The Vegan Society tells us there are 600,000 vegans in the UK, 1.16% of the population[i]. 3% of the U.S. population also identify as vegan.[ii]As this number continues to rise every year, the question of a nutritionally balanced diet for vegans becomes more and more important.
Vegans have made the decision to stop consuming all forms of animal products in food, clothing and more. This includes all kinds of meat, like beef and chicken but also fish and insects, dairy, eggs, honey and leather. According to the Vegan Society, the first definition of veganism came out in 1949 and stated that veganism’s core principle is “to seek an end to the use of animals by man for food, commodities, work, hunting, vivisection, and by all other uses involving exploitation of animal life by man”.
As a consequence, vegans have replaced meat with plant-based ingredients such as soy, chickpeas, grains, nuts, seeds, fruit, vegetables, beans and pulses.
What Do Vegans Often Lack?
Cutting out all animal products from your diet, however, can lead to a number of nutrient deficiencies if you don’t pay close attention to what you eat. Indeed, ingredients such as meat and dairy provide a number of important vitamin and minerals our bodies need to function properly.
If you decide to become vegan, it’s worth learning all about vegan nutrition to ensure you’re not missing out. It’s also a good idea to add a vegan-friendly range of supplements to your diet.
In the UK, the NHS recommends vegans supplement witha vitamin B12 supplement as this is only found naturally in animal products.[iii]In the U.S. your doctor may be likely to recommend a vegan-friendly multivitamin if you are vegetarian or vegan.[iv]
The Performance Lab range of vegan-friendly supplements is ideal for this. All are made from natural ingredients, provide what the body is potentially missing, and are suitable for vegans using 100% natural plantcaps capsules for delivery, as opposed to gelatine.
Performance Lab Whole-Food Multivitamin for men or women, for instance, contains 50mcg of vitamin B12 – considerably more than the daily allowance, ensuring you top up your levels. (The body secretes whatever B12 it doesn’t need, so there is no upper tolerable limit, meaning higher levels are completely safe).
But what other nutrients are often lacking in a vegan diet? Here is a list of the most common ones.
Nutrients Potentially Lacking in Vegan Diet
- Vitamin B12: vitamin B12 is created by a type of bacteria found in animals. As a consequence, plant-based foods contain almost no vitamin B12 at all. However, this vitamin contributes to a healthy brain function, helps in the formation of red blood cells, and maintains well-functioning nerves. As mentioned above, Performance Lab Whole Food Multi for men and women contains a healthy amount of vitamin B12 that can help prevent a deficiency.
- Creatine: creatine is a molecule stored in the muscles and the brain. As such, it is mostly found in meat. Creatine can actually be produced by the liver without any external intake but in quantities that may not be sufficient if you are trying to build muscle. Indeed, creatine provides energy for the muscles during a workout, which results in increased strength and endurance. For vegans, creatine can also improve brain performance. It is possible to find supplements made from synthetically created creatine which are suitable for vegans, but you have to be careful as capsules are often made from gelatine. Performance Lab Sport Pre-Workout and Performance Lab Sport Post-Workout provide a vegan-friendly source of creatine and are ideal for gym goers whose goal is to build muscle.
- Vitamin D3: vitamin D3 is sourced from the sun during the summer months, as well as from fish, eggs, red meat and liver. Especially during the winter, vegans may have poor vitamin D3 intake and risk developing a deficiency. Vitamin D3 is important to keep the bones healthy and prevent the development of osteoporosis in women. Performance Lab Whole-Food Multi for men and women provides the right amount of vitamin D3 and is suitable for vegans.
- Carnosine: carnosine is an antioxidant which is particularly used in fitness to reduce muscle fatigue and improve overall performance. It is concentrated in the muscles and brains of animals, and as such is mostly found in meat and fish. Although the human body can produce it, it is a good idea to supplement with carnosine if you exercise regularly and are looking to build some muscle.
What Does This Mean for Vegans?
In essence, a greater risk of vitamin deficiencies also exposes vegans to more health issues. As a result, people following a vegan diet are more likely to experience chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, depression, and osteoporosis.
As many nutrients are essential to a healthy brain function, a vegan diet may also lead to impaired brain function, psychiatric disorders and Alzheimer’s disease.
For fitness enthusiasts and gym-goers, lower levels of creatine and carnosine are linked with decreased physical performance and greater time needed for recovery.
In order to avoid all that, supplementing with the right vitamins, minerals and nutrients is essential. Of course, there are a great many supplement ranges that use gelatine capsules as a delivery mechanism or contain other non-vegan sourced ingredients. That’s why the vegan-friendly Performance Lab Supplement range stands out from the rest.
