All five of the following popular eating approaches can provide the health and performance benefits you need – as long as you’re willing to follow (and possibly bend) some rules and make a few tough sacrifices. Here’s what you need to know.
This plant-based diet nixes all animal products, including meat and dairy – even honey, whey, and gelatin. Research shows that filling up on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds can fend off chronic disease, lower blood pressure, and increase longevity. And there’s evidence that diets based on these foods, which are typically high in antioxidants, can reduce injury and speed recovery. But you miss out on key nutrients like protein, iron, and vitamin B12, which are critical for athletes.