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> Vegan diet for athletes – what to eat to have the strength and energy for daily workouts?

Vegan diet for athletes – what to eat to have the strength and energy for daily workouts?

Publish date 15.06.2023

You can read it in 7 minut

Vegan diet for athletes – what to eat to have the strength and energy for daily workouts?

Numbers of people who are into vegan diets are more In particular, these are people who want to introduce a healthy diet into their lives, eat deliciously and eliminate zoonotic products from their menus. 

To have the energy to exercise and perform daily workouts on a vegan diet, you need to pay attention to several important elements. Find out what products a vegan diet for a runner should be based on!

Read labels on products on a vegan diet – learn about the products that you are buying

Being on a vegan diet, you are sure to look for products labeled “Vege” when you enter a store. However, you need to keep in mind that not all products are labeled like that. This means that when you go into the store, you need to take a moment to read the ingredients. You can find good and interesting products that will fit perfectly into your diet. 

You don’t even realize how many products in supermarkets are made from 100% plants and you can eat them and add them to your shopping list for next time. 

Also, read the composition of products that look vegan. Many of them have zoonotic ingredients that should not be on your menu if you follow this diet. A good example is various kinds of sweets. Many of them use milk powder or E120.

“Should I look at E ingredients? Why?”

You need to look at this ingredient in products in particular because E120 is cochineal, which is extracted from insects (it’s a red dye). Very often you can see it in the composition of kissels.

Reading labels and buying vegan products
Read labels and find out how many products you can buy!

Vegan diet for athletes – what about fats? 

Fats are very important in the diet of any runner who is on a vegan diet. A diet rich in omega-3 accelerates post-workout recovery of muscles and joints, and by alleviating inflammation helps heal injuries. Therefore, you should familiarize yourself with plant-based products, which will be an excellent source of omega-3. 

What should be in your shopping cart during your next shopping trip?

  • chia seeds,
  • nuts,
  • peanut butter, 
  • canola oil, 
  • flaxseed oil, 
  • coconut butter, 
  • avocados. 

Eliminating fish from your menu will certainly not make your body lack omega-3 fatty acids. As long as you stock your kitchen shelves with the above-mentioned products, you can be sure that your diet will be healthy and provide you with the right nutrients.

If you plan to supplement with omega-3s, be careful with the ingredients – the supplement should be labeled as vegan, regular omegas are usually fish oil.

Vegan diet for runners – a source of protein

With a normal diet, athletes get their protein from meat products. Unfortunately, this cannot be the case when you are a vegan. You can’t ignore protein, because with intense training you need a lot of it. What’s more, its deficiency means that my muscles can’t regenerate as well. Running would slowly start to damage you, and soreness would prevent your training for a few days.

Often people who convert to veganism are concerned that they will not provide their bodies with an adequate portion of protein. However, there is no need to worry about this. There are plant-based products that can provide you with a very high amount of protein – even a runner who trains intensively will be satisfied! 

What products should be on your menu? 

  • soy, 
  • tofu, 
  • chickpeas, 
  • lentils, 
  • peas, 
  • broad beans, 
  • white and red beans,
  • almonds,
  • vegetable protein yogurts, 
  • oat and spelt flakes,
  • vegetable protein supplements, such as pea, rice, pumpkin, sunflower or bean protein supplements.

As you can see there are a lot of options. You can have a very varied diet. By choosing such products, you can be sure that your muscles will be regenerated, and soreness will not plague you for a long time. Look for interesting recipes for lunches with the listed ingredients and cook a dish that will give you a good amount of protein every day

Many recipes are really simple and quick. You don’t have to be an expert cook to make them. Many people think that healthy and, on top of that, vegan dishes require you to have a Michelin star, and this is not true. You can find plenty of ideas on the Internet. Make your diet more varied and provide protein for your muscles.

Proteins and vegan diet
Proteins will give you energy or the whole day and your daily trainings.

Vegan diet for athletes and carbohydrates

When it comes to carbohydrates, you need to know that you will have to choose them more carefully, especially sweets and pasta. What does this look like and what do you need to avoid on a vegan diet?

