The vegan athlete

The Vegan movement is a form of vegetarianism that eliminates consumption of all foods derived from animal sources. Whether for environmental, ethical or health reasons, this lifestyle is gaining ground, even with high-level athletes.

Generally rich in carbohydrates, the diet offers some advantages for physical performance, particularly for endurance athletes. It is important, however, to adapt one’s diet to avoid nutritional deficiencies, the most common being in protein, iron and vitamin B12. Here’s an overview of vegetable sources rich in these nutrients.


Because protein reserves in our bodies are limited, it’s important to consume proteins regularly throughout the day: about 15 to 20 grams at each meal, in snacks when meals are more than four hours apart, and after training. Here is an approximation of what this quantity means:

  • 100 g of tofu, tempeh or seitan
  • 1 cup of legumes or edamame
  • ½ cup of nuts or seeds
  • 2 cups of a soy drink


This important mineral, which is essential to the transportation of oxygen in the blood, is found in numerous vegetable foods such as legumes, whole grains, soy-based products and pumpkin seeds, but in a form less well absorbed by the body.

Whence the importance of including iron-rich foods at each meal and combining them with a source of vitamin C such as sweet peppers, broccoli, cabbage, citrus fruits, strawberries, etc. On the other hand, you should limit tannin-rich foods (such as wine, cocoa, coffee and tea) during your meals, as they limit iron absorption.

Vitamin B12

This vitamin, which is involved in the creation of red blood cells and in nerve function, is often lacking in a vegan diet. Some products are therefore enriched, such as Redstar nutritional yeast and some vegan drinks, breakfast cereals and simulated meats. But as a general rule, a daily supplement and annual blood test is recommended to ensure reserves.

If you need some help in optimizing your food intake, don’t hesitate to contact me through the Clinique Mouvement Optimal: 819 425-8889.


By the same author: Hydration for physical activity in a heat wave (Click the image below)


Ariane Lavigne38 Posts

Titulaire d'un baccalauréat en nutrition de l'Université de Montréal, Ariane est nutritionniste depuis 2008. Voulant approfondir ses connaissances sur la performance athlétique, elle a obtenu un diplôme de spécialisation en nutrition sportive avec le Comité International Olympique (CIO). Elle est aujourd'hui nutritionniste du sport chez Vivaï et à la Clinique Mouvement Optimal de Mont-Tremblant. Toujours en quête de dépassement, elle combine sa profession à sa grande passion : le snowboard alpin. Elle connaît la réalité des sports élites, ayant été elle-même une athlète membre de l'Équipe Nationale de Snowboard et Olympienne des Jeux Olympiques de Sotchi en 2014. Ariane has a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from the University of Montreal and has been a nutritionist since 2008. Wanting to expand her knowledge of athletic performance, she obtained a diploma specialized in sports nutrition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). She serves at Clinique Mouvement Optimal de Mont-Tremblant as well as Vivaï as sports nutritionist. Always in search of personal and professional advancement, she combines her profession with her greatest passion: alpine snowboarding. She understands the realities of elite sports, having been a member of the Canadian National Snowboard Team who participated in the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.

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