slash icon

Plant Based Diets And The Role It Plays On Our Nutrition, Wellness & Health.

If your plant-based or just looking to try something new, this article will provide useful information and knowledge to help excel your nutritional goals.
Bowl of vegan based foodBowl of vegan-based food recommended on a rugby weight training program pdf

This article provides guidance and suggestions for those who follow or want to follow a plant-based diet alongside their training. If your plant-based or just looking to try something new, this article will provide useful information and knowledge to help excel your nutritional goals. Continue reading if you’re interested in naturally fuelling your body through the power of plants especially for veganuary!

Vegan vs Plant-based- what’s the difference?

Veganism and plant-based diets have recently become increasingly popular, yet some people may be confused about the differences between the two. One of the key differences is that veganism includes avoiding animal products of all kinds, including clothing, makeup, washing products etc, while plant-based usually refers to diet only.

Vegans do not consume anything produced through the exploitation of animals; however, some plant-based (vegetarians & flexitarians) may consume eggs, dairy and sometimes seafood. In simpler terms, being plant-based just means you can be a little bit more lenient with your diet. Note, that vegans & plant-based individuals may have different views and opinions when it comes to eating, and one person’s diet may look very different to another’s.

Benefits of being Vegan or Plant-based

  1. Lowers your blood pressure.

Several studies have shown that plant-based diets can reduce blood pressure and help reduce heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.  A meta-analysis investigated data from 39 studies and concluded that people who followed a plant-based diet had lower blood pressure on average than those who ate meat.  

(Yokoyama at al, 2014) (Kim et al, 2019)

  1. Healthier heart.

Meat consists of saturated fat, which can contribute to heart issues when eaten excessively.  It’s suggested that eating a plant-based diet may reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases by 16 % and dying of this condition by a staggering 31%.  Although, it’s not just about limiting meat intake, it’s important to make sure plant-based foods your consuming are healthy (like whole-grains, vegetables, and fruit).  

(Satija A et al, 2017)

  1. Can help aid weight loss.

Eating plant-based can help you drop the pounds – A study using 65 overweight adults all followed a plant-based diet for one year lost 9.25 pounds (4-5kg) on average. This is because whole grains and vegetables are considered low on the glycaemic index , which means they’re digested more slowly. Additionally, fruit contains antioxidants and fibre, which help prolong fullness.

(Wright, Wilson and Smith, 2017) (Huang R, Huang C, Hu et al, 2016)

Will I get enough protein if I follow a plant-based diet?

Regardless of your diet, protein needs for a plant-based individual are the same as a meat, fish, and dairy eater (regarding training goals are the same). There is plenty of protein in plant-based foods such as beans, lentils, pulses, grains, nuts, seed and even some vegetables.

A main challenge for plant-based individuals is prioritising protein packed foods, as animal sources consists of much higher protein. However, this isn’t a problem; it just means you need to be more creative when it comes to meal planning and pay more attention to the amount of protein your get per meal/snack. A simple way to maximise your daily protein intake is to include a quality plant protein powder (hemp, soy, pea etc) into your daily routine.

So, yes you can get enough protein through a plant-based diet, it just requires more attention to detail when it comes to prioritising and planning meals. Below are some examples of high plant-based protein sources.

High protein plant-based foods & meal ideas

Plant-based proteins

Protein (grams)

Chickpeas x 100g


Lentils x 100g


Baked beans x 100g


Tofu x 100g


Quorn mince x 100g


Quinoa x 100g


Oats x 100g


Cashews x 50g


Peanut butter x 50g


Sunflower seeds x 50g


Chia seeds x 50g


Veggie sausages x 2


Soya milk x 500ml


Hemp protein powder x per scoop


Eat natural nut bar x 1


Plant based meal ideas


-Soya milk porridge & chia seeds.

-Peanut butter & toast & banana.

-Nut muesli & soya milk.

-Veggie sausage, beans & toast.


-Salad with sunflower seed & avocado.

-Smoothie bowl, with fruit & nuts.

-Pitta bread/wraps with quorn.


-3 bean chilli & rice.

-Chickpea & spinach burgers with sweet potatoes fries.

-Lentil curry with roasted potatoes.


-Handful of nuts.

