When considering a supplement program, it is important to always do blood tests with your GP , before supplementing . Some micro-nutrients such as iron, when not clinically deficient can cause unwanted side effects side as constipation. Always consult with your GP or Dietitian before using vitamin supplements, to avoid over doing it4.
Vegan protein powder is recommended to be consumed after your session combined with carbohydrates such as oat milk. This will ensure muscle glycogen replacement as well as protein synthesis (muscle repair). If you are not exposing yourself to sunlight daily, please ensure you take a Vitamin D supplement with 400IU/day which is the standard recommendation in the UK from October to March. If your goal is muscle gain and optimal strength and power, you may want to consider taking a creatine monohydrate supplement. Creatine acts to increase the ATP-PC system in the body during high intensity exercise.
3 meals and 2 snacks, focusing on a balanced diet. Ensure 20g protein at every meal. If you are not reaching this amount, consider a vegan protein powder to top up your stores, to ensure satiety and muscle repair and synthesis. If you are not consuming two portions of calcium sources per day, it would be recommended to try consume two, or supplement accordingly. Calcium is vital for bone formation and prevention of osteoporosis in the future5.
Ensure you take a B12 supplement and omega 3 micro-algae supplements if you are following a vegan diet and not consuming enough food sources of these foods. This will ensure anti-inflammatory properties and energy throughout your day. If you are not exposing yourself to sunlight daily, please ensure you take a Vitamin D supplement with 400IU/day which is the standard recommendation in the UK from October to March.
Afternoon and evening:
Ensure you are aiming for 20g of protein at every meal, you may want to consider topping up with a vegan protein powder if you are not meeting these requirements. Ensure you are getting a good balance of carbohydrates , protein and fats in your diet. Ensure a variety of colours in terms of vegetables. The more colours, the better! Different colours of vegetables means more variety of micro-nutrients in which all have their own benefits.
You may want to consider a vegan protein powder as well as a vitamin B12 supplement to ensure you have enough energy to have optimal performance during your workout. If you are not exposing yourself to sunlight daily, please ensure you take a Vitamin D supplement with 400IU/day which is the standard recommendation in the UK from October to March.
You may want to consider taking a omega 3 fatty acid supplement such as micro-algae (vegan version of fish oil). This will promote anti-inflammatory properties in the body.
Take Home Message
The most important nutrient to ensure you are supplementing with when following a vegan diet is B12. This is because unless you are consuming fortified products, you are likely to be deficient. Aim for 10mg/day or 200mg/weekly to ensure you are meeting your requirements.
When you are creating your eating plan, ensure you are choosing foods from all 3 different macro-nutrient groups (Carbohydrates, proteins as well as fats). Try choose a variety of different vegetables in your diet. Lastly you may benefit from a micro-algae omega 3 supplement as this will provide you with essential fatty acids which you are not getting from your vegan diet.