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Professor Timaree Hagenburger (vegan): Peaking With Plant-Based Sports Nutrition, Part 1 of 3

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Today, we are privileged to invite Professor Hagenburger to talk about plant-based sports nutrition. She is an American registered dietitian nutritionist with a master’s degree in public health, a nutrition professor at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, California, as well as a certified Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine.

“I don't know that there's any sports without plant-based athletes now. Everything from Olympic runners to strongman Patrik Baboumian. The goal of nutrition around exercise is going to be to maintain blood sugar, also avoid hunger and, very important, to minimize or eliminate any stomach issues, GI (gastrointestinal) upset, but also to obviously maximize performance and training.”

“Endurance events can actually put quite a bit of stress on the body and cause oxidative damage and oxidative stress and inflammation. The antioxidants can reduce the damage and the oxidative stress to the cells. So the plant-based diet is really important for endurance athletes, not only for performance, but also for safety and long-term. And with exercise, remember, that causes muscle damage and it can cause inflammation. So, the more of the plant-based foods that we eat and the variety of them, the more we can protect, not only our cells and the cell membranes, but also our blood vessels. With the Adventist Health Study, people who ate meat even just once a week had a much higher, 40% or more, risk of arthritis and soft tissue damage.”

“And so, the omega-3 eicosanoids that are made are very pro-health. They reduce inflammation. But what happens in our normal society now is people are eating a lot of the omega-6 fats and those are pro-inflammatory. A lot of those are found in processed food. And we also see omega-6 very high in poultry. So, we don't want those in our body. We want to reduce the omega-6 and have adequate omega-3. We have seen an explosion of plant-based eating styles in all athletes all across different sports because, in part, that this low inflammation can allow for recovery.”

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