As an increasing number of people cut meat, chicken and fish out of their diets and go vegetarian the focus on what to eat when exercising and keeping fit has become more intense.

Many people are under the impression that athletes cannot be vegetarian, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

If you’re thinking of going vegetarian but still want to perform at your peak, take a look at these top tips from sportsmen and women who far prefer a plant-based diet.

Eat the Rainbow

As long as you eat a varied vegetarian diet getting enough antioxidants, protein, essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients won’t be an issue. One trick to ensure that you get enough variety and enough of al the good stuff is to eat the rainbow.

What this means is that you eat a variety of foods of different colours. The colour of food is actually often indicative of its nutritional properties and dark leafy greens, rich red, purple and blue berries and brightly coloured fruits are all good for you.

Just like the games, vegetables come in many colours, and as an example, you can easily eat a mix of cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, red and yellow peppers, gem squash, pumpkin, peas and kale to get everything you need. If you want to add extra fats you can always add a splash of hemp seed oil, an avocado or lentils and edamame beans.

Use Post Work Out Meals for Recovery

After any workout refuelling is important, and you can use this meal as a recovery so that you won’t experience an energy dip and can work out again soon. An ideal post workout meal includes 4 grams of carbs for every gram of protein, but you can switch this ratio up, depending o what works for you.

At the end of the day a post workout meal should always include a decent amount of protein and carbs and a small serving of omega-3 fatty acids, as this helps to reduce any inflammation.

Awesome Post Work Out Meal Ideas

If you need a bit of inspiration for post workout vegetarian meal ideas, you can try some of the following:

  • Tofu scramble with avo and veggies
  • Oats, chia seeds and cherries
  • Breakfast tacos with tofu scramble and corn tortillas
  • Sweet potato and black bean salad
  • Tofu and quinoa salad
  • Broccoli, edamame and rice power salad
  • Lentil and veg pasta
  • Green smoothies
  • Chia, coconut and oat milk smoothie
  • Chickpea salad

Snack Tips

If you need a boost before you work out you can also opt for these snack ideas, as they won’t leave you feeling full or lethargic. It is always best to eat an hour or more before you exercise, as if you eat too close to your workout you can feel nauseous or get a stitch.

  • Raw veggie sticks
  • Hummus and crackers
  • Green smoothies
  • Apple slices, grapes or berries
  • Nuts or seeds