Vegetarian or Plant based cyclist?


#1

I’m a vegetarian cyclist and very curious if there some other cyclist to share some experience.

I mostly eat plant based, some times I drink a cappuccino with milk or i eat some cheese.
This year i rode 10000km in Training and my FTP is at 285W with a weight of 66kg.

Last winter i did a blood test and I have no malnutrition every parameter was good (e.g. iron, b12…)

Here is a example of a daily meal.

Breakfast:
Bircher Muesli ( Overnight Oats with Apple, Nuts and other seasonal fruit) every day…its so delicious :-):blush:

Lunch:
e.g. millet with vegetables and kidney beans or some in the canteen at work (the canteen is fortunately very good)

Dinner:
e.g. Tofu with vegetables and rice (I cook a lot of asian meals because they have pretty good vegetarian recipes)

Hope to here from your experiences


#2

Thanks for starting this post. I am a Vegan Cyclist and are starting my training with TR. I have been wondering about food for my cyclist as well. I’m new to Training so I don’t have much input but thanks for the post.


#3

Vegetarian here! I went veggie last fall and have’t looked back. I actually eat a very similar breakfast and dinner to you. I love muesli! I also only have cheese every now and then and I use flax or almond milk with my coffee. I’ve also been trying out different ways to prepare my veggies (curries, asian stir fry, basic bakes, pastas, etc) and find that I can get plenty of variety with different flavors and types of veggies. I also started adding spirulina (SP2 life) to my breakfast and have experienced gains in overall energy and muscle growth/recovery from the amino acids, B vitamins, and pure plant based proteins.

This fall I’ve been hitting my base phase training pretty hard and i’m feeling great so far! I would love to hear more about the community’s experience training on a plant based diet.


#4

I’m the so called flexitarian. Trying to reduce animal products as much as possible.
Breakfast is oats, quinoa, amaranth, nuts, seeds, fruits and what else is available. My recipes are always based on vegetables, often tofu,…
If I have to take some protein shakes I make them my own. It’s just hemp, rice, pea protein with water. I don’t get these discussions about it tastes so earthy and not tasty. For me it’s a tool, not a dessert.
Some good inspirations I got from Brandon Braziers books.


#5

Almost 5 years plant based now. I’ve lost half my body weight between this diet and cycling (180lbs), would never go back. It’s amazing the recovery and repeatability I’ve gained since switching. I changed primarily for weight loss and health/longevity. The cycling benefits are a plus!

My daily meals are really similar! Overnight oats for breakfast, rice/bean/veg bowls for lunch, salad with roasted sweet potatoes for dinner e.g. Condiments are life. I focus a lot on nutrient density. I use Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen mobile app as a guideline to make sure I’m getting most of what I need.

Glad to see other veggies out there! I hear Nate talking about his diet often on the podcast and smile because it sounds similar :slight_smile:


#6

To add my own experiences, I’m about 90% plant based. The key is recognising that for amateur athletes, it’s unlikely that we’re pushing our bodies to the point of having to have 100% dialled diets. Therefore the things you “miss out on” from meat can either be adequately replaced OR if you’re willing to go flexitarian you can just have some meat and drastically reduce the risks associated with over-consuming meat products. The thing is that there is no right or wrong, nor do you have to commit the whole way! You do you.


#7

I’m really exited that here are some vegetarians or plant bases cyclist, because in my surrounding i don’t know a other cyclist…i try to convince them but its not so easy.
I don’t want to be a wise-guy and so i try to convince them per example.

Everybody ask me if its hard to life without meat…and so i can tell them its no problem and there is a lot to learn and enjoy.
And its a big improvement for the environment.


#8

I’m currently working on cutting meat out of my diet (have a partner to convince too) and moving towards a more plant-based lifestyle.

I always feel so much lighter, cleaner, and have much more go in me when the majority of my meals are vegetarian.

My breakfast is either a protein, oats, frozen berries and almond milk smoothie or shredded wheat. Still using a whey isolate for the protein, vegan powders are just … EUGH. Some Sunday’s I’ll treat myself with a “full” vegetarian breakfast.

Lunches generally consist of either a mix of grains or pasta with Quorn.

Dinner usually involves meat as the other half cooks this one most of the time.


#9

I’ve been vegetarian for about 10 years. I started cycling casually about 4 years ago and joined TR earlier this year in hopes of becoming a stronger cyclist. My biggest challenge has always been putting on weight, which is not usually something that cyclists strive to do, but I am 6 foot, 145 lbs on a good day, and my FTP isn’t very high (212 when I started SSB mid-1). I don’t know if I would attribute this to my diet, as I was equally skinny before I became a vegetarian. I’m sure if I paid more attention to calories and nutrients I could put on some weight, but that’s not something I have much control over as I travel 100% of the time for work.


#10

I just want to register that I’ve been vegan for 7 years and been cycling for about 4 years but only started training and racing this year. I haven’t got much to add to this conversation though. My diet isn’t anything strictly planned. I just try and be sensible but I do have a sweet tooth I’m constantly fighting with.

