New study shows vegans outdo meat eaters in endurance and strength tests | Totally Vegan Buzz

New study shows vegans outdo meat eaters in endurance and strength tests

New study shows vegans beat meat eaters in endurance and strength tests
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The study has highlighted that vegans have better endurance capacity than omnivores and can effectively maintain muscle strength on plant-based diets.

 A new study by Montreal researchers finally debunks the popular misconception that vegans have lower endurance levels than omnivores and that meat is essential for stamina and strength.

The ‘Is a vegan diet detrimental to endurance and muscle strength?’ study published in the Nature Research Journal at the beginning of April is supposed to be “the first study, to show that a vegan diet may be associated with a better submaximal endurance performance, which is independent of VO2 max levels.”

“We saw that there aren’t a lot of studies done on this topic,” study co-author and McGill University researcher Guy Hajj Boutros, told CTV.

“If there are, they’re done more on vegetarians. They didn’t focus on vegan diets.”


The researchers enrolled 56 healthy, active and lean women, half of whom were vegan for least two years and others were omnivores with similar body compositions.

New study shows vegans beat meat eaters in endurance and strength tests
Image: Kamil Macniak / shutterstock_

The participants were made to log their meals for 3 days and then perform a series of strength and endurance tests.

The tests measured strength via leg press machines and arm press machines, endurance on a stationary bike by measuring how long the athletes cycled at 70 percent of their peak power before stopping as well as VO2 max (maximal oxygen uptake) levels.

New study, vegans beat meat eaters in endurance strength tests
Image: Sellwell /

The researchers from l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) found that vegans fared better in muscle strength or endurance when compared to their omnivore counterparts.

According to Hajj Boutros, vegans performed better because of their intake of carbohydrates.

“When you eat more carbohydrates, you’re actually increasing the amount of sugar in the muscle. When you increase this, you have better endurance capacity,” he said.

He added that despite popular belief vegans are not nutrient deficient and a healthy vegan diet provides all nutrients needed to be healthy, including protein.

“You have to understand that you don’t need a lot of protein as everyone is saying,” he said.

 “In general, people eat a lot more protein than they need.”


The study’s results concluded that a vegan diet does not seem to hamper endurance and muscle strength in healthy young lean and physically active women.

Also, the diet seems to positively influence oxidative stress and inflammation pathways of the body, further benefiting endurance performance in vegans and “contradicting the popular belief of the general population.”

Share this study to let others know of the advantages of vegan diets on strength and endurance.

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