Many vegetarian bodybuilders credit their youthful appearance to the inherent detoxing properties of their diets, which naturally combats the aging process.
Anyone can benefit from a vegan detox diet…however, bodybuilders and athletes have more to gain from detox than the average person. Many aches and ailments you suffer from are due to toxicity, which directly affects your performance and recovery.
Whether you’re experiencing headaches, itchy skin, joint problems, or a lack of energy, toxicity is likely to blame. These factors decrease your performance in the gym and prevent you from getting the results you crave.
The main goal of a vegan detox is to eliminate toxins and poisons from your body so you can perform at your highest potential. It’s nearly impossible to avoid environmental toxins like lawn fertilizers, food toxins like chemical preservatives, and product toxins like hairspray.
Ingested toxins can’t be broken down by digestive enzymes, your liver, or your immune system, so they build up until you do something about it. As a vegetarian bodybuilder, you depend on your body to work like a well-oiled machine at all times. So what are you waiting for?
How Can Vegan Detox Help Vegetarian Bodybuilders?
Bodybuilders who want to gain muscle mass or who want to get ripped have a lot to gain from a vegan detox. If you’re looking to build muscle mass, detox will help nutrients and protein reach your muscles more efficiently. Without toxins in the way, nutrients from the vegan foods you consume can better find their way through your intestines and blood stream.
According to bodybuilder, Henry Chervenka, fat melts way faster when you detox, and it helps you get ripped faster too. “This is because the detox not only cleanses your small and large intestine, but also cleanses the chemicals and filth in your fat cells.” Once you get the toxins out of your fat cells, your cardio and lifting workouts can burn fat the way they’re supposed to.
In an interview with Iron Man Magazine, Ori Hofmekler, author of The Warrior Diet, explained that:
“Detoxification is part of the equation that defines life. Survival depends on the balance between two critical processes: material coming in and material coming out. If either of those processes is impaired, the body loses its capacity to sustain health.”
Key Foods to Include
- Legumes, lentils, soybeans
- Flax and hemp seeds, nuts
- Broccoli and spinach
- Whole grains, oats, granola
- Peanut, soy, or almond butter
- Olive oil
- Sweet potatoes
Vegan Detox vs. Traditional Detox
There are countless detox diets on the market these days, so what makes a vegan detox diet more effective than the other ones out there? If you’ve already committed to a vegan lifestyle, then your answer is obvious. However, vegan detox diets are even beneficial for bodybuilders who occasionally eat meat.
Meat, cheese, and eggs used to be the staples of a bodybuilder’s diet. It’s a common misconception that athletes can’t compete on plant-based diets there’s no way they can get enough protein.
Ask world-class vegetarian bodybuilders and athletes like Bill “Mr. Universe” Pearl, gold medalist Carl Lewis, MLB first baseman Prince Fielder, Iron Man world champion Dave Scott, or mixed martial arts fighter Mac Danzig what they think about that.
According to a Colorado State University study, athletes gain the most from carbohydrates stored in the body. When you get your carbohydrates from vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, your body breaks them down and stores them in your muscles as glycogen. This glycogen supplies energy, thereby boosting your workout performance.
The concepts of “vegan” and “detox” are practically go hand in hand. Vegan diets are raw, pure and natural. The whole point of a detox is to bring your body back to it’s original raw, pure, and natural state. It is only in this state that you can train harder, lift heavier, and endure longer.
- Cleans out wastes and toxins from the body
- Reduces your risk of future exposure to toxins
- Provides your body with additional nutritional boosts while cleansing
- Allows your organs to rest between workouts
- Stimulates the liver to drive toxins out of the body
- Promotes toxin elimination through the kidneys, intestines, and skin
- Improves circulation of the blood
The Best Time
Fitness experts recommend detoxing at least once a year, although three or four times a year is optimal. Medical director of Helios Clinic, Dr. Peter Bennett, N.D, suggests beginning a detox plan as soon as you begin to notice symptoms of sluggishness, fatigue, or other unexplained symptoms.
Before changing your diet, make sure to cut out all refined sugars, saturated fats, coffee, and alcohol, which are obvious obstacles to your fitness goals. Minimize your usage of personal care products and household cleaners that have a chemical base to increase the effectiveness of your detox.
The Daily Rundown – What It Looks Like
(courtesy of Jen Reilly, R.D., L.D., registered dietitian based in Washington, D.C.)
- Upon Waking (7:00 AM)
Large glass of filtered water with cucumber slices (in the water) and a dash of cayenne
- Breakfast (8:00 AM)
Green-Apple Juice (Serves 1):
JUICER: 2 kale leaves, handful spinach, 1 stalk celery, small handful parsley, and 2 tart apples. Serve over ice.
BLENDER: Same recipe, but add 4-8 ounces water and a handful of ice.
- Morning Snack (10:00 AM)
Herbal tea, 1 cup raspberries or other berries
- 1 Hour Later (11:00 AM)
Large glass of filtered water with cucumber slices (in the water)
- Lunch (12:00 PM)
Mango Summer Salad
1 cup brown rice
- Mid-Afternoon Snack (2:00 PM)
Large glass of filtered water with lemon wedge
Hummus with sliced veggies
- Pre-Dinner Snack (4:00 PM)
Herbal tea; 15 raw almonds
- Dinner (6:00 PM)
3 cups lightly steamed broccoli
½-1 cup cooked quinoa
½ cup cooked lentils
Large glass of filtered water with lemon wedge
- Before Bed (8:00 PM)
Chamomile or other herbal tea
Tips to Enhance Your Experience
- Drink at least two or three quarts of water each day
- Eat plenty of fiber each day
- Eat fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C
- Sweat out toxins in a sauna at least once a week
- Take deep breaths to allow oxygen to fully circulate through your system
- Use a dry brush on your skin to remove toxins from your pores
- Incorporate martial arts and yoga into your fitness routine
What to Expect After
Sudden changes in diet can sometimes result in withdrawal symptoms, although relatively minor. Many bodybuilders take natural vitamins to supplement their diets, although nutrients should be consumed through food as much as possible. After the initial shock dissipates, you’ll likely feel more energized and overall healthier.
Also note that this can be used for as an alcohol detox via vegan diet.