People are turning to vegan diets for a variety of reasons, including health, love of animals and concern for the environment. The ever-lengthening list of vegans now includes many athletes and many more who are simply physically active and want to stay that way.

Vegan athletes have an even harder time maintaining a nutritious diet than the average vegan. Athletes expend a great deal of energy, and demand more from their muscles, bones, nervous system and circulatory system. Dietary deficiencies limit athletic performance and can lead to potentially serious health issues.

Conventional wisdom (not so wise, really) says that athletes, especially endurance athletes, need meat and animal-based foods to support their nutritional needs. But this is not really the case. Vegan athletes may have to look a little harder and become better educated than the average person about nutritional science, but the options are out there for most of the nutrients their bodies need. And in the few cases where they are not, supplements and fortified foods are easily found.

The infographic below, Sports Nutrition for Vegans, provides a list of dietary options for getting the essential nutrients to support and sustain an athletic lifestyle. The nutrients listed in the infographic are easy to obtain from meat and animal-based foods, but less easy to find in plant-based foods. The good news is, the vegan options are tasty, plentiful, and in many cases budget-friendly. If you’d like to add variety to your diet while maintaining or improving nutrition, read on.

Author Bio: Renee Reynolds is Chief Financial Officer of Bactolac Pharmaceutical, a leading dietary supplement manufacturing company. Reynolds, who has 13 years of experience in the industry, currently focuses on delivering the most exceptional products and services to customers.

Sports Nutrition fo Vegans