Venus Williams: Improving Her Game through Diet and Lifestyle

Venus Williams is one of the greatest athletes and tennis players of all time. After years of suffering from fatigue and an undiagnosed autoimmune disorder, Venus changed her lifestyle and became a vegan. Through her diet journey, Venus not only stabilized her health, she also improved her overall strength and wellness.

Many people wonder how it is possible to become stronger while identifying as a vegan. For athletes, it is important that you are intaking the sufficient amount of calories needed to sustain your energy. For athletes interested in becoming vegans, there are a few high-level tips that are crucial for adapting a vegan lifestyle.

Optimize Vitamins
There are some vitamins that vegans are prone to be deficient in. When becoming a vegan, it is important that you incorporate vitamins that are beneficial to overall health and wellness. Without these vitamins, you will experience fatigue. Common vitamins that vegans need to be aware of are:

- Vitamin B12 – Improves health of blood cells and reduces risk of anemia
- Vitamin D – Regulates calcium and phosphate within the body
- Omega 3s – Lowers blood pressure
- Iodine – Makes thyroid hormones and controls metabolism
- Iron – Improves hemoglobin and carries oxygen through the body
- Calcium – Builds and maintains bone health
- Zinc – Improves immune system

Vegans can find ways to obtain the adequate amount of vitamins that they need. Ensure that you are diversifying your plate and using many different plant and vegetable products that give you a well-rounded vitamin portfolio. Venus Williams has to view eating as part of her job when she is competing. By eating a variety of different foods on a regular basis, she ensures that she is obtaining the nutrients needed to get the job done.

Consider Your Protein
There are two different types of protein, BCAA vs. EAA. BCAA (Branch Chain Amino Acids) are broken down in the muscle, giving you quick energy throughout the day. Unfortunately, BCAA sources of protein do not contain all nine amino acids. EAA (Essential Amino Acids) have all of the nine amino acids your body needs, including the three BCAA’s. Many forms of vegan protein contain BCAA rather than EAA. When determining your meals for the day, consider researching where you could supplement additional essential amino acids into your diet. By increasing the amount of EAA you consume, you can increase your overall performance, recovery, and energy. There are many protein shakes and supplements that can be incorporated into a vegan diet to make it more rich in protein. Another athlete who has adapted a vegan lifestyle is Tom Brady. These athletes have been role models to others who are hoping to begin a vegan diet.

Athletes have the ability to increase their strength and wellbeing while maintaining a vegan lifestyle. Although many people struggle to become fully vegan, we have seen many professional athletes increase their capabilities after becoming a vegan. For some people, a vegan lifestyle allows for improvement to overall health, which allows individuals to focus more energy on improving strength. For Venus Williams, we have seen her energy and agility increase throughout her lifestyle change. With more and more professional athletes adapting specialized diets, it will be interesting to see if a higher percentage of athletes continue to pursue a vegan lifestyle.

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