme quantities of animal protein and saturated fats, consuming larger quantities of it could make issues worse. They then go on to argue that these exercisers can be higher off consuming a wholesome plant-based weight-reduction plan which might reduce the load of animal meals that will contribute to arterial plaque formation. It might additionally cut back one other contributor to coronary artery illness, irritation.

I found this text in a video on Dr. Michael Greger’s web site entitled “Why All Athletes Ought to Eat Plant-based Diets“. He reviewed the proof that has been beforehand introduced on the advantages of plant-based diets for athletes, most famously within the documentary “The Gamechangers“. However he additionally emphasised the brand new perception introduced in ref [1].

Whether or not a plant-based weight-reduction plan is important to cut back the danger of coronary artery illness amongst getting older athletes could also be controversial. First, I at all times wince after I see “plant-based” as a substitute of “whole-food plant-based”. I notice the latter is awkwardly lengthy and it could be tempting to only say “plant-based” as an alternate, however it is a slippery slope. There are various unhealthy overprocessed meals which are nonetheless plant-based, equivalent to sweet and potato chips. Second, extra animal protein and saturated fats will not be the one issues incorrect with typical trendy diets, additionally they include extreme quantities of sugar and different “unhealthy carbs”. However I feel it’s clear that getting older athletes ought to keep away from the temptation of considering they’ll eat no matter they need and they’re protected by their train. Even for many who will not be satisfied it’s essential to comply with a whole-foods plant-based weight-reduction plan, it might nonetheless be a good suggestion to comply with wholesome consuming suggestions, equivalent to Harvard’s Wholesome Consuming Plate.

Within the well-known novel As soon as A Runner, the lead character, a aggressive collegiate runner, describes his consuming by saying “if the furnace is scorching sufficient it doesn’t matter what you place in it”. I feel many athletes have this angle, I definitely leaned in that route after I was youthful. I used to be glad I might get away with consuming just about no matter I wished so long as I exercised sufficient. However I consider this turns into extra harmful as we age.


  1. Barnard, N. et al, “Plant-Based mostly Diets for Cardiovascular Security and Efficiency in Endurance Sports activities”, Vitamins, Jan. 2019.



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