Plant-based diets have become quite popular in recent years. While they mainly used to only be followed for ethical or medical reasons, we find many gymnasts these days adhering to a plant-based diet because they think it’s “healthier” or “cleaner”.
I’ll be the first one to say we can probably all use a little more fruits and veggies in our daily lives. But the bottom line is these plant-based diets don’t necessarily guarantee health particularly for gymnasts. You can be plant-based and under fuel OR over fuel. You can miss out on important macro-nutrients. Or it may be an unsustainable diet because of pickiness, preferences, or access to enough variety/nutrients.
Unfortunately, social media plays a huge part in convincing gymnasts that there is a “perfect” diet for them to follow. It’s the “eat like me, look like me” culture that permeates their feed while scrolling. When realistically, we don’t see anything going on when the camera is turned off and the perfect poses aren’t posted.
In answer to the question, “what’s the best diet for a high-level performance athlete”, we take an “all foods fit” to nutrition approach. It is absolutely possible to be plant-based and a high-level gymnast and flourish. Because ultimately adequacy matters most.
In this episode you’ll hear:
- The main struggles and concerns for athletes that are following a plant-based diet. Issues to be aware of and on the lookout for with following very specific, elimination, or specialized diets
- What are plant-based diets and when the motivation to follow one can be a red flag
- How to best support your plant-based athlete to ensure adequate fueling.
Links & Resources
- VIP Nutrition Coaching Program, for level 5-10 female gymnasts
- Connect with Christina on Instagram @the.gymnast.nutritionist
- Private 1:1 Nutrition Coaching for High-Level Gymnasts