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The Vegetarian Athlete

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Article by Ruth McKean, Sports Nutritionist
Nutrient Concerns for Vegetarian Athletes

Vegetarian and vegan diets are now common in the UK. People choose to eat a vegetarian or vegan diet for a variety of reasons such as cultural, moral or health reasons. In athletes the reason may include meeting increased carbohydrate needs or to assist in weight control.

A nutritionally sound vegetarian or vegan diet is possible If enough energy is consumed from a WIDE variety of foods. However, an athlete who consumes a poorly planned vegetarian diet may be at risk from nutritional deficiencies as well as poor physical performance.

Definitions

Semi-vegetarian diet excludes some but not all groups of animal derived products (for example those who avoid meat but not fish).

Vegan / strict vegetarian diet excludes all animal derived foods including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products. An athlete, without consultation from a dietician, should not attempt a vegan diet, especially young children & adolescents as this could have health risks.

 

Specific Information
bulletPage 1 - Protein
bulletPage 2 - Iron
bulletPage 3 - Calcium
bulletPage 4 - Vitamin B12 & Zinc

Useful Web Links
VegSoc Vegetarian Society website providing a variety of useful information from recipes to info. for new vegetarians.
IVU International Vegetarian Union - information from across the world and the option to join the Union.
VRG Vegetarian Resource Group - for the vegan and vegetarian. Recipes, restaurant information, nutrition information and more.
Vegan Chef Recipes and information for vegetarians and vegans.

The content within this website is provided by independent third parties, either as part of a feature or through links to other websites. ScottishSport.co.uk does not accept responsibility for the content of those sites or the accuracy of any information contained within this site.

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Site Last modified: January 29, 2016