Lifestyle Blog

Greater Strength, Endurance, and Performance with a Plant-Based Diet

There have been many studies in the past comparing diets and which types of diets help people to have better strength, performance, and endurance. I was reading in the book Diet For a New America, by John Robbins and learned some about some amazing studies of how a plant-based diet helped people to perform better in various exercises. And, they also had a much quicker recovery time. So, I’m sharing some of what I’ve learned here.

There were some incredible tests that were done by a Danish team of researchers in 1968. They used the same group of men, but had them try three different types of diets in separate intervals. Then each time, they had them all exercise on a stationary bike to test for endurance or how long they could ride before becoming exhausted and stopping.stationary exercise bike

  1. After eating a diet that was a combination of vegetables and meat, the average endurance on a bicycle was 114 minutes
  2. Then, at another time period, they ate an all-animal-product diet including eggs, milk, and meat. They could only cycle for 57 minutes.
  3. Finally, the men were given a diet of vegetables, grains, and fruit. Their endurance increased to the point of being able to cycle for 167 minutes.

Another study was done by a Professor Irving Fisher of Yale University. The results of this study were published in the Yale Medical Journal.  He tested three different groups of men including vegetarian athletes, vegetarian sedentary individuals, and meat-eating athletes. The vegetarian athletes and vegetarian sedentary group performed better than the meat-eating athletes.

The amazing thing was that the vegetarian group included sedentary people while the meat-eating group were all athletes. This could have made the study have an unfair bias towards helping the meat-eating group, however, the vegetarian group had a higher average score that was more than double the score of the meat-eaters. Considering that half of the vegetarians were non-exercisers makes the study result more convincing

Then there was a similar type of study done by Dr. J. Ioteyko of the Academie de Medicine of Paris. He ran a wide variety of tests with vegetarians and meat-eaters to see which group had the greatest endurance. Here were his findings:

  • Vegetarians tended to have two to three times more stamina than meat-eaters on the average.
  • They were also able to have recovery from exhaustion in only one-fifth of the time compared to the meat-eaters.hand holding a grip meter

There was also a study done by some Belgium doctors with grip meters. The meat eaters had an average ability to squeeze the grip meter 37 times, while the vegetarians were able to exceed this by being able to squeeze it 69 times. The vegetarians also had a much quicker recovery rate.
Here is more information about how a plant-based diet helped an ironman tri-athlete. This story was found at Herbal Legacy.

…Brendan Brazier who has been a professional ironman tri-athlete. He tried many different diets and ways of eating in an effort to decrease his recovery time and to maximize his training. He says that 80% of recovery has to do with diet and discovered that when he stayed on a plant based diet eating mostly raw vegan foods his performances improved and his recovery times decreased. His body was able to recover from the stress of his rigorous workouts quicker so that he was ready to put in more training time. “The result was astounding.” He explains. “Not only did my recovery time plummet but my energy level, strength-to-weight ratio, and endurance shot up…I attribute these exceptionally fast gains to the detailed attention I paid to my diet.”
I  can say for myself that while I tend to be sedentary, when I follow a vegan diet, I definitely have more energy. I even feel like running to the mail box or from the car to the grocery store.

By following a plant-based diet, a person can have greater ability and endurance. Strength will increase, recover time will be much faster, and performance will be notably higher.