How the Performance Lab Supplement Range Can Help
Performance Lab has created a range of supplements to suit the needs of vegans every day and in their fitness life. All Performance Lab supplements are made with caps and soft gels made of fermented tapioca, caramel, glycerine and purified water. The caps are also infused with probiotics to promote a good digestion of the supplement. Performance Lab is the one of the only brands delivering such high quality, as supplement brands usually use caps made of semi-synthetic polymer or carrageenan, which has often been linked to inflammations.
The Performance Lab range is also ideal for anyone who wants a ‘clean’ formula – after all, what goes into your body matters doesn’t it? All their products are GMO-free, as well as being free of synthetic additives, allergens, soy and gluten. They are also GMP certified.
So, which products should you be looking at specifically? Let’s take a look.
Performance Lab Whole-Food Multi
Performance Lab Whole-Food Multi is a multivitamin supplement formulated to provide all the vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy body function on a daily basis. It uses a process called Nutri-Genesis to provide lab-grown nutrients identical to their natural form, which leads to a better absorption and more effective results.
Two formulas of the Whole Food Multi have been developed: one for men, and one for women, catering to the different needs of each gender.
Performance Lab Whole Food Multi provides the following:
- Vitamin A 2000IU
- Vitamin C 60mg
- Vitamin D 1000IU
- Vitamin E 30IU
- Vitamin K complex (K1 & K2) 100mcg
- Thiamin (Vitamin B1) 8mg (4mg for women)
- Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) 4mg
- Niacin (as Niacinamide) 20mg
- Vitamin B6 4mg
- Folate 400mcg (800mcg for women)
- Vitamin B12 50mcg
- Biotin 300mcg
- Pantothenic Acid 20mg
- Calcium 18mg (21mg for women)
- Iodine 150mcg
- Magnesium 17mg (21mg for women)
- Zinc 15mg (10mg for women)
- Iron 2mg (8mg for women)
- Selenium 125mcg
- Strontium 150mcg
- Copper 1.5mg
- Manganese 2mg
- Chromium 120mcg
- Inositol 50mg
- Molybdenum 75mcg
- Vanadium 10mcg
- Boron 4mg (1mg for women)
- Silicon 2mg
Performance Lab Whole-Food Multi provides 50mcg per serving of vitamin B12, making sure you get enough and avoid any deficiency. Similarly, recommended daily intakes of vitamin D stand at 800IU. There again, Performance Lab Whole Food Multi overdelivers to make sure you get what you need as a vegan.
Performance Lab Sport Pre-Workout
Within its Sports range, Performance Lab has developed the excellent Pre-Workout. When following a vegan diet, finding a suitable pre-workout can be a tough task. With this Pre-Workout, Performance Lab overdelivers and provides a high-quality solution that will bring lasting results in the gym.
In addition to creatine which is important to vegans to enhance their performance, Performance Lab Pre-Workout offers a source of L-citrulline to help synthetize the creatine and Glutathione.
As well as Himalayan pink salt to keep the body hydrated and full of electrolytes, and antioxidants to avoid muscle soreness. It also contains a source of beta-alanine, Pine Bark Extract and iron. And it is caffeine free so you can forget about the jitters!
Performance Lab Sport Post-Workout
In order to help with recovery after a rough gym session, Performance Lab has also developed a post-workout formula. Just like the pre-workout, it is made of natural, high quality ingredients. It works to replace all the nutrients that have been depleted during the workout and is, of course, vegan-friendly.
Creatine can be found in the mix again here, along with organic pomegranate to reduce the oxidative stress on the muscles, Himalayan pink salt for electrolytes, plus beta-alanine, potassium and L-glutamine.
Anyone keen on the gym will know what a relief it is to find vegan-friendly sports supplements that work.
Performance Lab Sleep
Finally, we can recommend you stack the previous products with Performance Lab Sleep, the supplement that promotes restful and higher quality sleep. Just like anyone else, vegans need to get some good quality rest at night in order to face the day full of energy and in top condition. Performance Lab Sleep uses natural, vegan-friendly ingredients to promote the natural production of melatonin by the body, while fostering a relaxing environment to prep the body for sleep.
Performance Lab Sleep’s list of ingredients include Montmorency tart cherry, magnesium and L-tryptophan. It is non-addictive and leaves you fresh and non-drowsy in the morning.
Also, Worth Noting…
The Performance Lab supplements have been designed to be stacked with one another (meaning you can use them at the same time with no worry about side-effects). For optimal results, make sure to use the ones most relevant to you and your lifestyle every day for at least 2 or 3 months.
Other products include Performance Lab Energy to stay focused and energised throughout the day, and Performance Lab Mind, a vegan-friendly nootropic which will help you boost your cognitive function and get you the best results possible at work or at school.