  • Sweets with gelatin – always check the ingredients, gelatin is not only in jellies and jelly beans.
  • Honey – most vegans do not recognize it in their diet, and it is a common ingredient in healthy sweet products.
  • Breakfast cereals – say goodbye to cereals with chocolate or yogurt coating. You also need to check their composition to see if it has the previously mentioned cochineal.
  • Oatmeal, puddings, and porridge in sachets – cochineal may be present in the puddings, and other products have milk powder added. You can eat regular oatmeal as much as possible. Just avoid those with milk powder and coloring. 
  • Milk chocolate – you don’t have to say “bye-bye” to it completely because in the stores you are sure to find products that are made with plant milk, not animal milk. Check the composition and again enjoy delicious chocolate.

If you can’t find the right snacks for you in the store, you can always make them yourself. This way you will be able to add ingredients that suit your taste buds and create delicious sweets. All it takes is a little willingness and time to make really good sweet snacks that will win your heart. 

What about the power to run from plant carbohydrates? You don’t have to worry about that. You will have just the same level of energy as you would after carbohydrates on a normal, non-vegan diet.

Vegan diet for athletes – minerals and vitamins

You’ve probably heard a lot about how a vegan diet doesn’t provide all the elements your body needs. In particular, such minerals as calcium, iron, zinc, and iodine. These concerns are not correct. You can supply all these elements to your body. You just need to choose the right products. Which ones? 

  • Calcium – many people think that calcium can only be supplied to the body through dairy products. This is not true. On a vegan diet, eat spinach, kale, nuts, sesame, poppy seeds . They will provide you with the needed dose of calcium. Also, remember to drink mineral water – you can also find calcium there. 
  • Iodine – here the matter is very simple. Use iodized salt when preparing food. 
  • Iron – here the matter looks the hardest. In plants, you won’t get as large a portion of iron as in animal products. What’s more, they won’t be as well absorbed. However, there is a way around this as well. Try combining plant products with vitamin C to improve iron absorption. In addition, it is worth replenishing your cupboard with the right iron supplements. 
  • Zinc – choose legumes to supplement the amount in your body.

As you can see, you don’t have to worry that being on a vegan diet you may suffer from mineral deficiencies. The right diet and the products in it will keep you healthy and ready for the next sports challenges you have prepared for yourself.

What about vitamins?

On a vegan diet, you will not obtain vitamin B12 from your meals. Therefore, you will need the supplementation of this vitamin. It’s worth taking it every day. Put it on your table or kitchen counter to remember to take it. 

When you are on a vegan diet there is also a lot of talk about vitamin D supplementation. It is worth purchasing it as well. Although this vitamin in the form of a supplement is also recommended to be taken by people who are not on a vegan diet.

Vegan diet and supplementation
Go to your local farmacy and but proper supplements.

Vegan diet – we debunk the myths 

One of them we have already debunked – that is, you may suffer from a deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals. A well-balanced diet, the right ingredients, and products in a vegan diet will ensure that you don’t have to worry about this. Those vitamins that you don’t get from food should be supplemented. 

You hear a lot about how a vegan diet is expensive and the dishes are labor-intensive. This is a myth. 

Healthy products do not have exorbitant prices, plus you can buy them at any grocery store. What’s more, you can make the dishes quickly. Even in a dozen minutes, you will conjure up a delicious dinner. 

What is also a myth? That plant protein is useless to humans. Choosing a variety of plant protein sources will regenerate your muscles no worse than using animal protein.

A vegan diet does not cause anemia, weight loss, or weakness. This is another myth about this diet that we bag and throw into the river. This problem can affect all runners – including meat eaters – herbivores are no exception. These problems are usually caused by a poorly balanced diet.

“I have concerns about the vegan diet. What should I do?”

If you have concerns about switching to a vegan diet and don’t know where to start, go to a nutritionist. He’ll help you put together the perfect diet that will keep you strong for your next workout.

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