Vegan-Friendly Fitness Supplements
Fitness supplements are a big part of a healthy lifestyle. Whatever your goals, there are supplements that can help you achieve them - but what happens when you have dietary restrictions? It can make searching for supplements a bit more complicated if, for example, you want to avoid dairy. When the gold standard for protein supplementation is whey protein, where do you turn? If you adhere to a vegan lifestyle, it is even trickier.
Lucky for you, there has never been a better time to be vegan. The growing popularity of the “plant-based” or vegan diet has led to an increased availability of vegan foods and alternatives, including vegan supplements. Some brands are wholly devoted to veganism, like Vega. Others provide vegan supplements in addition to their other products to support a wide variety of customers.
What Is Vegan?
Someone that lives a vegan lifestyle and eats a vegan diet is someone that avoids animal products and by-products. From dairy to eggs to honey, if it came from an animal, vegans avoid it. Many people confuse vegetarian with vegan, so let’s clarify.
Vegetarian - An umbrella term that includes people who do not eat meat. The most common types of vegetarians are:
- Lacto-Ovo vegetarians - People who don’t eat meat but do eat dairy and eggs. Lacto-Ovo vegetarians may not have to worry about much when searching for vegan supplements.
- Lacto vegetarians - People who don’t eat meat or eggs but do eat dairy. Lacto vegetarians will not have too much trouble with vegan supplements, although they may have to check labels for eggs.
- Ovo vegetarians - People who don’t eat meat or dairy, but do eat eggs. Ovo vegetarians may benefit from sticking to vegan supplements and brands.
- Vegans - People who do not eat meat, eggs, dairy, or any other product that comes from an animal. Like with everything else they consume, vegans will be checking labels and find it easiest to stick to vegan brands and vegan supplements.
Although some types of vegetarian diets allow people to eat certain animal by-products like dairy or eggs, this does not mean only people that adhere to the vegan lifestyle can take vegan supplements. In fact, anyone can use vegan supplements.
Why Would Someone Be Vegan?
There are many reasons that a person might consider going vegan. Some of the most common reasons are as follows:
Vegan for the animals. One of the most common reasons people decide to go vegan is because they love animals and feel strongly enough to cut all animal products out of their diet. Vegan or not, you probably know of the horrors of factory farming. Vegans have removed this ethical conundrum by eating no animals or by-products.
Vegan for their health. Whether they have a heart condition or are overweight, some people cut out animal products to improve their overall health. Doctors recommend a vegan diet for all sorts of conditions, as people that do not eat animal products are generally:
- Less likely to become obese
- Less likely to develop heart disease
- Less likely to suffer from high cholesterol or high blood pressure
- Less likely to get diabetes and certain kinds of cancer
Although there are certain conditions and deficiencies you need to be aware of if you switch to a vegan diet, if you give up the animal products, a vegan diet may even help you live longer. There are many vegan supplements available to make sure you do not suffer any deficiencies from your diet, so don’t let the fear of lack of protein prevent you from making the switch if it’s something you’re interested in.
Vegan for the environment. Other people go vegan to save the world. That’s not us being melodramatic - veganism takes environmental issues from feeling like they’re too big for one person to handle to a real tangible difference that is made by a single person. Cutting meat and dairy from one individual’s diet can reduce their carbon footprint by 73%. That’s because the production of both meat and dairy contributes a whopping 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions. Environmental experts agree that the most significant way a human can reduce his impact on the Earth is by going vegan.
Although the reasons to go vegan differ, it is a personal choice and can certainly be a combination of all of these reasons and more. At the end of the day, a person’s “why” doesn’t matter so much, because there are no adverse effects of a vegan diet when done properly. Through vegan supplements or even working with a registered dietician, you can be sure that your journey to veganism can also be your journey to your best health.
Are Vegans Super Weak and Unhealthy?
Now that we have talked about what a vegan is, and some reasons behind the lifestyle, let’s tackle some common myths associated with being a vegan. Misconceptions that, if you already have begun to explore the vegan diet, you have surely come across at least a few times.
Your bones need calcium from milk! It’s a pretty common misconception that the only source of calcium is cow’s milk. Maybe it’s all the “Got Milk?” ads we saw throughout our childhood and into adolescence, or perhaps it’s the overall ignorance of the nutritional profile of foods in general. Regardless, calcium is available in a wide array of foods suitable to a vegan diet. Some of these foods are:
- Dark leafy vegetables
- Calcium-fortified soy milk and orange juice
Dietary experts recommend that people age 19-50 get approximately 1000 mg of calcium per day. That’s about two cups of calcium-fortified soy milk and two cups of spinach. Make a smoothie with those items and have a salad, and you’ve hit your goal. Or, check out vegan supplements to easily hit your calcium goal.
