Scott Jurek Diet – UPDATED 2021 – Vegan Ultra Runner Diets
Scott Jurek Diet – A Complete Guide
From 1999 Scott Jurek’s diet changed from a typical ultra runner to a vegan one. Since then, his results have shot him into stardom in the ultrarunning scene. Setting a new American 24-hour record, as well as winning the brutal Badwater race twice. He then went on to win the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run seven times, doing this all on a diet without animal products. It hasn’t been an overnight success though, it has taken multiple years to be able to train and race at the level he does.
The gradual transition to a vegan diet has allowed him to perform more consistently across a variety of race lengths. He puts this down to how the vegan diet has impacted his health, recovery, and training.
Even though many people think that ultra running damages the body, Jurek states that his vegan diet has allowed him to recover better. Helping him to withstand more of the demands he places on it by following a vegan nutrition plan.
Before running, Jurek’s diet focuses mainly on getting his source of calories from smoothies. He combines a dense source of calories through almonds, coconut, fruit, and protein powder. The odd time when he does feel the need for solid food, he eats wheat bread with almond butter and sometimes multigrain porridge.
Since Jurek is out for six or seven hours running during the week, he needs to refuel constantly. His refuelling strategy is as simple as it gets, eating a hummus wrap on the side of a mountain pass. Although, he has also been known to chomp down on a bean and rice burrito too.
Just like prior to running, his post-run nutrition often includes a recovery smoothie or digs into another burrito. When he has time to cook something you often see him making some quinoa paired with some steamed vegetables.
AMAZING Scott Jurek Recipes
If you are a vegan runner or looking at transitioning to a more whole food diet there are some amazing Scott Jurek recipes available. Rice Balls (Onigiri) and pre-workout drinks are just some recipes he has created for the vegan runner.
Rice Balls (Onigiri)
2 cups (0.47 l) of sushi rice
4 cups (0.95 l) of water
2 teaspoons of Miso
3–4 sheets of Nori seaweed
Start by cooking the rice and once finished set it aside to cool. Fill a small bowl with water and dampen your hands to prevent the rice from sticking. Form the rice into a triangle using 1/4 of the rice, then spread ¼ teaspoon of Miso on one side of the triangle. Cover with another 1/4 cup of rice and shape into one triangle. Make sure the Miso is covered by the rice. Take the Nori sheets and tear them in half. Using this half sheet of Nori completely cover the triangle of rice. Repeat by using the leftover rice, Miso, and Nori.
Green Power – Pre-Workout Drink
1 cup (0.24 l) frozen or fresh mango or pineapple chunks
4 cups (0.95 l) of water
2 teaspoons of spirulina powder
1 teaspoon of Miso
Place all the ingredients above into a blender. Blend for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth. Drink 2 1⁄2 to 3 3⁄4 cups 15 to 45 minutes prior to running.
Rice Milk (makes 5 cups)
1 cup (0.24 l) cooked brown or white rice
4 cups (0.95 l) of water
⅛ teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of sunflower oil (optional)
Start by combining the rice, water, and salt in a blender. Blend for 1 to 2 minutes until the mixture is smooth. If you want creamier milk, add oil when first blending. Once blended pour into a container, seal, and refrigerate. The rice milk will then keep for 4 to 5 days.
Vegan Ultra Runner Diets – Getting Started
Diets are an individual preference and not everyone will suit the same nutrition plan. So, if you’re thinking about what the vegan ultra runner diets entail, there are a few things you need to know.
Getting enough protein in a vegan diet is often a common concern with runners moving to a vegan based diet. But like Jurek’s diet, taking daily smoothies can help to get the right amount of protein in your diet. Protein from hemp, chia, and flax seeds can be added to your smoothie to provide additional protein.
Providing enough nutrients to the body is also another concern, but it is much easier than you think. Fruits and vegetables offer numerous nutrients and don’t forget nuts and seeds, they are a large source of amino acids.
For athletes considering a transition to a vegan ultra runner diet, try eating plant-based food for a few weeks to see how it makes you feel. See how it affects your training and recovery because is no right or wrong approach. Whatever foods may work for you, may not work for another.
Famous Vegan Ultramarathoners
You may be thinking there aren’t many famous vegan ultra-marathoners around you’d be mistaken. Below is a list of some of the most famous ultra runners that follow a vegan running diet.
Budjargal Byambaa – He holds the 24-hour national record in Mongolia and has completed the 10-day Sri Chinmoy race five times. He won this event on two occasions (2017 and 2019) and won the Xiamen 6-day race, covering a distance of 834 km in 2019.
Ana Cufer – Mostly known for her mountain running, Ana is an established member of the Slovenian national team. Aside from her mountain running exploits, she has won Ultra-Trail Hungary (2019) and competed in the famous Marathon Du Mont-Blanc.
Alberto Pelaez Serrano – Alberto is the more famous of the athlete’s we have mentioned so far. He has won ‘Ultramarathon of Lanzarote’ three times, as well as winning more than twelve ultra marathons and marathons. He also holds a speed record for the fastest ascent and descent of Toubkal Mountain in Morocco.
Ariel Rosenfeld – Known as the top ultrarunner in Israel, he has gone on to when Sovev Emek (Israeli ultra-marathon) three times. From 2011 to 2012 and 2014 over the shorter course and once over the long course of 100 km in 2013.
Damian Stoy – A prominent ultra runner since 2006, he has gone on to win Grand Teton (50 miles (ca. 80 km)) multiple times. He has also had more than 23 podiums over a range of ultra courses.
Best Vegan Running Fuels
If you don’t want to follow Scott Jurek’s diet of Hummus wraps there are many other options for the vegan ultra runner.
Energy bars and energy gels are the most common thought. Sport nutrition companies are luckily starting to get behind the vegan movement and producing more and more energy products to suit vegans. Brands like GU, Powerbar, and Clifbar produce a range of products that are vegan friendly.
If you’re not a fan of gels or bars their other foods that can help fuel your running. Portable options like fresh or dry fruit can be stored in your waist bag or backpack. They offer simple carbs to deliver quick energy when you need it.