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Sport & Performance Nutrition for the Vegan Athlete

All nutrients essential for optimal health and sports performance can be supplied by a plant based diet with no additional requirements from animal sources. This is quite a contentious statement and in the following series of articles the team and I at SSC will seek to dispel any myths and shed light on points of dispute regarding plant based diets.

Ensuring all nutrient needs are met, consistently, by a plant based diet cannot happen by accident. Just by omitting all animal products and eating more of what you would normally eat outside of them will not usually satisfy all minimal daily amounts. For optimal health a wide variety of plants, nuts, seeds, grains, beans, pulses and fruits need to be consumed regularly. For improved sports performance a properly constructed and strategically managed individualised program must be followed and this program must be periodised to reflect the different demands, certainly in energy requirements, over the year.

In Part 1 of this series on vegan nutrition we look at a selection of nutrients essential for health and performance. The selection is limited to those nutrients that are commonly thought of as being deficient in the vegan diet however evidence suggests these nutrients are also deficient in omnivorous diets as well. With that in mind this article will serve as a useful guide not just to vegan athletes but to flexitarian, vegetarian and omnivorous ones too.

Golf Testing

Fitness testing is important to undertake in whatever sport you play. It allows for the coach to identify key areas of concern and then be able to focus on these areas to improve. These areas may have been having a detrimental effect an athlete’s performance, hampering them from becoming an elite level athlete. Golf requires a wide range of fitness testing from core strength, to aerobic fitness. All the factors are important to create the best golfer. Improving strength, flexibility and balance may have a dual benefit of improving performance and decreasing the risk of injury. (Sell, T. et al 2007).

sEMG and its uses in Golf

When muscles are active, they produce an electrical current. Surface electromyography (sEMG) is used to measure the activation of the muscles for a particular movement through these electrical currents. There are several other ways to measure muscle activation, such as using the fine wire and needle methods, however, these are invasive methods requiring the piercing of skin. sEMG is a non-invasive method where the electrodes are placed upon the surface of the skin.