Vegetarian and vegan diets in sport


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Vegetarian and Vegan Diets in Sport

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Vegetarian and vegan diets in sport

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  2. 2.      Lacto-ovo Vegetarian: No poultry, meat or seafood. Do eat dairy products including eggs. High Quality Complete Protein Intake not an issue. Lacto Vegetarian: As above minus eggs. Advantages: Complete Protein Intake not usually a problem with addition of dairy products to diet. Higher Intake of calcium and Vitamin B12 likely for lacto-ovo VG & to a lesser extent Lacto VG in comparison to V. (6)      Vegan: Avoids all foods derived from animals in any way including dairy products. Disadvantages: More limited diet. At a greater risk for not consuming all essential amino acids and certain deficiencies often associated primarily with Vegans. 1.4% of the population in the U.S are Vegan compared with 2.3% being Vegetarian. These are results of 2006 Vegetarian Resource Group National Poll (25).
  3. 3.       High Carbohydrate Intake which is necessary to meet an athletes training requirements. Higher than average fruit and veg intake which provides increased levels of antioxidants. Higher intake of phytochemicals some which can be aniticarcinogenic. (15) Low in cholesterol. Soya Protein and mycoprotein have been shown to lower cholesterol. (7,8,9) Lower blood pressure, lower risk of cancer, type II diabetes, gallstones and lower obesity levels as well as better control of blood sugar levels. (15). Studies have shown reduced risk of coronary heart disease has been associated with VG diets (15).
  4. 4.    Iron: non-heme plant sources of iron only available to VGs. Not absorbed as well as iron obtained from meat. Good Sources- cooked soybeans, tofu, pumpkin seeds, lentils, iron fortified cereals. (15) Omega 3 fatty acid:main sources fish, eggs and sea vegtables. Flaxseed oil good source suitable for VGs and Vs, walnuts, Quorn Fishless Fingers enriched with Omega 3. Zinc: navy beans, pumpkin seeds, dry roasted soyabeans, soybeans cooked.
  5. 5.     Calcium: Low Ca= increased fracture risk for vegans- very relevant to athletes. Reduced absorption caused by oxylates e.g spinach and phytates e.g. Bran, nuts, wholegrains (22) protein, salt and caffeine. (23) Vitamin B12: No plant food contains B12 in an active quantity. (15, 22) Good Sources: dairy, eggs, fortified foods e.g. Cereal. Vitamin D: Sun exposure dependant and fortified foods such as cows milk,soy milk and cereals. (15, 22) Other levels to check are meeting requirements: Riboflavin, Iodine, Vitamin K2 and Vitamin A.
  6. 6. . LACTO-OVO VEGETARIANS      Eggs Milk -whey protein -casein protein Myco protein - Quorn Products. Soy Protein -tofu Legumes -beans ,chick peas, lentils etc. VEGANS    Soy Protein -tofu Wheat protein- When ccombined with pea protein has higher PDCAAS of 0.82 e.g. Linda McCartney Sausages. Legumes - beans, chick peas, lentils.
  7. 7.      High quality meat-free protein containing all nine essential amino acids. Low in fat and high in dietary fibre Fusarium venenatum is the main ingredient and is a member of the fungi family. PDCAAS rating is 0.99. Beef is 0.92. (7) Main ingredient in Quorn vegetarian food products. Quorn Pieces have highest possible PDCAAS score of 1.0. (7) Content per 100g Iron Calcium Zinc Raw Chicken 0.31 6 1.2 Mycoprotein 0.5 42.5 9 Reference for figures in table (7). Amounts in mg/100g.
  8. 8.       High CHO contentof Vegetarian diet can benefit endurance athletes in particular by maintaining muscle glycogen stores. Endurance athletes often underestimate CHO needs and often consume too much fat in order to meet high calorie requirements. VG diets by nature are low in fat and high in CHO helping meet the needs of endurance athletes and to avoid too high a fat content. Many triathletes have adopted VG or near VG diets to meet requirements. (5) Dave Scott- 6 time Ironman Triathlon Champion- strict vegetarian diet. Vegetarian mountaineer: Hulda Crooks at age 91-Oxygen uptake capacity equal to a women thirty years younger. (5) Oldest women at age 91 to climb Mt Fuji in Japan.
