Getting enough protein following a vegan diet can be difficult, especially if you are an athlete. Personally, I am not vegan; however, I have worked with many vegan athletes and oftentimes these athletes are confused about what to eat to ensure they are meeting their protein needs. For vegans, main protein sources should include beans, lentils, legumes, tofu, tempeh, edamame, nuts, seeds, quinoa and other whole grains, higher protein vegetables, and nutritional yeast.
Many vegan athletes will find it advantageous to use supplemental vegan protein powder to fill in any gaps. As a sports dietitian, the only supplements that I recommend are those that are third party tested. The three main third party testing companies include:
Before taking any dietary supplement, please check to make sure the product has been third party tested and deemed safe for consumption. For vegan athletes there are a few other supplements I recommend as well; in order to fill in the nutritional gaps that are not being met through animal products: vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin B12.
Below are a few vegan sample days of meals that include 135-145 grams of protein each day. If you are in need of more ideas, you can reach out to Allison at [email protected]