Vegan runner busts meat and muscle myth

ZAC Frampton thinks of himself as a bit of a mythbuster.

He considers himself proof that you do not need to eat meat or other animal products to be fit, healthy and have a bit of muscle.

Zac, 32, of Bli Bli, has been a vegan for about two years.

He said he had never been healthier.

In fact, he'll be running in this weekend's Sunshine Coast Marathon.

"I went vegetarian for about a year-and-a-half and I noticed improvements in my running and still stayed strong.

"Then I went vegan about two years ago."

Zac Frampton, 32, is a vegan who is running in the Sunshine Coast matathon. Says you don't need to eat meat to be healthy. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily
Vegan athlete Zac Frampton doesn't need to eat meat to stay fit and healthy. Patrick Woods

Zac has been experimenting with diet and exercise for years.

"I started doing weights at about 16 and since about then, I've mucked around with various diets and getting fit," he said.

He has tried a few high-protein diets and at one stage, he was eating two or three boiled eggs a day.

"I just didn't feel good. At some points, I was eating 1kg of meat a day to try and grow more muscle."

Zac believes the supplement industry over-promotes the need for protein in the diet.

He finds he gets all he needs from plants and has found his body is capable of converting carbohydrates to muscle with the right training.

At 190cm, or 6 foot 3, he weighs 86kg, although has been up to 98kg as a vegan.

He consumes up to three times the recommended daily intake of 8700kj but uses much of it up in physical activity.

"I eat a lot of healthy calories, at least 6000 a day. I'll go burn 3000 calories in a training session sometimes," he said.

Zac works as a removalist. When he is not working, he is training.

He does track work on Wednesdays, the Kawana Park Run on Saturdays, and will try and fit a 35km run in on the weekends.

"I don't usually run less than 10 or 12km. The other week, I ran a full marathon on the Tuesday afternoon," he said.

"I ran 8km at uni the next day, slow because I was a bit sore. Thursday, I ran a half-marathon. Friday, I ran a half-marathon but a bit slow, and then I was a bit sore after that."

Zac has monitored his health with blood tests for iron, B12, cholesterol and liver function and said they had never been better.

"My body is basically as healthy as a 20-year-olds, which isn't bad for 32," he said.

Although Zac's health is his prime motivation for his vegan lifestyle, he is happy about his animal-friendly diet.

"I do like the fact that I'm not involved in animal cruelty and I don't have to support industries that are crap," he said.