The wide world of supplements is one of the more fun aspects of fitness – if you understand it! Being able to walk into a health foods store and browse around for a good protein powder, multivitamin, or dietary aid can bring you back to that feeling of being a kid in a candy shop, only this candy is better for you, albeit much more expensive!
Another fun aspect of supplements is that for the vegetarian and vegan crowd, they have more options now than ever before! The growing prevalence of these lifestyle choices is making it much easier to find products that adhere to the doctrines of being animal and animal byproduct-free. This means that it’s now a lot less of a chore to find good supplements, although there’s still work to be done!
Vegetarianism is much more common than veganism, so you would think that it would also mean it’s closer to what a non-vegetarian has access to in terms of supplements. However, you still need to do your research to make sure you’re getting the right supplements and sticking to the proper guidelines of your lifestyle. If you are looking for some help in picking out the right health products, then here are some things you’ll want to know.
Supplements You Will Need on a Vegetarian Diet
Due to the fact that you are eating a limited diet as a vegetarian, you’ll also be limiting some of your essential nutrient intake too – especially if you’re not careful. Getting the missing nutrition here can be tough if you’re not well educated since a lot of valuable vitamins and nutrients are found in dairy and/or meat. Fortunately, there are still plenty of supplements out there that can help you offset this concern while still being vegetarian-friendly.
Protein is a big one here since you won’t be getting a lot from meat or dairy, and you may not be fond of eating tons of legumes or beans. This will make a good plant-based protein powder your go-to here.
Beyond this, there are plenty more you’ll want to stock up on too. A big one is omega-3’s and 6’s, which are predominantly found in fatty fish. The professionals behind Omvits explain that a good omega-3 supplement can help you see fish isn’t the only source of omega fatty acids. Algae is actually a really great way to get this vital nutrient without consuming any by-products of animals. You’ll also want to stock up on iron (found heavily in red meats), and vitamin B12 (found heavily in beef, seafood, and animal organs, like the liver). Calcium from dairy can be supplemented with vitamins as well, as can vitamin D, so it’s good to know that even with a diet choice of vegetarianism, you won’t have to worry about a lack of essential nutrients.
Read Labels Carefully to Find Ingredients
When it comes to the nitty-gritty of supplements, you’re going to want to pay close attention to the list of ingredients. It can feel simple to pick up any bottle of vitamins, gel capsules, or supplement bottles at the health or grocery store, but that doesn’t mean that because they aren’t animal products or by-products, that they’re entirely vegetarian or vegan – or even good for you for that matter! Reading the ingredients list, you want to keep an eye out on gelatin (derived from boiling animal parts), magnesium stearate (fatty acid from animals), lanolin (derived from sheep), lipase (animal-based digestive enzyme), and caprylic acid (derived from various animal milk). Some of these may not bother you if you’re not strictly vegetarian, but certainly not for the vegan crowd. Still, it pays to read the labels more carefully to be a better vegetarian consumer.
Read Labels to Check for Sourcing Information
Beyond the ingredients, you’ll want to pay close attention to where the supplements are sourced. The ingredients will likely be a good indicator of where the supplement comes from, like gelatins and collagens, although they don’t always tell the whole story. As previously mentioned, Omega-3’s are a highly beneficial supplement that aid in heart, joint, and brain health, but they are most often sourced from fish. And while there are variants that come from plants, like algae, a lot of brands won’t mention this because they don’t deem it necessary, so it’s up to you to pay close attention so that you can find the right ones.
Protein Powders are Widely Available in Vegetarian Options
One of the biggest supplements enjoyed by nearly everyone who is into fitness on a minor level, all the way to those who dedicate their lives to it, is protein powder. It’s one of the most important parts of your fitness products, up there with our workout gear and daily routines. The problem is, many people often don’t get enough protein in their bodies; this is usually considered .5g to .75g per 1lb of body weight. This can help you imagine how much meat, dairy, beans, legumes, etc. that someone would need to consume. Then when you factor in someone who is vegetarian, you can imagine how much harder it is. If you’re looking for vegetarian protein powders, look for whey-based protein, which is a dairy product. The alternatives are almost always plant-based and can provide an equal amount of protein, but also include an excellent source of vitamins as well.
Cost Consideration of Vegetarian Supplements
A big part of vegetarianism or veganism that often scares off people who are considering the switch is that they feel like the lifestyle costs a lot of money compared to a more traditional dietary lifestyle. This can be true in some instances, like if you buy pre-made vegetarian products or packaged products, but this can be true for traditional diets, as well. The key is to spend the bulk of your dietary budget on supplements for nutrition you would have a harder time getting from just-food alone, and focus on buying raw ingredients to make meals. This is a good way to make the concerns of the lifestyle cost a non-issue – and is also a much healthier way to eat!
Being vegetarian has a lot of perks. Feeling clean and fresh, feeling good about your stance on animals, and all of the wonderful people in the lifestyle who support one another. When it comes to supplements, you don’t need to feel like it’s an uphill battle anymore either. This information will help you see how easy it can be to get the right nutrition from supplements while still maintaining your commitment to being vegetarian.