Tips & Advice from the professional personal trainers at OneLife training gym in Kelowna.
The kidneys are 2 highly vascular organs that filter and remove excess phosphorus from the blood, but their function can be significantly damaged by high ingestion of animal protein, animal fat, and cholesterol on the route to building muscle mass. Chronic kidney disease is a health care condition that can affect 1/8 North Americans (with 98% of North American diets potassium deficient). When our kidney function declines, phosphorus can accumulate in our bodies and produce a condition referred to as metastatic calcification, where your heart valves and musculature can be consumed by calcium deposits. In addition, being potassium deficient limits the body’s ability to balance fluids and minerals in your body, providing the environment for calcification to occur. A quick test performed by a physician can include determining if protein is present in the urine (known as microalbumuria).
Research has determined that predominantly plant based diets enable our bodies to better manage phosphorus content in the blood, suggesting that plant phosphorus is easier to cleanse away. In comparison to the diets of our ancestors, not only are we eating more saturated fat, sugar, and salt, we now eat an acid-producing diet (think animal rich proteins such as cheese, meats, and eggs) as opposed to a base-producing alkaline diet. What does this mean to the athlete of 2016? A plant based diet, low in dietary acid can help treat, and potentially prevent kidney disease, a task that grows in importance as we age. But don’t think choosing forks over knives will impede your route to building the muscle mass you always wanted. Often body builders and vegetarians traditionally strive for the same goals – better health and a fitter body. In order to thrive off of a plant protein rich diet what one needs to focus on is nutrient-dense calories from whole plant sources.
What you can do now: reduce dietary acid (cheese, meats, eggs), increase consumption of plant based phosphorus verses protein based phosphorus (Meatless Mondays are here to stay with substitutions such as beans, grains, and supplements), increase potassium intake (cue the endless options of morning green smoothies), and consult a personal trainer with nutritional programs that can guide you to healthier alternatives.
Embracing a plant based diet is one of the best moves you can make towards eating your way to health and muscle mass. At OneLife Fitness our nutritional programs help maximize results with the least amount of effort. Drawing on our technical training and our practical experience with competitive dieting we assist our clients in developing sound nutrition programs that provide education as a framework for healthy choices.