-Pitta with peanut butter & jam.

-Rice cake with peanut butter.

-Hummus & carrots.

Main things to remember:

  • Being plant-based is generally diet & nutrition driven.
  • You can hit protein targets through a plant-based diet.
  • Plant-based diets have shown to provide numerous health benefits.
  • Prioritise high protein food sources in meals.
  • Get a plant-based protein powder to help increase daily protein intake.
  • Everyone’s different- what works for them might not work for you.

Lucia Carpanini

BSc Strength and Conditioning


Huang R-Y, Huang C-C, Hu FB, et al. Vegetarian Diets and Weight Reduction: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Journal of General Internal Medicine. January 2016.

Kim H, Caulfield LE, Garcia-Larsen V, et al. Plant-Based Diets Are Associated With a Lower Risk of Incident Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Disease Mortality, and All-Cause Mortality in a General Population of Middle-Aged Adults. Journal of the American Heart Association. August 2019.

Satija A, Bhupathiraju SN, Spiegelman D, et al. Healthful and Unhealthful Plant-Based Diets and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in U.S. Adults. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. July 2017.

Wright N, Wilson L, Smith M, et al. The BROAD Study: A Randomised Controlled Trial Using a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet in the Community for Obesity, Ischaemic Heart Disease or Diabetes. Nutrition & Diabetes. March 2017.

Yokoyama Y, Nishimura K, Barnard ND, et al. Vegetarian Diets and Blood Pressure: A Meta-Analysis. JAMA Internal Medicine. April 2014

slash icon

Nutrition is essential for progress

When it comes to changing your body composition, either gaining muscle or losing body fat, nutrition will be the most important aspect.

more info
Sam Warburton's easy overnight oats recipe as part of his athlete meal plan.

Sam Warburton’s Easy Protein Overnight Oats Recipe

Looking for the perfect breakfast to prepare you for the day ahead? Our overnight oats are just that - packed full of protein and flavour! Grab the recipe here.
Bowls of healthy foods as part of an athlete meal plan

Sam’s Diet Plan

Since we have been running our Instagram page, one thing we have learnt is followers really enjoy finding out what we eat. I think there’s a lot more content on social media regarding ‘how to get strong’ or ‘build boulder shoulders’ but none of it will count for much unless you get your diet right.
A cup of coffee

Caffeine - A good pre workout?

There are a lot of products out there that many of us have tried to give us that extra edge just before a gym session, or maybe a tough running session that you don’t feel too enthusiastic about!
A salmon on a bed of noodles, a meal recommended by the best app for weight training

Macronutrients – What are they?

I'm sure you have all heard the term 'Macros' but what actually are they?
Raw pork, a perfect food for rugby recovery, on a plate


What is protein? What does it do? How much should you be eating?
slash icon

here are some of most asked questions

We hope these help with any questions that you may have. If these don't answer yours in particular then feel free to reach out on Instagram or via email, we are here to help.

slash icon
knowledge hub

articles by sw7 academy

We provide programming and a community to help athletes develop but we also want to teach you as much as we can along the way.

knowledge hub
man pressing dumbbells to increase his rugby fitness with coach watching

Fat loss

Fat loss is probably the most misled topic in the fitness industry. Here we will lay out the fundamentals for you in black and white.
mad holding medicine ball as part of a rugby conditioning program


Conditioning isn't just getting flogged up and down the pitch running shuttles there's lots more to it. We will talk about the different methods to conditioning.
Man, who will later be doing a rugby upper body workout, performing barbell squats


Here you will find a collection of articles all about strength training. How to get stronger, types of training, reps and set as well as training volumes.
man stretching his groin and adductors as part of his rugby training program for forwards

Rest & Recovery

Recovery is a huge part of the game. If you want to train and play for years to come its essential you take note of these articles.
man performing Bulgarian split squat programmed by the best app for weight training


Everything you need to know about gaining muscle mass. Incorporate this advice into your pre season rugby fitness drills.
Man doing exercise from one of the fitness coaching apps


Power is one of the most important physical aspects for any rugby player. The ability to produce force in a short space of time will win or lose collisions.

We build athletes.

If you want to be a more powerful, stronger and more explosive version of yourself then join the team.

join now