The best multivitamin for vegetarian athletes will feature a combination of vitamins and minerals that are essential for the normal function of the human body but can’t be easily consumed as part of a vegetarian diet such as iron, zinc, B12 and calcium.
We all know the importance of a healthy, well balanced diet, but the need for well rounded nutrition is even greater for athletes performing at high levels or participating in lots of sports and exercise. If you fall into this category, and are also a vegetarian, then you may have to give this even more consideration.
Vegetarian Athletes & Multivitamins
For athletes following a vegetarian diet, it can sometimes be a challenge to obtain the right balance of essential nutrients that the body needs to fuel itself and recover when participating in lots of sports and exercise. EVO Nutrition offers a year’s supply of vegetarian and vegan multivitamins that can help your body to function smoothly so you can enjoy the feeling of optimal energy levels and good health alongside your training endorphin rush!
With a passion for health, fitness, well-being, and everything in between, EVO Nutrition is proud to offer some of the best value for money supplements in the UK, and we’re confident that you’ll love them too.
When following a diet plan that reduces or removes whole food groups, it is important to make sure that you are getting the full range of vitamins and minerals that your body needs. This is especially important if you then place additional high demands on your body such as fitness and exercise. Read on to find out what multivitamins vegetarian athletes should consider taking and how they can help you achieve optimal health and fitness.
What Is A Vegetarian?
First things first, we should confirm that vegetarians are people who choose not to eat meat and or fish. Some vegetarians go a step further and reduce their intake of dairy products and eggs too but this is more often referred to as veganism.
The decision not to eat animal products is usually based on moral, religious or health reasons and there are thought to be over three million vegetarians in the UK alone. Fish, meat and/or dairy are often removed when following a vegetarian diet and, as these food groups offer easy sources of certain vitamins and minerals, it is important to make sure they are substituted back into your diet by other means. This is where vegetarian friendly multivitamins come in - just like the range here from EVO Nutrition.
What Are Multivitamins?
Multivitamins are dietary supplements that usually contain three or more essential vitamins, minerals and other nutritional elements. They tend to be grouped together based on specific nutritional needs. For example, multivitamins for vegetarians, multivitamins for the elderly or prenatal vitamins for pregnant women. The supplements are usually sold and consumed in tablet or capsule form but liquids, powders and other forms are available.
Fueling Exercise As A Vegetarian
Athletes come in all shapes and sizes, and so do their nutritional needs. Some athletes focus on high protein diets, some will require more calories than others, and some will be vegetarian - to cover just a few of the limitless variations!
Did you know? Tennis superstar Venus Williams has eaten a raw food vegan diet since 2011 and Lewis Hamilton, Jermain Defoe and Champion boxer David Haye, are all vegetarian or vegan elite athletes!
Although the food they eat and the sports they play may differ, every athlete has one thing in common - the fundamental need to fuel their bodies correctly so it can complete the internal processes it needs to perform and recover efficiently when training intensely. So how do multivitamins come into this?
Why Sporty Vegetarians May Need Multivitamins
When removing whole food groups from your diet, like vegetarians do, it is important to ensure that your body is still getting all of the essential vitamins and minerals that it needs for the optimal balance of health and performance.
For athletes performing at high levels or engaging in a large amount of sport and exercise, they can end up using up a lot more energy and nutrients from the food they consume than the rest of us. Therefore replenishing their bodies with the vital nutrients lost and calories burned during these workouts is key to maintaining this balance.
This is why athletes following a vegetarian diet often consider taking a multivitamin supplement as part of their food plans, but which multivitamins should they take?
Which Vitamins To Supplement
The journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition states that vegan diets and some vegetarian diets too, tend to be lower in:
- B12 Vitamin
- n-3 fatty acids (omega-3s)
If, as a vegetarian or fussy eater, you don’t already eat the kind of foods that are rich in these essential nutrients then the easiest way to ensure you are getting the right amount is to incorporate a vegetarian friendly, multivitamin in your diet.
It’s also worth noting that Iron, Zinc and Calcium are sometimes less easily absorbed into the body. As these nutrients are found in their highest concentration in animal products, vegetarian athletes may also discover that they need to consume more of these elements than their meat eating gym rivals!
Vegetarians may also want to supplement the following into their diet:
There are so many combinations of multivitamins to choose from, so how do you pick which one is right for you? Understanding what each essential nutrient does for your body is important, and when you combine this knowledge with that you already know about the needs of vegetarian athlete diets, you will be armed with the knowledge you need to choose the right multivitamin for you.
- Take a look at these brilliant multivitamin options from the store.
The next section explains a little more about how your body uses the most commonly supplemented vitamins and minerals by athletes following a vegetarian diet.
