Tag Archives: Athletes

Nutrition for vegan athletes – Part 2

Last month I wrote a post about nutrition for vegan athletes where I told about protein, iron and multivitamins. Go check that out if you haven’t yet! On this post we are going to get into 3 nutrition more for vegan athletes.

thumbnail_IMG_8210

MAGNESIUM

Magnesium is really important to athletes. It regulates hearth rhythm, supports normal functioning of muscles and blood vessels. It can boost your exercise performance. Magnesium deficiency is quite common. Especially runners and endurance athletes tend to need more magnesium. During exercise your magnesium need can be 10-20% higher than when you are resting.

You can have magnesium enough from vegan diet for example almonds, broccoli, dark chocolate, spinach, oat, sesame seeds, quinoa, black beans and spirulina are rich in magnesium.

Like I told already runners have higher risk to get magnesium deficiency and I really can feel the difference after running if I am taking magnesium or not. When I don’t take it after long run I usually wake up middle of the night because my legs are cramping. That is actually one of the most common sign of magnesium deficiency. Other deficiency symptoms are low energy, hormone problems, depression and anxiety, sleeping problems and high blood pressure.

If you have some of these symptoms you could try magnesium supplement. Best time to take magnesium is at the night before bed because it has relaxing properties. We have this puhdistamo tripla magnesium which contains three different type of magnesium. It is really clean supplement without any additives and it doesn’t have any animal products so it is suitable for vegans!

 

CARBOHYDRATES

Vegan diet tend to be higher in carbs so this is not something you should be worried about but carbs are really important to athletes and it really does matter which type of carbs you are eating so that is why I wanted to include them in this post.

Nowadays many athletes just worry about how to get enough protein and are trying to lower carb intakes. Carbs are essential part of any human dietary requirement so avoiding all carbs really doesn’t do anything good. Our body uses carbs as main energy source. They are essential for the normal function of fat metabolism. If we avoid carbs our fiber intake also decreases. Lack of fiber causes problems in the intestine such as intestinal cancer, constipation and irritated bowel. Fiber also can your lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

It is true that carbs are everywhere and we get them a lot easily. Like I already said it is also huge difference that where does your carbs come from. If we consume a lot white sugar, white bread and other fast and processed carbs those are bad for us and there is no reason why athletes or anyone would need those in their diet. But on the other hand also legumes, vegetables, berries, fruits and whole grains are carbs sources and those in our diet are really useful. When we eat bad carbs our blood sugar levels rises fast and after a while they come down just as fast. Then we feel tired and we don’t have power to exercise. If we eat vegetables and whole grains our blood sugar levels rises slowly and stays like that and then we have power to do exercise.

CALORIES

Usually vegan food is lower in calories than meat, eggs and dairy products. That is why I wanted to take this topic here. If you change your diet from eating meat to vegan you can easily lack calories. Key word is just eat more. If you want to enhance your sport performance it is really important to get enough calories. If you go to gym and try to gain muscles you have to get about 200 kcal more than your daily calorie consumption. You have to feel satisfied after every meal and you know that you get calories. If you eat only salads and low calorie vegetables then you feel constantly hungry and lack calories. Your body doesn’t have power to do exercises.

Fortunately it is quite easy to know that are you getting enough calories. Without enough calories your body doesn’t have power and after workout it doesn’t recover. You will be hungry all the time and you might not be able to sleep well.

If you have feeling that after going vegan you are constantly hungry and you don’t have power anymore that might easily just be because you are lacking calories. So what should you eat then. Make your diet variant. Eat vegetables, legumes, berries, fruit, quinoa, oats, nuts, seeds. Actually nuts and seeds are really easy way to increase your calorie intake. Just handful of nuts can be like 100 calories. If you are having hard time to get enough calories you can use oils and protein powders.

 

Just in case if you still think that it’s not possible to get enough protein as athlete from vegan diet here is some vegan athletes who are thriving very well with vegan diet. Go check them on Instagram!

Blog1

  • Lewis Hamilton, British race driver, one of the most famous athletes in the world has shown us that you really can win world champions and hold records as vegan. He has told that after starting a vegan diet he feels the best he has ever felt physically and mentally.

 

 

Blog2

  • Naturally Stefanie is a vegan fitness youtuber who makes youtube videos for more than 190 000 subscriber. She has been vegetarian more than 10 years and vegan 6 years.  On her videos she shows how to workout and eat as vegan!

 

Blog3

  • Heavy weight boxing champion David Haye has told that after he started eating on a vegan diet he wakes up brighter in the morning and his skin, nails and hair has never been better. He weight more than 100kg so his protein amount per day is pretty huge. He has told that in order to get all that protein he uses a lot plant based protein powders and also he developed his own protein powder which is made from quinoa, brown rice and pea protein.

 

Blog4

  • Sisters Venus and Serena Williams are both tennis player and they are both vegan! When Venus was diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome she decided to start eating on raw vegan diet and her sister and roommate Serena adopted the same diet. Venus has said that changing her diet has made big difference and she feel huge improvements since she was first diagnosed. They have been in a vegan diet since 2012 and after that Serena has won the US Open three times.

 

See you in the shop!

Milla – Anni’s vital shop, Los Boliches

Advertisements

Nutrition for vegan athletes

I’ve heard many times “I would like to go vegan but because I work out I need meat” Well… I am vegan and I work out as well. I go to gym, pilates, run,  play pádel and do yoga. I think that it has been just easier work out as vegan. I feel like I have more energy and the body recover better. So don’t be afraid to go vegan because you are athlete or definitely don’t be afraid to do sports if you are vegan.
I have told on my vegan nutrition post what supplements I recommend for vegans. On this post I will tell you what supplements you should take if you want to work out as vegan. I am not getting into so much those points that I already went through on my vegan nutrition post so go check it if you haven’t yet and keep those also in your mind. Everything what I told there is also good for vegan athletes.

