The Challenge Behind Plant-based Diets and Why Vegans Need Beta-Alanine
Plant-based diets are on the rise, even among top athletes. In 2022, projections show an increase in the plant-based protein market from $13.18 billion to $14.58 billion. The market is anticipating a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.6% in 2022 and 9.9% by 2026. Specifically, in online retail, “plant-based” just saw a 199% year-over-year growth. Perhaps you’re among the many athletes who have chosen to embrace a plant-based diet or reduce their overall meat consumption. While strolling the grocery store aisles or shopping online, you may have noticed that products such as plant-based milk, meats, and even cheeses are becoming tastier and more popular.
Benefits of Plant-Based Diets
Let’s face it–plant-based or not, most people do not consume enough nutrients in their diets to support optimal athletic performance. But vegan diets, in particular, may lack the amino acids, such as the beta-alanine needed for muscle growth and repair. That does not mean a vegan diet can’t give you the fuel your body needs. In fact, plant-based diets can provide greater health benefits than omnivorous diets in reducing inflammation, improving recovery, and lowering the risk factors for chronic disease. Plant-based diets are consistently better at reducing body fat and increasing effective glycogen storage, vascular flow, and tissue oxygenation. In addition, by consuming large quantities of plants rich in antioxidants, you can boost cellular recovery and reduce oxidative damage.
Limitations of Plant-based Proteins
While plant-based food products are more diverse, palatable, and accessible than ever before, it can still be difficult to achieve optimal nutrition in a vegan or vegetarian diet. Maintaining the proper caloric intake, avoiding processed foods, and building muscle are among the top concerns raised by dieticians. Perhaps the greatest challenge for athletes is post-workout muscle recovery. Consuming the right amount of protein is a crucial component in muscle growth and repair. But quality, in addition to quantity, is key. Not all plant-based proteins are as easily absorbed, for example. Some plants do not contain all the essential amino acids that the body needs. Plant proteins that contain amino acids are often referred to as complete proteins. Common complete proteins include quinoa, chia seeds, tofu, tempeh, seitan, and edamame. Common proteins that do not contain all the essential aminos include beans, nuts, lentils, chickpeas, soy or hemp milk, oatmeal, spinach, asparagus, and broccoli. Even after consuming the ideal number of calories through the ideal foods, it’s simply not enough.
How Beta-Alanine Supplementation Can Help
Supplementation is a critical component of a plant-based diet. Beta-alanine can specifically boost your gains and assist in muscle recovery. Why beta-alanine? Beta-alanine is a naturally occurring amino acid that supports muscle carnosine synthesis in the body. It combines with the amino acid histidine to form the dipeptide called carnosine. Over time, carnosine acts as a buffer to help delay the onset of lactic acid (pH decline) and muscle fatigue and failure while building endurance and improving recovery.
Since meat, poultry, and fish are the highest dietary sources of beta-alanine, vegetarian athletes have an even greater need to supplement beta-alanine levels. Therefore, it is vital for those with vegan or vegetarian dietary restrictions to supplement with beta-alanine to ensure healthy carnosine levels. Elevated muscle carnosine levels can extend endurance, speed recovery, build muscle strength, sharpen mental focus and enhance peak performance. CarnoSyn® is the only patented, vegan beta-alanine proven to increase muscle carnosine and improve performance when dosing with 3.2-6.4 grams of CarnoSyn® per day.
Learn more about optimal supplementation for your plant-based diet with CarnoSyn®.
TWO WAYS TO GET RESULTS
CarnoSyn® beta-alanine is available in two different forms—instant release and sustained release—offering two ways to dose. SR CarnoSyn® offers the same benefits as instant release CarnoSyn®, but in an advanced delivery system that allows for increased dosing for better results. When used in tandem, the combination of instant release and sustained release gives athletes the ability to stack their dosing for higher quantities of beta-alanine and even more performance gains.
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