Health Advice



How a vegan diet can give you more muscle power

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

Kyrie Irving is one of several NBA players who have adopted a vegan diet. The 28-year-old Brooklyn Nets guard told the press that since switching to a plant-based diet, his energy is up and "my body feels amazing." And Irving and other athletes, such as teammate center DeAndre Jordan, are clearly onto something.

Research has emerged that finds vegan diets can be especially beneficial to athletes. A study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition involved 56 active women who were either on a vegan or omnivorous diet for two years. Over that time, researchers tracked participants' body composition, oxygen levels, athletic performance and endurance. They found that the women who adhered to a vegan diet performed better when it came to endurance and aerobic activity than women on the control (meat-eating) diet.

The researchers suspect that increased complex carbohydrates in a vegan diet led to more efficient energy storage in muscles. Another possibility is that vegan diets prevented strength-draining inflammation in the cardiovascular system, joints and muscles that is often associated with eating a lot of meat and dairy.

So, for optimal training benefits, consider a plant-based diet. If you don't want to go all vegan, consider following a vegan diet on some days -- especially for the meal you have right before you're going to undertake a major exertion. The best bet is to make that meal complex carb-centered, with 100% whole grains, a few fruits and vegetables aplenty. Then leave the carnivores in the dust!



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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