16 April 2012

MMA fighter Mac Danzig provides insight into his vegan diet

Mac Danzig is a strong competitor in and outside of the ring. He is known for being an impressive grappler, having scored twelve of his victories by submission. When he believes in something he goes for it.

So when it comes to being vegan, he goes all in.

He is living proof that athletes can be vegans and that it is possible to train hard and eat a plant based diet. In 1999, he first began to cut dairy out of his diet due to an allergy. He never realized how milk, whey and other dairy products can be harmful to the body. After years of battling ear and sinus infections, removing dairy completely cured Danzig of all of these issues.

He also debunks the myth about protein. In an article on Mahler's Aggressive Strength, Danzig said, “I find the usual listed 'requirements' for protein are blown completely out of proportion, and the thought of consuming '1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight' during down time seems ridiculous to me...”

He goes on to explain that if you ingest that much protein each day you are putting a strain on your kidneys and liver. He also makes an interesting remark about eating foods that are higher in Alkaline. He says, “One thing I consciously try and do is eat a higher amount of Alkaline-forming foods than acid-forming foods throughout each day.”

Danzig also drinks plenty of water -- almost a gallon a day when he is not training. Additionally, even though his diet is not wheat free, he does try to avoid these foods. As for fake meats, he also tries to avoid these but does occasionally eat them. He believes meat substitutes are more for people who are new vegetarianism, so he personally doesn’t find them necessary.

Possibly the most interesting part of Danzig's regimen is his use of supplements. The UFC fighter uses Vega -- a maker of powdered whole food meal replacements and energy bars.

But even though Danzig is a prime example of a finely-tuned vegan athlete, he also admits that he indulges in junk food on occasion.

The Ultimate Fighter 6 champion enjoys soy ice cream and vegan cookies when he is not training.

Marisa Jakubovic | @MJakubovic
Pittsburgh, PA Marisa lives in Pittsburgh, PA and is a Project Manager at a local company. Time away from work is spent practicing yoga, cooking vegan meals, and volunteering at a local animal shelter. She hopes to one day work with animals on a daily basis and continue to spread the word on living a cruelty-free life.

Photo credit: Peta2