 

PROTEIN

thumbnail_IMG_3162
Like in my vegan nutrition post first which we are going to get in is protein. It is definitely the most questioned topic. For me it’s not difficult to get my daily protein intake full from my diet. I am consuming a lot of legumes, oat, tofu, quinoa, lentils, nuts and seeds. Just remember keep the diet versatile and combine different protein sources because legumes lacks amino acids methionine and cysteine, and wheat lacks amino acid lysine. Quinoa, buckwheat, soy, spirulina and hemp has complete amino acid profile so if you think you might lack some amino acids include these in your diet.
Even though it’s quite easy to get protein from vegan diet athletes can benefit taking extra protein from powders or bars. When average person needs about 0.8 grams protein per kilogram of body weight athletes need 1,2-2,0 grams protein per kilogram of their body weight every day. Protein build, maintain and repairs our muscles and our body can also use protein for energy. In order to get the best results from your exercise you should get protein no more than 2 hours after work out. Not always we have time to cook high protein meals right after work out so in those situations powders and other protein supplements can be useful.
Usually if I’m going to the gym at the morning I like to add a scoop of protein powder to my breakfast smoothie. That way I have power to work out, I don’t feel hungry during my work out and my body recover much better. There are plenty of options of vegan protein powders. We have in Anni’s vital shop rice, soy, pea and hemp protein powders. Also we have these Nordiq’s post-workout and pre-workout protein powders which are specially made for athletes. It’s 100% organic mix of plant proteins, adaptogens, mushrooms and nutritious plants which gives energy, strengthen your mind and body and support recovery. If I go to gym straight from the work it’s easy option just grab one of those pulsin protein bars with me. They are totally natural just made of nuts, fruits, rice and pea protein. We have many different flavours like orange chocolate chip, mint chocolate chip and vanilla chocolate chip and they all are really tasty!

 

IRON

5603E115-EEA2-4E8C-BC65-C662E813FBA1.jpeg

Iron is not as questioned topic as protein but maybe it should be. Iron deficiency is actually one of most common nutrition deficiency in the world. It is essential mineral found in every cell of our body. There are many vegan iron sources like soy, quinoa, kale, tofu, tempeh, spirulina, chia seeds, dark chocolate, apricot, figs and broccoli. So again remember to keep your diet versatile, eat some of these everyday so you should get enough iron. Depending how often and what type of exercises you do your need for iron can be higher than usual.  Women tend to have more iron deficiency than men and especially women athletes has high risks for deficiency. Our body lose iron through sweating and women lose small amount of iron while menstruation.
Even though there are many vegan iron sources vegans has to be a little bit more careful because there is two types of iron, heme and non heme. Heme is more easily absorbed form and it’s only found in animal products which are usually 40% of heme and rest of the iron is non heme. All plant based iron sources contains only non heme iron. There is also the bright side getting your iron from plant based sources and it is vitamin C. It helps the iron absorb and vegetables usually are pretty high in vitamin C. So if you are a vegan woman who works out you might feel like eating veggies and doing exercises is super healthy and of course it is but also you should be aware that these habits can increase your risk to get iron deficiency. If you are feeling tired or you are not getting wanted results of your work out you might be lacking iron.
I am not taking iron supplements right now. I eat many different iron sources daily and I am taking the OmniVegan multivitamin which has 14 mg iron. I am feeling that those are enough for me. I feel energised and I have power to do my work outs. But if you are feeling that you need more iron we have this amino jern supplement in offer whole March and it is really good choice to people who workout and it is 100% vegan!
Just little reminder that coffee and tea can reduce our iron absorption more than 40% so avoid taking iron supplements or eating your iron sources together with cup of coffee or tea.

 

MULTIVITAMINS

thumbnail_IMG_7455

Keep in mind that when we exercise our body consume more every nutrient so besides to a varied diet take some multivitamins to make sure your body can keep up with your sport performances. We have three different multivitamins which are specially for vegans. OmniVegan, Longo vital vegan and SpectroVEG. Like I already told I am taking right now the OmniVegan one. That’s actually the only multivitamin which I really can feel that it is working for me. I feel more energetic and sleep better when I take that. And for an athlete long and good sleep is really important. Our body recover better while we are in sleep and after good sleep we have so much more energy to do our exercise. OmniVegan is a lot higher in all B vitamins than most multivitamins so that is probably the reason why I sleep better with it. B vitamins regulate the body’s tryptophan levels which is essential amino acid for sleep. Even though this is really high in all B vitamins I really recommend to take also separately vitamin B12. It’s something you can’t find in plant based food and because of its poorly absorption it’s good to take high doses of vitamin B12. If not every day at least few times of week.

Like I told on my vegan nutrition post there are many vegan calcium sources but calcium is also something that athletes should take extra care. It is necessary to our muscle function and bone health. OmniVegan has 150 mg calcium which is great addition but it’s not enough on its own. Make sure to also eat different calcium sources in your diet. Like tofu, sesame seed, nettle, broccoli, kale, tahini, spinach, almonds, hazelnuts. In order to make your calcium absorb take also vitamin D supplement. OmniVegan contains 20 mcg of vitamin D3 but it is quite a small amount because there are not many sources of vitamin D in vegan diet, so I recommend increasing the amount. In our selection we have  this Veg D-3 which has 75 mcg vitamin D3 and together with OmniVegan makes 95 mcg  so that is good amount.

Veg D-3 is on offer until end of the March and you can save up to 2.70€!
 
 
See you in the shop (or at the gym😉)
Milla – Anni’s Vital Shop, Los Boliches