Tag Archives: Vegan diet

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

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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

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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

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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

 

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Vegan nutrition

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WHAT IS VEGAN?

Vegan is a person who don’t eat, wear or use anything that comes from an animal. For example vegans don’t wear leather, use cosmetics which are tested on animals or eat animal products. So there are many things to write about veganism but on this post we are going to look into vegan nutrition. Stay tuned if you want to know more about vegan cosmetics or get some awesome vegan recipes those posts are coming soon!

Of course like in every type of diet it’s really important to make sure that your vegan diet is versatile and that you are getting all the nutritions. In my opinion eating on a vegan diet is very simple and getting all the nutritions doesn’t require a lot of work. That might be because few years of being vegan I am used to all of that. But still many people think that being vegan is really difficult and that you can’t get all nutrients on a vegan diet. I am going to tell you the most important things in vegan nutrition so after reading this you can easily follow healthy vegan nutrition rich diet!

 

PROTEIN

First let’s answer the most asked question about veganism “Where do you get your protein?” From plants of course! Actually all the protein is originally coming from plants. Animals can’t produce protein on their own so they also have to get it from their diet. Animals are getting their protein from plants and when we eat the animal we are getting our protein from that. Actually we need to feed 8 kilos of plant protein to an animal in order to get one kilo of animal protein.

If we are looking for high protein plants we have a lot of options for them!  For example chickpeas, lentils, tofu, soy, oat, nuts, spirulina, chia seeds, hemp seeds, quinoa and beans. We just have to be careful because meat and plant protein are a bit different. Meat has a complete amino acid profile and there is some vegetables which contain all of them like soy, hemp, quinoa and spirulina but most of vegetables does not. So in order to get all essential amino acids you have to keep your vegan diet versatile. Legumes lacks methionine and cysteine, and wheat lacks lysine. That’s why it’s good to combine different type of plant protein sources for example you can eat beans with grains and oatmeal with nuts and seeds. You can add peanut butter to whole wheat bread or make hummus from chickpeas and tahini.

 

B12

There is only one essential nutrient which is impossible to get from plant based diet. That’s vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is a bacteria which we can’t produce on our own so it’s necessary to get in our diet.  Some animals can produce it in their intestinal and some animals are getting it from supplement and that’s why it is possible to get B12 from animal products. Of course vegans don’t eat any animal products so we have to get it somewhere else. We used to get B12 by just eating wild living plants and drinking water but modern world is so sterile that B12 bacteria doesn’t live in our ground anymore so only what we have left is supplementing it.

B12 deficiency can lead to serious nerve damage so it’s really important to every vegan supplement it. We have a lot of options of vitamin B12 in Anni’s vital shop. My favourite is Nordic Health B12 Boost spray. Just spray it under your tongue and that’s it! No need to get glass of water and swallow pills. Four sprays of this contains 1200ug of vitamin B12, 40ug of chromium, green tea extract and it’s sweetened with xylitol.

 

CALCIUM

When I tell people that I am vegan after asking about my protein the next question usually will be “How do you get enough calcium without cows milk?” Well easily! There are a lot of plant based calcium sources. Tofu, sesam seed, nettle, broccoli, kale, tahini, spinach, almonds, hazelnuts… Also many plant milks and yogurts are fortified with calcium. Of course if you are having hard time to make sure that you are eating some of these every day you it would be good to supplement it.

 

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IODINE

Iodine is necessary to us and our body can’t make it on it’s own so we have to get it from our food. Iodine is really important to our thyroid and if we aren’t getting it enough it can cause thyroid insufficiency. Mostly iodine is found in the ocean and that’s why seaweed is iodine rich. There are not so many iodine sources so it can be little bit difficult to get from food. Besides seaweed it’s found in fish, dairy and eggs, which obviously aren’t vegan. Nowadays it’s also added to some salts.

If you are vegan and don’t use iodine fortified salt or eat seaweed it might be good to supplement it. We have a great selection iodine supplements in Anni’s vital shop. I really like the solgar kelp one. It is made from seaweed named kelp. One capsule of these contains 200ug iodine which is 133% of daily recommendation.

 

OMEGA 3

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential nutrients for us so it is really important to make sure that we are getting them enough from our food. When we say omega 3 people tend to think that it’s only fish where it’s coming from but actually there are also many plant based sources for omega 3. For example chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts and avocado contains omega 3. If it’s difficult to you make sure that you are eating some of these every day it might be good idea to supplement it. For that there’s also vegan options. We have a good selection of those in Anni’s vital shop. Products that I like to use are Pharma Nord Omega 7 and Biosym VegOmega-3. Omega 7 is made of sea buckthorn oil and it contains omega 3, 6, 7 and 9 in a good balance. VegOmega-3 is made from algae and it has high content of omega 3.

 

VITAMIN D

It’s really difficult to get enough vitamin D from food, no matter what type of diet you are on, because fish and wild mushrooms are almost only food that contain even a little bit of vitamin D. Of course following vegan diet you can’t have it from fish so that is leaving you only mushrooms and I wouldn’t count on them. What we have left is supplementing it or getting it from the sun. Our skin can produce vitamin D from the sun if suns UV rays are close enough. For example in Finland there is only three months during whole year when suns UV rays are close enough to get you vitamin D from the sun. In Spain of course we have a little bit more sun than in Finland but even here it’s actually really hard to get it from the sun because you would have to be in the sun without clothes every day. That’s why I would recommend to every vegan and also non vegan to supplement vitamin D. There are two types of vitamin D. Our body can use either one so just take care you are getting one of those. D2 is always plant based and usually D3 is animal based, but there are some exceptions. Vitamin D3 is absorbed better than vitamin D2. We have in Anni’s vital shop Veg D-3 which contain 75ug vitamin D3.

 

MULTIVITAMIN

If you feel like you need a little more help to get all the vitamins and minerals, we have multivitamins which are specially made for vegans. Sometimes life can get a little busy and we don’t have so much time to make sure that we’re getting every nutrient so multivitamins can be good option for those periods of life. In our selection we have three different multivitamins which are specially for vegans. SpektroVEG, Longo Vital Vegan and Omni Vegan. They all contain a good amount of essential vitamins and minerals. These has also iodine, vitamin D and b12 in them so if you choose to buy one of these it might be only supplement you have to take.

 

 See you in the shop!

Milla – Anni’s Vital Shop, Los Boliches