A few bodybuilders and figure competitors are raw food vegans and adhere to a strict set of rules when planning meals and buying foods for a raw food competition diet. They abstain from all animal products, including meat, meat products, dairy, eggs and honey which are a dense source of dietary protein and amino acids that help to build muscle tissue. They also do not eat any food that has been cooked over a temperature of 115 degrees. This may seem very daunting and seemingly impossible to plan a competition diet with raw food only, but a competition diet can be modified to accommodate these raw food choices.
All protein and amino acid food intake will be derived from plants and plant-based sources. Virtually all plants and plant matter contain some protein or amino acids. The most popular with raw food competitors is hemp and hempseed. Hemp is a soft, durable fiber derived from the Cannabis plant, it contains very little to none THC and is not considered a controlled substance. Recently hemp has seen much success in the commercial production of paper, clothing, plastics, textiles and fuel.
The hemp nut or hulled hemp seeds are comprised of approximately 44% unsaturated oils, including healthy doses of essential fatty acids (EFAs) of omega-6 and omega-3. The remainder is protein. Hempseed protein shakes are the most popular way to ingest hemp protein. They are available in unflavored or very limited availability of vanilla or chocolate flavors. Flavoring hemp protein shakes by the consumer can be done with flavored Stevia or other low-calorie sweeteners that are mixed in when preparing a shake.
Green leafy vegetables are abundant in protein and amino acids. Most are comprised of 20%-40% protein. High protein vegetables that contain 25% protein include romaine lettuce, kale and snow peas. Both bok choy and spinach contain about 50% protein.
Nuts and seeds contain adequate amounts of protein per serving, although they are higher in fat and calories, their intake should be limited when on a raw food competition diet to maximize body fat loss. Almonds contain 14% protein, sesame seeds are 13% protein, and walnuts are 15% protein.
Eating a raw food vegan competition diet will allow the majority of carbohydrate intake to be derived from fresh fruit and some high sugar vegetables, such as carrots and corn. Fruits contain a fruit sugar called fructose, which is low on the glycemic index and does not enter the bloodstream at a fast rate. This is good for sedentary individuals who do not wish to raise their blood sugar levels rapidly, however bodybuilders and figure competitors need a quick supply of carbohydrates after a workout to begin the muscle repair process. A popular choice is agave nectar syrup, derived from the agave plant, it contains a small amount of glucose which helps aid workout recovery. Adding a tablespoon to a post workout recovery protein shake is the best way to use this raw food during a competition diet.
Adhering to a raw food competition diet is simple and easy when you know which foods contain the protein and carbohydrates you need to the required amounts.