Ayesha Pang, a vegan boxer and personal trainer from Canberra, Australia, believes switching to a vegan diet has boosted her performance significantly. The personal trainer first tried veganism to help out a client who wanted to know what a vegan should eat when they are training. She trialed whether training and veganism were compatible and she made a surprising discovery: Pang actually performed better as a vegan. Pang, who is currently competing in the ACT boxing titles, switched to a plant-based lifestyle after a vegan client she was training asked for tips on what food they should be eating. Pang decided to give the lifestyle a go for herself and hasn’t looked back since.
She’s hoping her unique preparation will give her the edge in the lightweight division at the ACT novice boxing titles with an eye on gold.
I am aiming in my category to come out and completely obliterate everyone,” Pang laughed as she spoke for SMH.
“I found out that I perform a lot better not eating meat, dairy, eggs or anything else like that.
“I recover a lot better in terms of joint health and muscles. I wake up not feeling as congested, I just feel a lot healthier, lighter, faster and stronger.
“I found out that a lot of the common problems that people have when they’re training, such as feeling very bloated, very sore, joint issues, can be related back to eating processed meats,” she added.
However, not everyone understands her lifestyle, Pang notes. The boxer is often met with cynicism and, like many vegans, questioned about her sources of protein when she informs others of her chosen lifestyle. “They go ‘that’s not very normal,’ and they think it’s actually very strange,” she explained. “People think of proteins as steak, chicken, and fish, and when you tell people that that’s not always the best, they can get a bit defensive.”
Pang doesn’t tell people they should try veganism but she runs a training group just for vegans in a bid to highlight the benefits of the diet. Of course, some people have their doubts. When the topic of her diet comes up she finds some people react quite negatively.
“I tend not to tell people that [they should give it a go] as I’m not a big fan of that very aggressive style. The boxer recently set up a vegan training group to do just that. “However I do have a training group specifically just for vegans, a bunch of clients that are purely vegan. Our idea is not to tell people not to do something but to show them it’s worth it,” she noted for Livekindly.
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