Is it possible to be deficient by being athletic and vegan?

When you’re athletic and vegan, you often hear that it’s very difficult to meet your daily nutritional needs. Therefore, it can be obvious to think that one must have an iron discipline in order not to have deficiencies. What is it really?

Deficiency for a vegan athlete is actually easy to avoid…

Indeed, being declared deficient in a nutrient by being vegan is rather rare. The body has a high adaptability and being vegan gives access to almost all nutrients, apart from vitamin B12 which must be provided by supplementation.

There are, however, some nutrients to watch out for, such as calcium, vitamin D and omega 3. These three nutrients are essential in a sports setting because they are involved (among others) in muscle contraction , nerve transmission, immunity and recovery.

However, what stands out about this study is that it is not that hard to support yourself as a vegan. Calcium, vitamin D and omega 3 are not necessarily a problem if you eat enough foods that contain the right amounts.

This therefore means avoiding processed products as much as possible (vegan burger, vegan cordon bleu, vegan nuggets and other meat imitations) while consuming as much as possible fresh, whole and natural foods (cereals, legumes, fruits, vegetables , oilseeds and vegetable oils).

… But achieving your goals can be complicated.


However, being athletic requires higher amounts of the right foods. The difference is therefore more on our level of self-discipline, that is to say on our level of organization and our ability to maintain a correct diet.

This is acquired over time, especially since it seems that eating well encourages us to eat well, because the bacteria that love fruits, vegetables and other good foods will take over the bacteria that love junk food. More details in the video just below.

You just have to make the right choices, focus on natural foods and if possible of organic origin to increase the concentration of nutrients on your plates.

A risk of deficiency for everyone

In addition, it is worth remembering that the risk of deficiencies is not a problem that only affects vegans and vegetarians. Being omnivorous, you can also easily become deficient if you don’t consume enough unprocessed foods. And this is the reason why we find deficiencies in fiber, folic acid, vitamin C and E in an omnivorous diet ( details here ).

Adapt your diet according to your profile

Finally, it also depends on the profile and goals of the athlete. Some people absorb a particular nutrient less well, and in this case supplementation may be considered. But that’s as valid for a vegan, a vegetarian or an omnivore. For athletic goals, we must ensure that we adapt our diet to meet our needs (consume a little more protein if we are looking to gain muscle mass, etc.).

In summary, therefore, it is not a problem of diet, but rather a problem of organization and the ability to consume good foods. It is therefore essential to keep this in mind and to acquire good habits as quickly as possible, while avoiding as much as possible consuming foods that copy the standards of omnivorous food (vegan similis meat).

To go further, you can now download the free guide with your 5 tips for getting started in vegan sports nutrition by clicking here . Train with the heart, eat with the heart.