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4 Essential Supplements for the Modern Queer Vegan Athlete

4 Essential Supplements for the Modern Queer Vegan Athlete

4 Essential Supplements for the Modern Queer Vegan Athlete

We’re now at a point where adhering to a vegan diet isn’t seen as counterproductive if you’re also aiming to be an athletic superstar. 

However, meeting your body’s demands means paying extra attention to what goes on your plate and what ends up in your supplement stash – which is true regardless of whether or not you’re aiming to make your nutritional intake entirely plant-based.

The real challenge here is choosing supplements wisely, so here are some must-haves for anyone who wants to enhance their performance on the track or in any other physical pursuit, without compromising on their ethical values.

Creatine for Unleashing Plant-Powered Muscle

When it comes to laying down lean muscle and boosting your brute strength, creatine is a necessary supplement to add to your regimen. Various pieces of research on its use have been carried out over the years, with experts agreeing that even a conservative estimate of a 2% to 4% muscle mass increase will have a positive impact on athletic performance. 

Here’s an overview of how it works:

  • Creatine enhances your muscles’ phosphocreatine stores, fueling you for high-intensity workouts and speeding up recovery time.
  • By supporting ATP regeneration during exercise, creatine can lead to significant improvements in power output and endurance.

Choose a creatine source like micronized creatine monohydrate for its absorption efficiency and lack of unnecessary additives. Opt for brands with rigorous purity standards when picking supplements to increase muscle mass, as well as those which are lab-created and thus vegan-friendly.

Iron for Oxygenated Invigoration

Even the most robust training regimens can stutter if oxygen delivery isn’t up to par. Iron enters the scene as a partner for oxygen transport and energy metabolism – and since it can be a tricky nutrient to fully absorb from plants alone, supplementation is advised. 

In fact, iron deficiencies are not uncommon, especially among women and children, with WHO stats putting the anemia rate at 30% in the former category. 

Here’s why athletes following a vegan diet need to take iron-rich supplements:

  • Iron is pivotal for hemoglobin creation – which is the protein that carries oxygen from your lungs to muscles in demand.
  • It plays an essential role in converting nutrients into usable energy – a must-have mechanism for athletes who want to optimize their metabolism.

Non-heme iron found in plant-based sources might require extra effort for effective absorption. Pairing it with vitamin C-rich foods can enhance uptake, alongside supplementation – so if you want to be up there with the best of the best, a holistic approach is advised.

Omega-3s for Brain and Body Fuelling

For the plant-based athlete, omega-3 fatty acids can deliver a one-two combo of mental clarity and physical resilience. While commonly associated with fish oils, there are vegan sources rich in these essential fats – with the likes of flax seeds and pine nuts celebrated for this reason. There’s even research that proves omega-3s can be good for post-workout recovery, delivering double digit reductions in muscle soreness and thus allowing athletes to get back on it sooner rather than later. 

Here are a few other upsides on offer:

  • Omega-3s, particularly DHA, support brain health and guard against cognitive decline.
  • As mentioned, these fatty acids play a crucial role in managing inflammation post-exercise, aiding recovery.
  • Regular intake of EPA and DHA omega-3 aids in maintaining healthy heart function. And since the heart is any athlete’s most important muscle, this really matters.
  • Vitamin B12 for an Energy Boost

    Vitamin B12 is vital as part of the body’s energy production processes, and also optimizes nerve function. As such, it’s easy to see why it’s a nutrient that needs to be included in any vegan diet – whether or not you’ve got athletic ambitions up your sleeve. And since an estimated 40% of vegetarians and vegans have a degree of vitamin B12 deficiency to contend with, it’s worth prioritizing. 

    Here’s what it can do for you:

    • B12 plays a pivotal role in converting food into glucose, which is the building block of energy generation in our body’s trillions of cells.
    • It’s also critical for maintaining healthy nerve cells and creating DNA, which is the genetic underpinning of everything we are.
    • As part of the metabolic pathway, B12 assists with red blood cell formation and cardiovascular health.

    Once again, it’s necessary to always opt for a reliable source when selecting your supplement, since your regimen depends on bioavailability and absorption. This matters because some forms like methylcobalamin are better utilized by the body than others.

    Final Thoughts

    Modern athletes, particularly those representing the vegan and queer communities, definitely have a lot to prove when their performances are publicly scrutinized – so with these supplementation tips it should be simpler for observers to be impressed, and for rivals to be left in your dust whether you specialize in track and field events, or have your eye on any other type of competitive physical activity.

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