The vegan athlete
There are more and more followers of vegetarianism around the world, including many athletes. Vegetarian athletes must pay particular attention to, among other things, protein, iron and vitamin B12 to meet their higher needs, despite the absence of foods from animal sources on their menu. How to make sure you don’t miss anything? Here are some tips to guide you.
Your plate should contain at least 15-20g per meal on average. It is ideal to eat it with every meal and snack, and you should make sure to eat a variety throughout the day (legumes, tofu, tempeh, peanut butter, soy beverages, hummus, nuts and seeds, eggs , dairy products, TVP, etc.).
Vegetarians should include good sources of non-heme iron (vegetable source) at all meals to avoid deficiencies. Be aware that green vegetables, legumes, whole-grain or iron-enriched breads and cereals, such as tofu and pumpkin seeds, contain a significant amount, but it is less well absorbed than iron from animal (heme) kingdom. It is therefore strongly recommended to include a good source of vitamin C with each meal that contains iron to increase its absorption (peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, oranges, kiwis, strawberries, grapefruit, mangoes…).
For its part, a vitamin B12 deficiency can cause anemia and long-term irreversible neurological damage. Vegans can find vitamin B12 in nutritional yeast enriched with B12, fortified soy beverages, simulated meats or in supplements.
Lacto-ovo vegetarians (vegetarians who consume milk and eggs) can simply meet their needs by adding enough dairy products and eggs to their menu.
To better balance your menu, call on a nutritionist! We have webinars on this subject that will allow you to optimize your diet, whether you are a seasoned vegetarian/vegan or simply want to reduce your meat consumption.