Some believe that eating a vegetarian diet is not acceptable for the swimmer. The swimmer’s body needs to be lean, muscular and able to move freely and easily through the water. The fact is, swimmers do need protein. In the average western diet, protein comes from meat products, such as pork or beef. These are not the only sources of protein though. As a swimmer, it becomes very important for you to focus specifically on building protein levels in your diet, around your vegetarian desires.
You do not have to give up being a vegetarian to swim, even in competitive arenas. Rather, you can focus on eating a diet rich in other sources of protein. The following tips can help you to accomplish this.
- Learn the types of vegetables and other foods available to you containing protein. If you are unsure of your options, do a bit of research in this area. Sweet potatoes, lentils, mushrooms and asparagus all contain high levels of protein.
- Beans and legumes are a very good source of protein. These are packed with the nutrition your body needs to build lean muscle mass.
- Eggs are another sources of protein. While some vegetarians prefer not to eat eggs, note that you can select better quality products. Try to use free range eggs, for example, since these have a higher level of Omega 3 fatty acids in them, which is important for joint health.
- Do consider eating fish. Those vegetarians who eat fish find it easier to obtain the level of protein necessary to boost muscle mass.
Vegetarian cooking can be a bit more challenging than everyday cooking. Vegetarians need to pay closer attention to the actual amounts of nutrition in the food eaten. Protein-packed diets are critical for those who are physical active, like the swimmer. By paying closer attention to your protein intake level, though, you can build strong muscles and perform well in the water and throughout life.