Oh, unlike the TrainerRoad guys, I like and use Hammer products. Most of their products are vegan.
But I could probably use anything because unlike @Jonathan I haven’t found any “cycling” or endurance food that gives me stomach issues; I can eat gels for an 8 hour ride no problems.


#11

I’ve been using vega sport protein powders and have been really liking them.


#12

Thanks, I’ll give it a go :slightly_smiling_face:.


#13

I think there are probably a lot more Vegetarian/Vegan athletes out there than we realise. I have been Veggie for 12 years and Vegan for 1.5. I do Triathlons, mainly Ironman and since being Vegan have felt the difference as I don’t think I really deal with dairy very well. I tend to use a soy based recovery drink and Hemp/Pea protein powders in smoothies. Like someone else said it’s not the best flavour but mixed with dark fruit and other stuff it’s good and you get used to the earthy taste. I love my food and love the challenge of finding new healthy foods to eat. Main reason I went veggie and vegan was for the ethics but am loving the Healthy benefits it seems to bring me, that’s not to say I don’t think you can have a healthy diet if you were not (just in case someone points that out). Would be interested to hear what other people eat that they find useful and any recovery products.


#14

Veggie for 4 years, transitioned to vegan in the past month. I have to say, I’m a huge fan of Huel. On a training day I usually have:

Porridge with a milk alternative when I get up
400g Huel after training
400g Huel midday
400g Huel mid afternoon
Rice, veggies and some sort of vegan protein for dinner
Snacks are bananas, nuts and popcorn


#15

May have to look into Huel, have seen it advertised


#16

I’ve added 30w to my FTP and shed 7kg using it in the past year, can’t recommend it enough! #notsponsored :joy:


#17

Another plant based cycling enthusiast here! There isn’t much I can’t use for fuel on the bike. I can’t say I’ve tried many supplements or magic potions. I try to stick with real food. If my training progresses to the point where i can’t continue with my real food plan, I’ll try protein powders and recovery mix and whatnot. I just like eating too much, all that stuff is so $$$, and I really am not elite by any means. Just feed me :slight_smile:


#18

Been vegetarian now for 29 years maybe even 30. Only been cycling for 7 years and only started to train the past 2 years although life has been getting in the way.
Modest ftp and restarting this week into base seeing as this year is a throw away and try again.
Like others breakfast is overnight oats or granola with almond milk. Lunch I always struggle with as I never actually have one so tend to graze on fruits from 11-3pm. Dinners again are a weak point as my wife tends to buy premade boxed veggie food for convenience. This and the fact that I struggle as to when I have time to eat can be as late as 9-9.30 at night after training.
On the bike I try and keep real foods and gels depending on the intensity, with a protein shake again with almond milk afterwards.
I need to be more structured, more regimental and avoid the snacks, I’m just too damned weak. Always admire others that stick to a nutritious diet and clean, I’m living proof that you can still be unhealthy with a veggie diet lol. Will be watching this thread to see what others are doing.


#19

7 years vegan and I’ve never felt better, and never been stronger. I’ve only been training cycling for 6 months but think I can attribute many benefits to overhauling my diet. Certainly my diet changes eliminated my seasonal allergies, which helps for training and potentially even racing depending on the time of year. I also am confident that I sleep and recover better, get less sore, less inflamed, and am less likely to catch a cold. I’m just now feeling like I’m pushing the stress limiter on my body and my 6wk avg tss is about 625. I’m confident I couldn’t do that on my old diet.

That said, for me, vegan was a way to really structure and help ensure I switched over to more whole foods and away from some of the worst processed foods. Others who are able to follow a “eat food, not too much, mostly plants” diet and still stick in some cheese or meat or whatever in there - in moderation I think all the studies tend to say you’re okay. I’m just not a moderation person.

My views on nutrition for plant based athletes have largely been influenced by three podcasts: No Meat Athlete guys are ultra runners, Rich Roll is an ultra triathlete, and Thought for Food host Jackson Long was a competitive cyclist. If/when I feel the need to dig deeper, I’ll probably look to the Brendan Brazier book, but his products (Vega) are just too expensive.

I like watching Vegan Cyclist on YouTube, in part just because he’s relatable and seems like a nice dude. But I’d also be thrilled to have his abilities, and it’s motivating to know he worked his way up to that as an adult. I figure if when I go to strava leaderboards and see a Ⓥ or two in the top ten on all sorts of big climbs, and when someone like Scott Jurek can dominate an ultra endurance scene on plants alone, it’s got a good chance at being a successful diet for me.

And not to be preachy, but it’s not all about cycling either, and in that regard, I think eating vegan is the most ethical and environmentally friendly say to eat and shop. We all need to do everything we can to protect the earth and it’s inhabitants from the ill-effects of selfish and shortsighted actions and policies, and I think diet is a huge and relatively easy personal change that most people can make with minimal downsides.


#20

Blockquote Bircher Muesli ( Overnight Oats with Apple, Nuts and other seasonal fruit) every day…its so delicious :-):blush:

I enjoyed this thread. Thanks for posting. Lots of good tidbits. Im going to try Bircher Muesli. Never heard of it before until now.