Vegan Olympians are a rare breed. They have managed to achieve significant feats of agility and strength within their intense workout regimens, dietary restrictions and requirements, and performance during the heat of Olympic competition. Overcoming the intense stress on both the body and mind starts in the kitchen, as the food we eat functions to not only make us feel full and satisfied, but nourished and ready to go along with the rest of our day.
For your average person, a whole foods, plant-based diet can provide essential nutrients to get through the daily grind of work and leisure. Some may have more challenging, fast-paced, and physical jobs that require even more nourishment. Others may have a more mentally stimulating work environment, but less physical movement, such as those working a corporate desk job. Whatever the specific need may be, we all need appropriate nutrient intake throughout our days to function at our best. For vegan Olympians, this requirement is escalated and, in the most rare of cases, achieved to perfection as an Olympic runner passes through the finish line to win the 1st place Gold, or an Olympic extreme snowboarder sticks all of her landings in a half pipe to get the highest score from the judges.
All feats ranging from the simple and mundane of the day-to-day to the most extreme that athletes perform require excellent nutrition to be successful. Of course, other factors certainly play a role in the quality of performance such as practice, how often they workout, the quality of the workout regimen, genetics, and more; but it is hard to ignore that the food we eat plays an important part in this puzzle.