Vegan Diet Builds Muscle, Just Ask Patrik Baboumian
People who eat a vegan diet are skinny weaklings who survive on a diet of lettuce and carrots. Sure, try telling that to Patrik Baboumian, a vegan Armenian German strongman and bodybuilder who holds more than a dozen German and world class bodybuilding and lifting titles.
Meet Patrik Baboumian, vegan strongman
The thirty-seven-year-old competitor, who also is a spokesperson for PETA, currently holds the world log lift record in the 105k category (165 kg) and the title of “Strongest Man in Germany” (105 kg division). When you see his picture, he looks like he eats nails for breakfast. (Also see the video interview below.)
Even Baboumian admits “I’m probably the most unthinkable vegan on the planet.” Yet this one-time vegetarian found that when he turned vegan in 2011, he got stronger, heavier, broke three world records, experienced an improvement in his blood pressure, and found that his recovery times after exercise were faster.
Baboumian was so impressed with his success, he decided to help others learn more about veganism, not only for human health, but for planetary health as well. As he learned that we feed livestock grain that could be used to feed 3.5 billion people while nearly 800 million people are starving in the world, he knew he needed to spread the word.
“We have areas in the world where there is not enough food for people and I think it’s obscene to use all these resources we have to produce something your body doesn’t actually need,” he said in a CNN article. He also expressed concern about the amount of water that is wasted to produce meat products: 15,500 liters to yield one kilo of beef, while one kilo of potatoes needs only 250 liters.
Baboumian admits it can be a challenge to make the switch to veganism. Even he used to chug down 10 liters of milk a day, but now is happy drinking soy milk instead.
In fact, he discovered that his dairy consumption was causing health problems, including an iron deficiency and gastrointestinal problems. These issues went away when he switched to veganism.
His advice is to “Just try it for four weeks.” He says most people will stick with it because they will feel better while also helping make a positive impact on the environment.
As for people who think vegans eat just lettuce and carrots, Baboumian is quick to point out that his diet consists of lots of other foods as well, including beans and legumes, rice, potatoes, “and a lot of things that have calories to give me energy to do what I do.”
Baboumian is not alone; there are many other vegan bodybuilders, male and female. (Remember how Arnold Schwarzenegger recently encouraged people to go vegan?) Check out the video below and also learn about the favorite vegan foods these athletes love to eat.
Naturally, most people are not interested in becoming bodybuilders or strongmen, but the point is that a vegan diet can provide the nutrients necessary to live a full, vigorous, healthful life. Are you willing to try it for just four weeks?
CNN. Vegan badass muscle man pumps iron, smashes stereotypes
World Water Week. Water Footprint Network
Image from Wikipedia/PETA