Let me introduce you to Michael Gebrael, Vega President and CEO. Michael joined Vega only a few months ago and has fully integrated into the Vegatopian lifestyle; he’s a fearless leader, and he’s also a father, husband, and IRONMAN athlete. This year, Michael will be checking one big item off his bucket list. He’ll be competing as a Vega athlete in Kona at the 2019 Vega IRONMAN World Championship, the pinnacle of endurance racing.
Keep reading to learn more about Michael, his background, and how he’s preparing for Kona.
Born and raised in Margarita Island, Venezuela, Michael’s passion for sports and competing started early in life. Swimming, basketball, mountain biking… you name it! He didn’t become a professional athlete, but Michael funneled that mindset for success and overcoming obstacles into a different goal: he discovered a passion for business and leadership and turned that into his profession.
Still, Michael relies on physical activity to help him clear his head, sweat it out, push harder, and feel better. Training for an IRONMAN isn’t easy. It requires discipline in all aspects – especially when juggling different hats. Michael follows a strict periodized training plan set by his coach, while balancing family and work too.
” My family are real troopers. They’re my biggest fans and greatest support.”
Michael top cheerleaders and strongest support system are his two daughters, wife, and his golden doodle Miguel. And here at Vega HQ, we try to support him too: between activities like lunchtime bootcamps, yoga classes, run club, and our cycling crew, Vega is a great environment to help Michael achieve his goals.
“I feel better, look better, and recover better on a plant-based diet.”
Nutrition is a key aspect of Michael’s IRONMAN training. His post-workout routine involves a nutrient-dense, plant-based smoothie with Vega® protein powder, blueberries, strawberries, spinach, hemp seeds, chia seeds, dates, and a frozen banana. After a long run or bike ride, Vega Sport® Recovery is a must! It helps replenish muscle glycogen stores with premium carbohydrates, electrolytes, and B vitamins. It’s a real game changer that will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to conquer your next workout with an extra spring in your step. Michael also swears by Vega Sport® Hydrator, which helps replenish electrolytes lost in sweat. Read up on electrolytes for optimal performance here.
Vega HQ makes it easy for Michael to stick to his plant-based diet. Every day, amazing Vega chef Hannah Rayment fuels the team with plant-based lunches: think vegan sushi bowls, tacos, curries, and pho. Every day, the kitchen is filled with an abundance of greens, grains, legumes, tofu, and of course lots of fruit. The Vega in-house smoothie bar is also constantly stocked for Vegatopians who need that post-workout smoothie, a snack – or just to mingle in the afternoon.
Besides hydration, and nutrition, stretching is crucial for Michael. Stretching is a great way to increase flexibility, range of motion and relieve tension due to stiff muscles. Adding in a variety of stretches to your post-workout routine is the best way to target those muscles that you’ve used during your tough workouts.
Last but not least, sleep! Good quality rest is key, especially for athletes. When you’re asleep, your body enters full-on recovery mode, so it’s crucial to get a good night’s rest.
We want to be there next to you, fueling you with real, plant-based food ingredients that help you live like you mean it. Let us know which goals you’re chasing and your go-to tips and tricks to achieving them!