Every few weeks, I get a message on Twitter or other social media like this one:
@NoMeatAthlete Curious about a plant-based diet, but worried about how it will affect my recovery from long rides. Thoughts?
Yes, I have some thoughts. And they don’t fit into 140 characters. Here goes.
Sometimes, you just need to try things. Without a guarantee that they’ll work.
I’d actually be more sympathetic if you were worried about dropping dead on the spot from a lack of protein. Sudden death isn’t reversible and isn’t gradual, so you’d be right to want to confirm that it’s not a risk before diving in.
But feeling a little sluggish when you get on the bike? Noticing, after a month maybe, that your times are dropping off? Unless you’re a pro athlete, none of this is cataclysmic.
I’m not saying that will or won’t happen. Nobody can say that for sure. A lot of athletes choose this diet precisely because of what it does for their recovery … but it’s totally possible that for whatever reason, it just won’t work out for you.
And what then?