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The Impact of Vegan and Vegetarian Diets on Physical Performance and Molecular Signaling in Skeletal Muscle

1
Department of Biosciences of Sport Science, Institute of Sport Science, University of Hildesheim, 31141 Hildesheim, Germany
2
Department for Molecular and Cellular Sports Medicine, German Sports University Cologne, 50933 Cologne, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Carol Johnston
Nutrients 2021, 13(11), 3884; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13113884
Received: 13 October 2021 / Revised: 27 October 2021 / Accepted: 28 October 2021 / Published: 29 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Sports Nutrition)
Muscular adaptations can be triggered by exercise and diet. As vegan and vegetarian diets differ in nutrient composition compared to an omnivorous diet, a change in dietary regimen might alter physiological responses to physical exercise and influence physical performance. Mitochondria abundance, muscle capillary density, hemoglobin concentration, endothelial function, functional heart morphology and availability of carbohydrates affect endurance performance and can be influenced by diet. Based on these factors, a vegan and vegetarian diet possesses potentially advantageous properties for endurance performance. Properties of the contractile elements, muscle protein synthesis, the neuromuscular system and phosphagen availability affect strength performance and can also be influenced by diet. However, a vegan and vegetarian diet possesses potentially disadvantageous properties for strength performance. Current research has failed to demonstrate consistent differences of performance between diets but a trend towards improved performance after vegetarian and vegan diets for both endurance and strength exercise has been shown. Importantly, diet alters molecular signaling via leucine, creatine, DHA and EPA that directly modulates skeletal muscle adaptation. By changing the gut microbiome, diet can modulate signaling through the production of SFCA. View Full-Text
Keywords: vegetarian; vegan; diet; performance; endurance; strength; microbiome; molecular; signaling vegetarian; vegan; diet; performance; endurance; strength; microbiome; molecular; signaling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pohl, A.; Schünemann, F.; Bersiner, K.; Gehlert, S. The Impact of Vegan and Vegetarian Diets on Physical Performance and Molecular Signaling in Skeletal Muscle. Nutrients 2021, 13, 3884. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13113884

AMA Style

Pohl A, Schünemann F, Bersiner K, Gehlert S. The Impact of Vegan and Vegetarian Diets on Physical Performance and Molecular Signaling in Skeletal Muscle. Nutrients. 2021; 13(11):3884. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13113884

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pohl, Alexander, Frederik Schünemann, Käthe Bersiner, and Sebastian Gehlert. 2021. "The Impact of Vegan and Vegetarian Diets on Physical Performance and Molecular Signaling in Skeletal Muscle" Nutrients 13, no. 11: 3884. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13113884

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