Supplements for Vegans

Supplements for Vegans

In this article, I am going to give you an insight on my favorite supplements for vegans

Before we begin, I would like to clarify some concepts:

Myths about nutrition, training and supplements

The fitness world is surrounded by myths

Some are regarding the training, such as:

  • “If you want a defined physique you need to do many reps with little weight”
  • “Cardio on an empty stomach is “magical” and you will lose more fat”
  • “Women should not work out hard because they will become masculine

Others are about nutrition:

  • “You have to eat every 3 hours in order to enhance the metabolism”
  • “Some food makes your skin thicker”
  • “You need to about this macronutrient because it is bad, like carbohydrates due to insulin”
  • “Fat fatten you up or protein damages the kidneys…”

Girl holding a shaker

Even nowadays I still find myself answering questions on social media about the myths and beliefs that people still have. Many are like the previous ones but others do not even make sense at all.

Obviously, there are myths regarding supplementation. Thus, I will use this article to explain what supplementation do I use and why

Do you need supplementation?

First of all, no supplement is indispensable, except for vitamin B12 in the case of vegetarians and vegans. Even ovo-lacto-vegetarians also have to take it.

But if we use supplementation properly it will give us interesting benefits. Particularly if you also combine it with a good diet and workout plan.

Evidently, there is a conflict of interest because I am talking about supplementation while working with a company that produces it and sells it through this blog.

In this regard, if you know me, you know that I have always said what I think. If I collaborate with this brand it is because they do not “force” me to promote anything. Everything I show you is because I use it and I firmly believe in its benefits.

Supplementation

For those who do not follow me on social media, I just wanted to say that I have worked according to my beliefs, always using scientific evidence and my personal experience to try and be coherent with my opinions

Now and after years of working with this company, I can say that I am happier than ever working with HSN

But I am digressing, 😉 let’s talk about my “favorite” supplements for vegans

Vitamin B12

This is a must for vegans

In this case, it is absolutely fundamental to use supplementation. Personally, I do not eat any product that comes from animals (meat, fish, eggs, dairy, etc.) and I take 2000mcg of B12 a week.

The type I use is Cyanocobalamin, which is the most stable form. In fact, it is more resistant to the temperature, light and pH variations. Moreover, it is the one that has more scientific evidence. We need to bear in mind that a B12 deficiency can trigger serious health problems and some of them are irreversible.

If you are vegetarian of any kind you need to take B12 supplementation

The only indispensable supplement for a vegan or vegetarian is B12. This is important because we are not only risking our sport performance or physique. In fact, we run the risk of suffering serious health problems if we do not take it every day.

Protein Powder

Protein takes the second place in this list of supplements for vegans since there is no doubt about its properties and safety

Even though I see it more like a food than a supplement, some people is still “scared” of it somehow. If you have an efficient protein intake (between 1.8g and 2.5g per kg of weight depending on the phase) you do not need to use supplementation.

But if you do, it will provide many advantages such as: comfort, taste and versatility, or if you like cooking you can make fit recipes

Vegan recipes with supplements

Personally, this supplement is fundamental, specially during competitions since meeting high protein requirements is hard when you are trying to keep the calorie intake low

In this blog, you will be able to find many recipes for fitness diets. For example, you have these vegan recipes

Vegetable protein

Within the range of supplements for vegans, I use vegetable protein powder, either from soy, pea or rice. There are other sources such as hemp, but I personally like the other ones.

When we talk about vegetarians or vegans, most of the protein comes from soy (textured soy, tofu, tempeh, soy milk…). That is why I tend to suggest alternating the protein sources to ensure that we get the best from each one.

Do not worry, taking soy is completely safe: men do not become more feminine and it does not trigger cancer. Moreover, it is not transgenic, at least in our country.

There are so many myths that I would need another article to bust them all 😉

Creatine

Another one of those supplements for vegans that has been thoroughly studied

Although there is a percentage of people who is non-responder, which means that they do not feel anything when they use it. But it is quite interesting for vegetarians since most of the creatine from the diet comes from animals.

Having good levels is difficult if you are omnivore, so being vegetarian is much more complicated

Intake

I use it throughout the whole year, not only during bulking phase. You will not retain fluids and you do not have to “take a break” since it is completely safe. Moreover, it does not trigger baldness in men.

You can do a loading phase only if you want to experience its effects sooner. But it is not necessary, taking between 0.04g and 0.1g per kg of body weight is enough. Personally, I take the higher dose.

Drinking a supplement

I tend to take 5g for my 50/60kg of weight every day, even if I work out or not

Creapure seal

Above all, the monohydrate is the most consumed and recommended format. Moreover, I always suggest purchasing the one with the creapure seal since it has the highest purity and it is worth the money.

