Vegetarian Advice & Food List

|||Vegetarian Advice & Food List

Vegetarianism isn’t anything new, yet it seems to have become much more popular in recent times, particularly among the endurance population.

The initial thought may be that some vegetarian and plant-based diets are too low in protein. But, many athletes have no problem meeting protein needs using plant-based foods.

Best choices for vegetarian protein sources include legumes (beans and lentils), tofu, soy and soy products, quinoa, nuts and seeds. Some plant proteins like legumes and whole grains may be more difficult to digest than animal proteins. Therefore, strict vegetarians and vegans may consider increasing protein intake by 10 percent.

Aim to consume a protein-rich plant food at each meal and snack. Some meal and snack examples include: garbanzo beans on top of a salad, black beans and rice, tofu in stir-fry, mixed nuts and dried fruit, or soymilk with cereal and berries.

Checkout this handy list of vegetarian foods here including protein, carbohydrate and useful fat sources to fuel your training and racing:


Vegetarian athletes, women in particular, may be at a greater risk of developing iron deficiency than other athletes. Iron is a critical mineral for athletes because it’s a key component in oxygen transport to the muscles during exercise. Low iron or iron deficiency anaemia can result in decreased performance.

Iron absorption from plant foods is greatly increased when consumed alongside foods high in vitamins, such as: oranges, tomatoes, bell peppers, strawberries and leafy green vegetables (which double as a source of iron and vitamin C). Other iron-rich plant foods include whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and dried fruit.