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Professor Timaree Hagenburger (vegan): Peaking With Plant-Based Sports Nutrition, Part 2 of 3

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“So, calories are going to depend on many factors. There isn't just one set of calories for everybody. Everybody can figure out how many calories they need based on equations. One of them that's very common is called Harris Benedict. Now it's very common, and research has shown us that a lot of athletes, especially endurance athletes and cyclists, they're at risk for not getting enough calories. And so, for them it's going to be important to eat, maybe quantity-wise, more than they used to eat. So with protein intake, it's a lot of people feel like they need a lot of protein and our country especially, and I think the whole world is following now that we think protein is the most important and that it's been very commercialized. But in fact, athletes can get all of the protein and all of the essential amino acids that they need by eating whole foods.”

“But before the event, we want something that's very easy to digest. And if it's going to be a sustained event in the afternoon, then you can do a high carbohydrate, even 3 to 4 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram body weight, 3 to 4 hours before. Now with fluid, it's going to be somewhere between 5 to 10 milliliters of liquid per kilogram, 2 to 4 hours before an event.”

“If it's a dehydration-related muscle cramp, we typically see that come at the end of prolonged, intense activity and can also start as small spasms on both sides of the body. It's important to always consume adequate potassium, and plant-based eaters are going to get great sources of potassium.”

Let’s find out about the type of nutrition needed after an event to help the body recover. “And then to follow up with a balanced meal with carbohydrate and protein and fat, somewhere between one hour to maybe 90 minutes after the event. Carbohydrate has been shown to help with long-term recovery and long-term performance. So, the oats and the beans and the lentils, and the potatoes, and the fruit is just key for them to be able to perform race after race and recover in between.”

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