We are more conscious than ever about what we put into our bodies. For a lot of people, that can mean a radical diet overhaul, be it for ethical or health reasons. Even Instagram has been cited as a reason for changing diet trends! As a result, veganism has grown in popularity over the last 10 years, with PETA dubbing 2017 ‘the year of vegan’ and sales of vegan-friendly foods up 1500% during 2016. It’s estimated there are currently 542,000 vegans in Britain alone, but what does this mean when it comes to staying fit?
Any restrictive diet can cause problems with nutrition if it’s not planned properly and nutrient sources aren’t suitably replaced with healthy alternatives. When it comes to staying fit on a vegan diet the big challenge is protein. Some vegans may struggle to hit the recommended 2g of protein per kg of bodyweight that many experts recommend to maximise muscle gain. A great vegan protein supplement is therefore crucial. Pulsin pea and hemp proteins have the added benefit of being high in iron and zinc – micronutrients which may be lacking in a vegan diet, and important in muscle metabolism and hormonal regulation.
Another important vitamin to keep an eye on is vitamin D. New research is being released all the time around the benefits of vitamin D3 in various parts of the body. It can be hard to get vitamin D3 as a vegan, but there are vegan vitamin D3 supplements on the market now and it’s worth getting your hands on some if you can, especially living in the UK!
While protein and vitamin D3 can be problem areas for vegans looking to stay fit, a vegan diet does come with its own benefits. Fibre is an area of nutrition where vegans have the lead, as fruits and vegetables are our best dietary sources. Also, if you are eating lots of healthy wholefoods and staying away from processed food as much as possible you will be eating a really healthy diet – and you may find some new foods you have never tried before that you really love.
Particularly when dropping dairy, many people report many beneficial effects for their energy levels and their skin is said to improve.
As with any diet, meal planning is a must, but it’s even more important for vegans. By choosing to be vegan you will be cutting out a lot of foods that you can normally rely on – especially when it comes to protein containing foods. If you don’t plan around this and have some staple foods always in your cupboard you can easily end up not eating enough calories or protein. Pulsin protein powders are convenient ways to pack protein into vegan meals. Even if you’re not vegan, adding plant-based protein to meals can still be very useful. For example, whey protein is delicious in a smoothie but it can become cheesy when heated, and so pea or rice protein is a much better choice for hot foods, including soups, cookies or protein breads.
There’s a reason why trainers hammer home the idea that bodies are made in the kitchen. Getting, and staying, fit can require a level of dedication and basic nutritional understanding that a lot of people don’t have the time or inclination for. Pulsin products are designed to be suitable for everyone, including almost all special diets and age ranges. This has sometimes been misinterpreted, as almost all our products are plant-based, with some people believing we are only suitable for vegans or those avoiding dietary allergens. Being able to reach for a protein bar or add a plant-based protein to enhance food without worrying about additives, preservatives or high sugar content, vegan or not, is a huge weight off your mind when it comes to staying fit and healthy.
Check out the Pulsin competition in the July edition of SLOAN! and for more information about the Pulsin range of protein bars and powders, including recipes, follow @pulsinandbeond on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or visit pulsin.co.uk
About Ben Lewis
Ben Lewis is nutritional director and co-founder of Pulsin. He combined his knowledge of nutrition with a personal obsession for organic wholefoods to create Pulsin’s current range of award winning natural protein bars and powders.