  9. 9.     Vegetarians (VG) have a lower total creatine level than omnivores because the primary source of creatine is red meat. (10) In theory VG should be more sensitive to CS than omnivores and could show greater improvements from CS than omnivores. Creatine supplementation has demonstrated a bigger increase in muscle creatine stores when ingested by VGs. (10) Studies have also shown increased mental performance and memory after CS in VG. (11)
  10. 10.     Well planned and balanced vegetarian diets provide sufficient nutrition to meet any athlete’s requirements. Lacto Ovo Vegetarian in particular provides good nutrition for athletes particularly for endurance sport. (5) Vegan athletes in particular can have an increased risk of deficiencies and may require a B12 supplement as B12 is not sufficiently available from plant foods.(5) Special attention should be paid by nutritionists and athletes themselves to possible deficiencies associated with VG or Vegan diets and if neccessary, suitable dietary alterations made to ensure satisfactory levels of protein, iron, calcium, omega 3 fatty acids and previously mentioned vitamins are met.
  11. 11. 1. Lewis C. Introduction. In: Bennet J.,Very Vegetarian. [Internet] Tennessee: Rutledge Hill Press; 2001 Nov [cited 2011 Dec 2]. 4p. Available from: 2. Curry A. The Gladiator Diet. Archaeology [Internet]. 2008 [cited 02 Dec 2011];61 (6):Abstract. Available from: 3. Mafuelli N. Letter to editor. The Best Athletes in Rome were Vegetarian. Journal of Sports Sci & Med [Internet]. 2008 [cited 02 Dec 2011];7:565. Available from: 4. McArdle WD, Katch FI, Katch VL. Sports and Exercise Nutrition. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 1999. Section II, Justus von Lieberg; p. 144-45. 5. Nieman DC. Vegetarian Dietary Practices and Endurance Performance. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition [Internet]. 1988 [cited 02 Dec2011];48:754-61. Available from: 6. McArdle WD, Katch FI, Katch VL. Sports and Exercise Nutrition. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 1999. Chapter 1, The Macronutrients; The Vegetarian Approach; p. 31-32 7. Zhan S, Ho SC. Meta-analysis on the effects of soy protein containing isoflavenes on the lipid profile. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition [Internet]. 2005 [cited 2 December 2011];81(2):397-408. Available from: 8. Turnbull WH, Leeds AR, Edwards DG. Mycoprotein reduces blood lipids in free living subjects. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition [Internet]. 1992 [cited 02 Dec2011];55:415-9. Available from: 9. What is mycoprotein: Health benefits. North Yorkshire:Marlow Foods Ltd [Internet]. 2008 [cited 4 December 2011]. Available from: 10. Burke DG et al. Effect of creatine and weight training on muscle creatine and performance in vegetarians. Med and Science in Soport and Exercise [Internet]. 2003 [cited 5 December 2011];35 (11): 946-55. Available from: 11. Rae C, Digney AL, McEwan SR, Bates TC. Oral Creatine monohydrate supplementation improves brain performance: a double-blind, placebo controlled, cross over trial. Proceedings of the royal Society of London Biological Sciences [Internet]. 2003 [cited 6 December 2011];270:21472150. Available from: 12. Shomrat A, Weinstein Y, Katz A. Effect of creatine feeding on maximal performance in Vegetarians. European Journal of Applied Physiology [Internet ]. 2000 [cited 5 December 2011];82 (4): 321-325. Available from: 13. Rawson ES , Lieberman HR, Walsh TM, Zuber SM, Harhart JM, Matthews TC. Creatine supplementation does not improve cognitive function in young adults. Physiology and Behaviour [Internet]. 2008 [cited 5 December 2011];95:130-134. Available from:
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