Dr. rer. nat. Katharina C. Wirnitzer (PhD)

Sport Scientist
Study Coordinator The NURMI Study
  • Study Coordinator The NURMI Study: www.nurmi-study.com/en, info@nurmi-study.com Lecturer for Sport Science
  • Pedagogical University Tyrol, Centre for Research and Knowledge Management, Feldstraße 1/II, 6010 Innsbruck, Austria
  • University of Innsbruck, Department of Sport Science, Fürstenweg 185, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
  • University of Innsbruck, Research Centre Medical Humanities, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
  • Health and Life Science Cluster Tyrol, Cluster Health/Medicine/Psychology, Tyrolean University Conference, Verbund West, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria

Vegan Nutrition in Sport and Health: boom or ancient wisdom?

The healthy human as prerequisite to the successful athlete

Technology supported food development is an important aspect of 21st century. At the same time there is a strong trend to natural and whole plant-food diets as practicable tools to be implemented in daily routine. In ancient times gladiators and prominent philosophers already knew that plant-based diets (vegetarian, vegan) lead to peak performance. Data on a highly underestimated body of evidence-based scientific information still mostly neglected is presented, and a more basic but dual approach to food bioengeneering and human development is provided. Considering the current studies showing the benefits of vegetarian kinds of diet on health and sports performance this brief overview is spanning from the myths about meat to the health threatening effects of foods from animal sources by giving a short outline of the development of plant-based diets through the centuries until today. This contribution reminds of the fact that vegan diets not only supply all nutrients in adequate amounts (except for vitamin B12), but has enabled recreational as well as professional athletes to achieve top performance in their chosen discipline. The knowledge about the benefits of a vegan diet on human performance has the potential to motivate consumers to change their diet, which is in addition to health also beneficial for the environment, the climate as well as animal welfare.

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