Why Do We Need These Vitamins
Zinc is known as an essential nutrient because it’s something that your body can’t make for itself. This means it must be consumed as part of your diet in order for your body to get the amount it needs to complete lots of vital processes to keep you feeling well.
Zinc aids the activity of over 300 enzymes in your body including those that support metabolism, digestion and nerve function. It is required for growth, development, wound healing, immune function and protein synthesis. This pretty impressive list demonstrates just why it’s important to get enough of this nutrient into your body.
Some of the best natural sources of zinc include oysters, red meat and poultry. With vegetarian friendly beans and nuts containing lower levels of zinc, you can see why it’s high on the list of things to look out for when looking for the right combination of vitamins in a supplement for vegetarian diets.
Iron is important for the body because of its role in making red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body. Athletes should pay close attention to their iron levels because without enough of it, they can quickly feel drained or suffer from a lack of energy which could impact their sporting performance.
Some of the best natural sources of iron include liver and red meat. Vegetarians can boost their intake with green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans and seeds but they may need to supplement this intake with an iron based multivitamin.
Calcium is used to keep bones strong and carry out lots of important functions around the body. Muscles also use calcium to move well and help the nerves in our bodies to carry messages between the brain and our body parts. As good movement and bone strength is key to most athletic performance, you can see why it’s important for sportsmen and women to get enough calcium into their bodies.
Milk, cheese and other dairy foods are the richest sources of calcium but green leafy vegetables such as curly kale and spinach are also good sources. Depending on how much dairy a vegetarian diet incorporates, it could be a great nutrient to look out for in a multivitamin supplement if your intake of these kinds of foods is low.
Vitamin B12 helps to keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy, and it can help to prevent a type of anaemia (megaloblastic anaemia), that makes people feel tired and weak - two conditions that athletes definitely want to avoid!
Natural sources of B12 include a wide variety of animal products, which is why this is a critical vitamin to pay attention to when cutting out meat from your diet. You can get vitamin B12 from plant food, such as cereals, but only if it is artificially fortified in production. The best sources of B12 are beef liver and clams, but fish, meat, eggs and milk also contain this essential vitamin too.
If you are feeling tired and drained whilst following a vegetarian or vegan diet and training hard, you may be low in this vital nutrient meaning it’s another excellent one to look out for when choosing your multivitamin supplements.
Should I Supplement My Diet With Multivitamins?
With plenty of food prep, and a good understanding of what makes up a healthy, balanced vegetarian diet, you can get all the nutrients your body needs to be healthy without the need for supplements. However, as we explained above, people that remove whole food groups may find that they struggle to keep their vitamin and mineral intake at optimal levels - and this is even more important to get right when engaging in lots of sports that really take it out of your body.
In particular vegetarian athletes should focus on getting enough iron, zinc, calcium and vitamin B12. Even if your diet is pretty good already, it can never hurt to top up your intake with a multivitamin when taken inline with the recommended daily amounts.
Is A Vegetarian Diet Healthy?
A vegetarian diet can be very healthy but it doesn’t automatically mean your diet is healthier than those that continue to eat meat. Whether you’re vegetarian or not, the core principles of healthy eating still apply. These include:
- Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables (at least five portions a day)
- Eating a good balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates from a wide variety of nutritional sources
- Drinking plenty of water - at least 6-8 cups a day
- Reducing your intake of foods that are high in saturated fat, salt and sugar
Vegetarian diets can have many health benefits and can continue to provide your body with all of the essential vitamins and minerals required for a long and healthy life - providing it is planned well and supplemented where necessary.
We hope that this article has given you plenty of food for thought when it comes to supplementing vegetarian diets with multivitamins - especially for athletes looking to maintain their best performance on the pitch or in the gym.
Always consider the overall balance of the food that you’re eating when adjusting your intake of certain foods. This will help you to achieve the right levels of essential nutrients that your body needs to function properly.
If you think that supplementing your meals with multivitamins will help you to achieve the optimum balance for you, then a vegetarian multivitamin is a great way to support the demands of the fitness activities you enjoy if you’d rather not eat meat.
Remember to only buy your multivitamin stash from reputable providers that use the best active ingredients and follow strict quality control standards. This will help to ensure that you’re taking premium supplements that aid optimal absorption into your body enabling you to reap the maximum possible benefits available.
Look out for multivitamins that include:
For one final tip from us - If you struggle to remember to take multivitamins, pop a pack in your sports kit or in the car to remind you to take them when you’re re-hydrating at the end of another tough session.
EVO Nutrition is passionate about producing premium supplements that complement your health and well-being. We source the best active ingredients and create formulations that help you to achieve your full potential and you, our customer, are at the heart of everything we do.