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Re: Recovery from Low Testosterone [devashish_paul]
devashish_paul wrote:
Cody, are you vegetarian out of choice or for some other reason (could be spirtual). For 4 years, I did that path to give my dad some support as he was doing it for spiritual reasons....but it was a disaster and I probably lost the 4 best years of my life as an endurance athlete from around 35-38. Then I went back to eating meat and eggs constantly and in 18 months I Kona qualified, something that he eluded me for 15 years. Not really that smart on my part. It's just tough to get enough protein and iron from non animal sources and at the time I had also started a job where I had to travel a lot and it was getting really tough trying to stay on a "non mainstream diet". My general health is much better now at 49 than at 39.

Not sure of your reasons to be vegetarian, but as a pro, traveling to races all over the place, it just makes the already tough gig even tougher. I say you go to the steakhouse at least once per week!


Dev, that's really interesting. I went vegetarian in 2008 to reduce my environmental impact. I'm not convinced that a meat-free diet is significantly more or less healthy, if done correctly. The problem is that doing vegetarianism correctly as an athlete requires a lot more attention to detail. I didn't do very well at first and quickly became iron deficient, among other suspected issues. It's taken years of trial and error to dial in iron supplementation (100+ mg/day for me) that maintains decent levels. I have never been vegan and one of the ways I've gotten by is eating eggs and dairy on a daily basis. This year, I also started eating fish a few times per week for its many health benefits.

I have never found vegetarianism to be much of an inconvenience. When traveling to races, I bring as much of my own food as possible or hit a grocery store. I can almost count on one hand the number of times I eat at restaurants each year. It also helps that I have no other dietary restrictions.

Although we tend to associated meat with muscles/manliness/testosterone, I have not found strong evidence linking meat consumption with higher testosterone levels. In fact, some studies point the opposite direction. Given my ongoing issues, I would start eating meat again if I thought it would help.

Regarding protein, I think that many people overestimate their needs. Some research is suggesting that any more than 20-30g in one sitting is simply burned for energy. So that big steak isn't delivering as much protein as some may think. I did a few days of food tracking and found that I was taking in ~20% protein (~200 g/day) without really even trying. It partly comes down to the fact that protein needs don't scale linearly with total energy needs. So you can get away with lower quality protein sources if you're consuming over 4000 Calories most days like I am. My dietitian (who works with many Canadian Olympic team athletes) saw no cause for concern with my diet.

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Last edited by: Cody Beals: Dec 3, 14 4:29

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  • Post edited by Cody Beals (Dawson Saddle) on Dec 3, 14 4:29