Vegan eating can offer several health benefits and may positively impact exercise and athletic performance for some individuals. Many of the benefits associated with a vegan diet have been well documented and include heart health, weight management, improved digestion, inflammation reduction, and enhanced athletic performance, among other benefits. Plant-based eating does not have to be complicated. In fact, it is one of the simplest ways to eat. If you are looking to add some creativity to your vegan diet while on your journey to good health and performance, below are my top 5 vegan cookbook picks to make your plant-based eating fun. Click on cookbook image for purchase options.
Top 5 Vegan Cookbooks
(1) Plant-Based Sports Nutrition: Expert Fueling Strategies for Training, Recovery, and Performance
D. Enette Larson-Meyer and Matt Ruscigno
Learn how to get proper amounts of all essential macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals, taking into account your personal caloric needs. Draw inspiration from athletes who share how they succeed in their sports while following a plant-based way of eating. Enjoy plenty of recipes to use for training, event, and everyday nutrition needs and utilize the tailored meal plans and training strategies to properly fuel your body. Understand nutrient timing and relative energy deficiency syndrome (RED-S) as well as how to meet protein and amino acid requirements while doing light, moderate, or intense training for your sport. Get information on keto diets, tips for optimizing bone health and iron intake, and instructions for making your own fluid-replacement beverage.
(2) The No Meat Athlete Cookbook: Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes to Fuel Your Workouts―and the Rest of Your Life
Matt Frazier, Stepfanie Romine, and Rich Roll
Now The No Meat Athlete Cookbook―written by NMA founder Matt Frazier and longtime health coach, yoga teacher, and food writer Stepfanie Romine―showcases 125 delicious vegan recipes, many inspired by plant-based foods from around the world. Put nourishing, whole foods on the table quickly and affordably, with:
- Morning meals to power your day (Almond Butter–Banana Pancakes, Harissa Baked Tofu)
- Homemade sports drinks to fuel your workouts (Cucumber-Lime Electrolyte Drink, Switchel: The Original Sports Drink)
- Nutrient-packed mains to aid recovery (Naked Samosa Burgers, Almost Instant Ramen)
- Sweets that work for your body (Two-Minute Turtles, Mango Sticky Rice)
- Oil-free options for every recipe; gluten-free and soy-free options throughout
(3) Thrive Foods: 200 Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health
Building upon the stress-reducing, health-boosting nutritional philosophy introduced in his acclaimed vegan nutrition guide Thrive, professional Ironman triathlete Brendan Brazier now turns his attention to your dinner plate (breakfast bowl and lunch tray too). Where does your food come from, and is it healthy? How can you be sure that you are receiving the nutrients you need? In Thrive Foods, Brazier clearly explains how nutrient-dense, plant-based foods are the best form of proactive health insurance and environmental sustainability rolled into one. And that’s not all. Thrive Foods also features 200 nutritionally complete, easy-to-make recipes that utilize the power of super- foods such as maca, chia, hemp, and chlorella, and that avoid common allergens, such as wheat, yeast, gluten, soy, dairy, and corn.
(4) The Vegan Cookbook for Athletes: 101 Recipes and 3 Meal Plans to Build Endurance and Strength
Being an athlete means always striving for ways to get the most out of your body, and eating vegan is a great way to build endurance and strength while improving overall health. Featuring 101 recipes and 3 meal plans, this is one of the most informative vegan cookbooks and will show you how impactful combining your training with solid plant-based macronutrient resources can be—no matter your athletic level.
Whether you’re a committed vegan or just starting out, you can create a tailored nutrition plan for your unique athletic demands. Whether it’s learning how to balance carbohydrates, fats, and proteins or eliminating cooking oil, this dietary guide helps set you up for a life of athletic success.
(5) The Vegan Bodybuilder’s Cookbook: Essential Recipes and Meal Plans for Plant-Based Bodybuilding
Samantha Shorkey and Amy Longard (contributor)
When it comes to gaining muscle, protein is king in the nutrient world, but you don’t have to be a carnivore to get “swole.” Plants contain the nutrients needed to support your bodybuilding efforts. The Vegan Bodybuilder’s Cookbook is your comprehensive guide to keep you on track towards shredded success.
Learn to complement your training regimen with a plant-based diet featuring 102 delicious recipes, nutritional guidance, and meal plans. With the knowledge presented in this book, you will be on the way to achieving your bodybuilding goals and gaining enormous health benefits.
A well-balanced vegan diet can provide numerous health benefits and may support exercise and athletic performance. However, individual needs vary, and it’s crucial to approach dietary choices thoughtfully and seek personalized advice from healthcare professionals, registered dietitians, and/or nutrition coach.