5 Essential Nutrients Vegan Athletes Need to Perform Well

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Going vegan is a lifestyle choice that can be quite a challenge at the beginning, but is definitely rewarding if you get to keep at it. The vegan lifestyle requires a lot of willpower and determination, as this cuts out a majority of things you’re commonly used to. What can become troubling, however, is the diet, as this would mean not getting the same nutrients you’re used to.

This is even more difficult for vegan athletes, as they push their body to its limits on a regular basis. Without the proper sustenance, however, this won’t just be a gargantuan task, but it’s also incredibly dangerous for them as well. It is for this reason that supplements should be taken to offset the risk of health issues.

In order to help in this regard, here are five essential nutrients and vitamins that vegan athletes need to perform well.


Protein is one of the basic nutrients for athletes—it helps repair and strengthen muscle tissues. Due to the cut-off from more common protein sources, vegan athletes need to compensate by loading on more vegan-friendly protein food items such as tofu, rice, quinoa, and legumes.


Iron’s main duty is to stimulate oxygen transportation within the body. A deficiency in this particular vitamin will result in a more difficult transport of oxygen—meaning more energy is spent on this. For athletes, this would translate to less overall energy for their sport, inevitably resulting in fatigue and sluggishness.

Vitamin B12

Vitamin  B12 is well-known for its capacity of aiding in brain and nerve function. Through regular intakes of this vitamin, you can promote the health and wellness of your brain function. This is extremely vital for athletes as well, as poor brain and nerve health will directly translate to poor performance. Reduced reflexes and response times are a result of a dip in this, so stock up on methylcobalamin and nutritional yeast to avoid this entirely.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is famously known as the vitamin one obtains from sun exposure. Although it is quite true, proper food diets fill in a majority of the body’s need for this particular vitamin.

This vitamin—along with the Calcium nutrient—is responsible for promoting bone strength and integrity. More than that, however, this also affects your immune and circulatory systems, both of which are integral to keep healthy when undergoing sports training.


Food enriched with Omega-3 fatty acids is lauded for being extremely beneficial to health. Aside from protecting the heart from disease, this is also a well-known mood regulator and immune booster. To top it off, this helps both brain functions and promotes resistance to muscle inflammation, making this one supplement one of the best additions to your regular diet.


Going vegan is an admirable choice, especially for athletes who are more used to the traditional diets akin to active sports enthusiasts. In order to help the overall function of an athlete, however, proper nutrition and vitamins should still be taken in the absence of the food items they are used to. By taking note of the essential vitamins and nutrients that affect body function, they won’t just get to perform optimally, but they can avoid injury and sickness as well.

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