You’re going to get malnourished! Similar to the calcium argument, humans living where eating meat is normalized tend to believe that meat, dairy, and eggs contain all the nutrients you could ever need, and there is no other way to get them. What they don’t realize is you can become malnourished on an omnivore diet that is high in meat, eggs, and dairy but lacks variation, vegetables, and fruits. Vegans and omnivores alike can generally benefit from vitamins and vegan supplements as there are some vitamins and micronutrients that are, by nature, difficult to get through diet alone.
I would go vegan, but it’s so expensive! The idea that a vegan diet is a privileged choice, or that it is more expensive than an omnivore’s diet is an easy excuse thrown around. One that, at surface level, may seem true. When comparing vegan-alternatives like plant-based grounds, dairy-free cheese, vegan ice cream, and other vegan foods meant to replace animal products, you will likely find a higher price point. However, that is not how most vegans eat on a daily bases. Sure, they enjoy the occasional cheese-veggie-burger with fries and a dairy-free milkshake, but overall, vegans are surviving mostly on legumes, whole grains, fruits, and veggies. These items are substantially cheaper than buying meat to consume every day. So, myth busted.
Where Do Vegans Get Their Protein?
Dun dun dun. You knew it was coming. Where, oh where, will you ever get protein if you don’t eat animal products? This misconception also stems from a lack of knowledge about nutrition, but also a culture where eating meat is the norm. The Recommended Daily Allowance suggests adults consume .8 g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. A recommendation that one can easily meet with a varied, vegan diet that contains vegan protein sources such as:
- Soy products like soymilk, tofu, tempeh, and edamame
- Rice and beans
Again, if you struggle to hit your protein goals on a vegan diet, you’re not unusual. In fact, many omnivores struggle to hit their protein goals as well. That’s why people turn to fitness supplements and vegan supplements.
Are there Vegan Fitness Supplements?
Oh yes, and as we mentioned before, now is a great time to consider taking the vegan plunge. The vegan diet and other dietary restrictions like dairy-free diets have led to the increased availability of vegan supplements and products. What’s more is the increased number of completely vegan brands, like Vega. Vega and other totally vegan brands make it easy for vegan people to shop for a wide array of products and vegan supplements without fear of accidentally purchasing something that contains animal products. Without further ado, we’d like to highlight our favourite vegan supplements from Vega and our other trusted brands.
Vega One All-In-One shake - When they say all in one, they mean it. This vegan supplement from Vega packs 20 grams of protein, fruits, and veggies, 50% of the daily recommended value of 11 different vitamins and minerals, probiotics, omega fatty acids, fiber, and no added sugar
Vega Sports Performance Protein - Geared towards the vegan athlete, this vegan supplement from Vega helps to support your recovery after a workout. It has 30 grams of protein, six grams of BCAAs, probiotics, and no added sugar.
PEScience Vegan Series Select Protein - This vegan supplement from PEScience is a protein powder used as a post-workout drink or a meal-replacement shake. It has 20 grams of protein and only six grams of carbs. Unlike Vega, PEScience is not a 100% vegan supplement brand.
Beyond Yourself Vegan Protein - Vegan protein from Beyond Yourself is another vegan supplement that packs 20 grams of protein into a single serving, and with only one gram of carbohydrates, it’s also the keto-friendly vegan option. Again, Beyond Yourself is not a 100% vegan supplement company like Vega, but they still make a great vegan protein powder.
ANS Performance Fresh1 Plant-Based Protein - ANS’s vegan protein supplement has some unique flavours to choose from, including chocolate hazelnut, berry bliss, vanilla chai, and café mocha. It combines proteins from five different sources to provide you with 21 grams of protein and no added sugar. ANS Performance is not a vegan company like Vega.
Why Vega Is Great
You probably noticed that we pointed out when companies that provide vegan supplement options are not a vegan brand. We know that making the transition to a vegan diet can seem overwhelming because there are many tricky ingredients that you may not know are animal products at first glance. Sometimes you won’t want to take the time and energy to make sure what you’re buying and consuming is 100% vegan. That’s why brands that are 100% vegan, like Vega, are so great.
When you are committed to a vegan diet, whether it’s for the animals or for your health, it’s nice to have brands like Vega to reach for and have no question about whether or not they contain animal products. We love Vega because:
- A professional triathlete founded Vega because he saw the need for dietary supplements that packed the power and nutritional benefits of a vegan diet into the convenience of sports supplements
- Vega has been around since 2004 and committed to the vegan lifestyle
- Every Vega product is vegan certified
- Vega is free from artificial flavours and preservatives
- Vega cares about the planet
- Vega gives back
Whatever Your Lifestyle, We Make it Fit!
At Supplement Superstore, we have always been committed to providing athletes and fitness-minded people with the most trusted brands and the highest quality sports supplements on the market. We know that a person’s dietary restrictions, whether they are for personal reasons or for their health, are extremely important. We will never be a company that makes fun of the vegan lifestyle and brushes you off, saying you’ll never be able to hit your goals without meat or dairy. Instead, we will work with you to find information and provide you with the highest quality vegan sports supplements available. Thank you for putting your trust in us. Happy eating and happy lifting!