The Life of a Plant-Based Athlete - Jansen Andre

The Life of a Plant-Based Athlete - Jansen Andre

Jansen Andre
Author, Public Speaker, Vegan Chef, Health Ambassador

In 2020, more people than ever have tried, incorporated, or have transitioned into a plant-based lifestyle - especially athletes. Previously there has been a perception that achieving peak performance is difficult or nearly impossible without animal products in your diet. As we have learned, this is far from the truth. Today numerous athletes are proving this, using a combination of well-balanced and thought-out diets with the right vegan supplements - there is no limit to achieving your goals.

Today we sat down with Jansen Andre, a Melbourne-based 26-year-old plant-based triathlete and ironman, to find out a little bit about his diet, training, lifestyle, and mindset. Jansen also owns a completely plant-based cafe with his Mum: The Vegan Shack. Where they have dedicated their lives for people to try plant-based food with a strong motto “Plants with Attitude” and show the public that plants are not boring.


What does a typical day look like for you?

Wake up, have a big glass of water, and boil the kettle to have my clean coffee, no jokes! Stretch out and do some mobility work before I get into an intense session on the bike, in the ocean, or on my feet. I then refuel with a big bowl of oats and get ready for work, to cook and create yummies all day long. I would probably do some sort of low-key muscle contraction work after I finish at the cafe or recovery.

How did you get into sport?

My partner at the time was getting into it, so I followed suit, we broke up and I continued. And it has been (and still is) such a transformation journey both physically and mentally. I love nothing more than training now for 5-6 hours.

What is the biggest lesson that sport has taught you?

Prevention is better than cure. Never underestimate the power of rest and recovery. This includes getting a night of good sleep, and foam rolling/needling when possible, and a clean diet to help me excel and perform at my best. Sport has not only taught me that winning is not the do or die, it’s the transformation and enjoyment of the journey, as is EVERYTHING in life... that’s the aim.

How do you build/maintain a positive mindset?

I am grateful for everything in my life right now. I have my health, a roof over my head, and food on my table. I am always positive because I have nothing to complain about and am well off compared to a lot of people. Anytime I get frustrated with something, I think to myself is it worth it? I am just happy and lucky to be alive, to get to live and breathe every single day, so how can you not stay positive?

What does a typical training day look like for you?

Wow, this is a big one. To be honest, it depends on the day. I could be on the bike for 4-5hours then follow that up with an hour run. I could be running a marathon or 30km+, or swimming in the ocean for an hour. I have dedicated days according to both endurance and speed work. As an Ironman, it is so important to build strength and vary my training with speed and endurance work based on my power output and heart rate.

What are your go-to pre and post-workout meals?

I don’t have a pre-workout meal, I generally don’t eat before I workout in the morning. It will be a coffee or some form of pre-workout, with huge amounts of water. I find I cannot run on a full stomach as I get cramps and want to throw up, I like the feeling of being light and fresh, helps me go zoom zoom. As for training later in the day, in the lead up maybe 3 hours or 2 hours prior, I love having a bunch of potatoes, or a big vegan protein smoothie.

When I’m done, it’s a big bowl of oats, or a protein smoothie bowl most likely in the morning. If it’s an afternoon session, a massive salad of mixed greens, maybe some quinoa, and a dollop of hummus YUM.

What are your tips for living a healthy, active lifestyle?

My tips would be to stay consistent with whatever it is you are doing. Whether it be diet or exercise, ROME WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY. In modern society, we have this need for instant gratification and want things “yesterday”. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. We must put in the time and effort to receive the benefits and results we are after, there is no quick-fix solution.

HYDRATION, HYDRATION, HYDRATION this is the absolute key, many of us do not drink enough water. I make it an absolute habit to finish 3-4 litres of water per day on low training days, and an extra litre for every other hour working out (if it’s a heavy day).

KISS - Keep it simple stupid, try not to over complicate things. More often - than not, it’s as simple as it sounds! As humans, we try to make things harder than they are. That goes the same for food. Sometimes less is more. However, it is important to include a massive variety of foods in our regime to receive nutrients and benefits from all over.

MEDITATION - we lead such a YANG lifestyle, maybe not so much now, but it is important to dedicate time to slow down and ground ourselves.

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