Can a Starch-Smart® diet meet the nutritional needs of an athlete or improve their performance?
According to the American Dietetic Association, "Vegetarian diets are nutritionally adequate for all stages of life and for athletes." Evidence demonstrates that diets such as a Starch-Smart® diet, provides many health benefits for athletes. It also may lessen exercise-induced oxidative stress, and shorten recovery time. When vegan athletes focus on eating micronutrient rich foods, they can compete successfully at high level endurance sports without consuming animal products. A well planned, Starch-Smart diet provides excellent nutrition and sufficient amounts of calcium, iron, protein, fat, and carbohydrates to maximize long-term performance. Increased calorie and protein needs can be met by consuming more foods, especially those that are calorie dense. For best performance, between 60% to 70% of an athlete's daily energy needs should come from carbohydrates (starches). A low carbohydrate diet will decrease performance. Consuming a diet rich in beans, pasta, corn, potatoes, bread, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds provides 70% to 95+% of calories from carbohydrates which will assist in recovery, avoid illness, and improve performance and endurance.