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
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.