In addition, it is not necessary to take it with the pre or post-workout or mix it with carbs. You can take it at any time of the day without any issues

Multivitamins

Another of my supplements for vegans that I tend to use the most are multivitamins

Many people tend to abuse this kind of supplements. Actually, they are quite interesting, specially if we follow a restrictive diet. However, if we eat enough fruit and vegetables it would not be an indispensable supplement.

Multivitamin capsule

In the end, this supplement is just a way to make sure that we get all the necessary micronutrients

Evidently, if we suffer a specific deficiency we should supply what is missing. However, like I said, they are generally regarded as safe as long as we use them with caution

Caffeine

It is the main protagonist of pre-workout supplementation

In fact, caffeine is a stimulant that decreases the tiredness and enhances the performance. But the problem is that we get used to its effects and we will no longer benefit from them.

Thermogenic products caffeine and green tea

Personally, I like using it when the diet is more “strict” to keep up the pace with the workouts

However, stimulants do not have the desired effect for me, which is why I combine it with green tea to create a synergy.

All in all, it is a good choice that will give us a small boost towards a better physique

Beta Alanine

Vegetarians or vegans have lower carnosine levels, which is why beta-alanine supplementation can help to increase them

Above all, beta-alanine is a chemical buffer that improves the performance when there is an accumulation of metabolites.

This function is similar to that of sodium bicarbonate and it makes sense when we perform high intensity exercises, with many reps and a short break. In fact, I use it in a more metabolic period of the workout, with supersets, trisets, combos… It would not make sense to do so during a period of pure strength.

The recommended dose tends to be between 3g and 5g a day. But we need to take into account a small side effect known as
paresthesia. This effect consists of an intense itchiness in the face, hands or other parts of the body. Do not worry, it is harmless although it can be annoying. So, if this happens to you, try to distribute the dose in several servings a day

Citrulline Malate

Another trendy supplement to improve the performance is Citrulline Malate

Even though we still need more research there are some studies that support its use as an ergogenic support. Specially if we take into account the fact that it supports the nitric oxide and production and decreases the ammonia levels in the muscle.

I tend to combine it with Beta-alanine for my homemade pre-workout. Usually, I take around 5g a day between 30 and 60 minutes before the workout

BCAA’s and Glutamine

This is a more complex issue but precisely because of that I wanted to talk about it. Supplements with little or null evidence.

In this section, we tend to include supplements like BCAA’s or glutamine. Actually, I use both but not like others, let me explain:

Vegetarians or vegans have a less varied diet and at this point we should know that it is absolutely healthy if done properly. However, it can be harmful if we come from a diet that just eats processed products. Sometimes, we can buffer this effect by using this type of products.

In my case, I tend to use BCAA's to meet a possible deficiency of essential amino acids. For example, leucine, which you can take independently.

A well planned vegetarian diet should not cause deficiencies. But in my case, we are talking a vegan diet taken to the extreme, because I am a fitness competitor and the demands in terms of physical composition are high.

If I did not compete I would not need to reach said extremes, but this is how things are

Amino acid supplementation

In general, amino acid supplementation tends to be quite useful during a competition diet when our calorie intake is quite low and we need to meet high protein requirements. I use BCAA’s and, depending on the period, leucine in order to make sure that I will not lose muscle mass.

Glutamine for the digestive system

Glutamine works differently.

It is usually sold as an anti-catabolic product, which I do not agree with. Although I have experienced how my digestions improve, specially during stressful periods and when I do not eat as much.

During competitions, I tend to use it to support my gastrointestinal health and to improve my physique. I use 5g a day, usually at night.

Supplements for vegans to improve our sleep

Finally, I wanted to briefly mention other supplements that can be very useful and which are backed by scientific evidence. For instance, melatonin or ashwagandha. All in all, these are useful supplements during stressful periods or when you have problems to fall asleep.

Conclusions

After all this, I am aware that there are many more supplements for vegans and if they are not included here it does not mean that they do not work

Some may work for you and others will not, but I want to encourage you to do some research before purchasing them. Do not forget that there are non responders to creatine and it is the supplement with most scientific evidence 😉

Please, leave a comment with all your questions and suggestions, I love reading what you think

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Supplements for Vegans Review

Vitamin B12 - 100%

Protein Powder - 100%

Creatine - 95%

Caffeine - 85%

Multivitamin - 90%

94%

HSN Evaluation: 5 /5
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About Tandem Fitness
Tandem Fitness
Tandem Fitness is a couple that is passionate about sport, nutrition and health. Tandem Fitness is made up by Carlos and Sonia.
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