Vegan Nutrition Themes for high intensity training / sport

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Vegan Nutrition Themes for high intensity training / sport

Postby jpowell » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:26 pm

Hi,

I'm new to the forum. Have been life long vegetarian but now moving towards vegan due to newly realized concerns (mainly ethical and some nutritional) about dairy products. This thought process actually stemmed indirectly from a lot of thinking, reading and experimenting I have been doing recently about optimal fitness, conditioning and diet for me for (amateur) competitive table tennis in the context of a busy lifestyle. General health is always important too, and I want to improve that, but it's already well above average and without medical problems, so for me is of real and supporting but secondary concern.

I'm interested in feedback members here may have as to any nutritional themes/ideas I may have missed that will help my physiological/athletic performance. To clarify, table tennis benefits mainly from very high intensity short time span athletic performance and agility (think very fast reaction/direction changes, minimal foot time on the ground), even much more so than other racket sports like tennis, and from strength and conditioning of particular muscle groups, mainly core/obliques, hip flexors, leg muscles. Matches are also usually completed in 30-45min, so it's not an endurance sport in the same way as long distance running, triathlon or even tennis.

Btw my mass is about 73kg LBM + 10kg fat, target 75kg+5kg, but only because I'm a little bit vain - for functional purposes any LBM of 70kg+ would be as good or better for my height (180cm), and the fat loss will help.

Main areas I have so far to monitor/work on are:
[list=]Blood oxygenation - eat lots of greens - is any more detail necessary?
[*]Creatine supplements (I'm fairly sure they are vegan) - protocol dose, not excess - carnivorous diets also provide suboptimal creatine
Blood akalosis to improve lactate threshold - lots of raw food will help but probably still do pre training/event soda loading
[*]Hormone stimulation - it seems good testosterone levels are easier to achieve naturally on a vegan diet anyway, and alfafa and fenugreek will probably help but it seems important, both for a competitive edge and to get the most out of resistance training thereby being able to spend more energy on cardio, interval and agility training. I'm inclined given this to also minimize consumption of soy products to be on the safe side of the phytoestrogen issue.
[*]Adequate/optimal lysine - could be a concern especially with avoiding soy but surely an addressable one.
[*]Vasodilation - my BP is normal but I guess any improvement to oxygen delivery mechanisms can't be overlooked. I understand the answer is eat lots of garlic, celery, beetroot and walnuts, which seems easy enough
[*]Minerals - iron seems easy eating fresh food, calcium easy eating nuts and greens, iodine easy with seaweed, Mg easy with nuts, greens and seaweed, potassium easy by eating fresh unprocessed foods, Sodium easy unless my baking soda is too much (but I think I'm alright) or I add lots of foods made with refined kitchen salt (ick) - I can cheaply/easily add a little unrefined sea salt if/when I need more. Zinc I think may be a concern I can partly or wholly address with mushrooms and I'm still looking for more information to help me understand my phosphate needs. Common wisdom seems to be that adequacy of Phosphate is a non-issue in human nutrition, even for sport, despite importance of ATP reactions and that may be right but I'm unsure yet. [/list]

Any comments or other things I should be looking into?
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Re: Vegan Nutrition Themes for high intensity training / spo

Postby baldy » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:18 am

Welcome to the board, nice to have a competing table tennis player around. At all the VF events the table tennis is always the most competitive with loads of trash talking.
You should start a training log, sure to get loads of attention.

Can't help but think you are taking the micro break down of your diet very very seriously.
jpowell wrote:Blood akalosis to improve lactate threshold - lots of raw food will help but probably still do pre training/event soda loading

Where does this come from? Someone was talking about taking creatine with baking soda on here a while ago and just complained it made them sick.
Sound like total BS to me, do you have any articles about the regime you will be following and how its meant to work?
"A wise man once said, "It's easier to buy smaller clothes, than to put on 5kg." ... Buzz
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Re: Vegan Nutrition Themes for high intensity training / spo

Postby sergio » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:36 am

jpowell wrote:Zinc I think may be a concern I can partly or wholly address with mushrooms and I'm still looking for more information to help me understand my phosphate needs.


Zinc is available in legumes (lentils and chickpeas) and seeds (sesame, pumpkin, sunflower). Sprouting seems to increase bioavailability of zinc.
I accidentally replaced all of my blood with coffee.
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Re: Vegan Nutrition Themes for high intensity training / spo

Postby jpowell » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:57 pm

Baldy, I do tend to over-analyze things but I figure if I'm going to look into it I may as well do so properly. I am most likely to follow through properly (not perfectly without interruption, but well), on what I learn, so it is an investment of time I'm happy to make.

My training level is designed for fast improvement (well, as fast as my potential allows) at around local A grade level, which is far from world class but also far from beginner. I take the view that if my conditioning is ahead of my game level then a) I can do more decent quality on court training and b) it will be better focused on skills rather than just replicating stuff I could do in the gym.

The amount of attention I am putting to diet is probably more than "necessary" but I just can't see that being a problem, and I am happy that it has given me pause to re-evaluate ethical issues and general health issues at the same time :)
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Re: Vegan Nutrition Themes for high intensity training / spo

Postby jpowell » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:17 pm

"Soda loading" is a very mainstream thing for high intensity physical performance across a wide range of athletic disciplines. It has been used since the 1930s and from what I can gather studies of it are much less controversial/conflicting, as well as less commercially motivated, since you can buy sodium bicarbonate very cheaply in the supermarket.

The AIS (Australian Institute of Sport - an official government funded body), has a fact sheet on it, for example. The general principle is that by ingesting sufficient bicarbonate about 90min before performance, bicarbonate levels in the blood will be higher, hence improve the ability to sustain anaerobic energy reactions in the muscles over a period of about 5min. To be clear, it's not generally understood to improve constant aerobic level cardio such as in endurance sports by any measurable amount and I wouldn't use it for that.

The effective NaHC03 dose is quite high, about 0.3g per kg BW, and to avoid sickness AIS recommend splitting the dose, taking it with plenty of water and doing it no more than 3 times per week, all of which are sensible recommendations I can follow.

Taking bicarbonate and creatine (literally) "at the same time" doesn't make any sense to me, as creatine supplements help restore creatine stores in muscles, and are most effective if taken *after* exercise, ideally with a bit of an insulin spike / sugar hit. However, from what I understand, creatine amongst other things plays a similar redox role within the muscle as what the sodium bicarb is used for in the blood stream. I think you'll find the science on creatine is pretty mainstream too, but again the direct benefits mostly or exclusively linked to bursts of performance. (Some bodybuilders think, possibly correctly, this can help them do tougher workouts and enhance training adaptations. I don't really see myself as a body builder so for me creatine is not "for mass gain").

As for raw food alkalizing the blood generally, that's something I've read somewhere but am very much unsure of as to it's veracity, extent and relevance. I suppose I was partly hoping to see what reliable info, if any, might be had on the topic. If I don't get any, I will probably treat it as a possible minor but good side effect that may or may not exist of something that is a good idea anyway (eating more raw food).
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Re: Vegan Nutrition Themes for high intensity training / spo

Postby jpowell » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:26 pm

sergio thanks for the info on Zinc and sprouts... I have all these things dry in my diet anyway, so it seems like now I just have to get organized to do some sprouting!
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