Many athletes these days are choosing the vegan lifestyle, whether it’s for ethical and moral reasons, health reasons or religious reasons. Many who chose to go vegan, however, don’t stay that way for very long and a key reason for that is the lack of research and education. This lack of education prevents many people from getting the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals that their body needs to sustain its self and they quickly find themselves lacking energy, focus and motivation.
When you chose to go meat-free, your body misses out on some essential nutrients, therefore, it is important that you get these in to your body through supplements or other plant-based foods. Here are a few to look out for:
First and foremost, the most important one and an essential vitamin that a lot of vegans and vegetarians miss out on. Vitamin B-12 is a highly sought after nutrient by the human body as it is required for a large number of bodily functions. It is a key ingredient in energy production as well as brain function. This is the main reason a lot of vegans feel lethargic, sluggish and lacking mental clarity. Aim for at least 100mcg’s daily of the Methyl cobalamin variety.
If you are an athlete, you already know how important protein is for muscle growth and repair. Vegetables and grains just don’t have enough of the essential amino acids required by the body and there is just so much quinoa that a person can eat. Luckily, these days there are a number of vegan protein options such as, pea, hemp, Sacha Inchi, rice, etc. MRSupps carries a very high quality vegan protein blend that is free from lactose, gluten and cholesterol.
Calcium is an important mineral for the proper repair and development of teeth and bones. It is most commonly found in dairy products and therefore, can be lacking in many vegans. Aim for at least 1gram of calcium per day. It can also be found in foods such as chickpeas, broccoli, bok choy and green beans.
A highly essential vitamin that is responsible for a number of functions within the body, such as hormone production and maintaining brain and bone health among others.
Vitamin D is common in a lot of non-vegan foods such as beef, fish, cheese and eggs but not so much in vegan foods. Therefore, it is important that you get it in supplement form. Aim for at least 2,000-4,000IUs per day. Make sure that your capsules are gelatin-free.