Vegan Supplements

Exploring the right vegan workout supplements can ensure you meet your fitness goals without compromising on your diet.

As you embark on a plant-based fitness journey, understanding the balance between veganism and workout supplements becomes crucial, especially in addressing common deficiencies like protein, vitamins, and minerals.

This article will guide you through essential vegan workout supplements, from protein powders and vitamins to minerals that bridge the nutritional gap for those committed to vegan, fitness-oriented lifestyles.

Whether you’re looking to boost muscle growth or fill dietary voids, we’ve got you covered with a comprehensive overview tailored to all exercise goals.

The Importance of Vitamin B12 for Vegans

Vegan athletes may face a higher risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency, a nutrient pivotal for metabolic processes, nerve function, and red blood cell formation. Unlike omnivores, vegans can’t naturally source B12 from their diet, making supplementation non-negotiable.

Here’s a closer look at managing B12 intake effectively:

  • Daily Needs and Sources: Adults require 2.4mcg of Vitamin B12 daily. Options include fortified foods, supplements, or injections. To ensure adequacy, consume fortified foods two to three times a day, opt for a daily supplement of at least 10 micrograms, or a weekly dose of 2000 micrograms.
  • Absorption Insights: B12 absorption rates can vary. Approximately 50% is absorbed when intake is around 1 microgram, dropping to 0.5% for doses of 1000 micrograms or more. This variability underscores the importance of consistent supplementation.
  • Preventing Deficiencies: Long-term B12 deficiency can lead to irreversible neurological issues and increased heart disease risk. While most vegans avoid clinical deficiency, many do not consume enough B12 to mitigate potential health risks. Regular monitoring through blood homocysteine or MMA testing is recommended over standard B12 level measurement for more reliable results.

A few recommended B12 vitamin supplements you might want to investigate are:

  • Deva Vegan Vitamin B12
  • Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw B-12
  • Nature’s Bounty Vitamin B12

Incorporating these strategies into your vegan lifestyle can help bridge the nutritional gap, supporting overall health and fitness goals.

Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin

Vitamin D, often dubbed the “Sunshine Vitamin,” plays a pivotal role in maintaining optimal health, particularly for those following a vegan lifestyle.

Its benefits extend to:

  • Bone Health and Immune System Function: Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption, crucial for bone health, and supports the immune system, reducing the risk of chronic illnesses.
  • Mood Regulation: Adequate levels of Vitamin D can enhance mood and reduce the risk of depression, vital for overall well-being and motivation in maintaining an exercise regimen.

Vegans can source Vitamin D from:

  • Fortified plant-based milks (soy, almond, and rice milk)
  • Mushrooms exposed to sunlight
  • Fortified cereals and orange juice

However, due to dietary restrictions, vegans might find it challenging to meet their daily Vitamin D needs through food alone, making supplements a practical choice.

Recommended vegan-friendly Vitamin D supplements include:

  • Doctor’s Best Vegan D3
  • Country Life Vegan D3
  • MRM Vegan Vitamin D3
  • Garden of Life MyKind Organics Vegan D3 Chewable

For optimal health, adults should aim for a daily intake of 600 IU (under 70 years) to 800 IU (over 70 years) of Vitamin D. During the autumn and winter months, or in regions with limited sunshine, supplementing with Vitamin D becomes even more critical to ensure levels are sufficient for bone health, muscle function, and mood regulation.

Iron and Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Bridging the Nutritional Gap

Vegan Workout Supplements

Iron and Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for vegans, especially those focusing on fitness and bodybuilding.

Iron is essential for the production of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. A lack of iron can lead to anaemia, characterized by fatigue and weakness. Vegan sources of iron are available, but plant-based iron is not as easily absorbed as the iron from animal products, making it important for vegans to consume enough and possibly supplement.

Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA, are important for brain health, reducing inflammation, and supporting heart health. While these are commonly found in seeds and nuts, things like algae supplements can help.

Here’s how to ensure you’re getting enough of these essential nutrients:

  • Iron Sources for Vegans:
    • Fortified breakfast cereals, pulses (chickpeas, lentils, beans)
    • Dark green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach)
    • Nuts and seeds (pumpkin, sesame)
    • Quinoa, tofu, fortified non-dairy milk

To enhance iron absorption, pair these foods with vitamin C-rich options like oranges or bell peppers.

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
    • Plant-based sources: Flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, algal oil
    • Aim for a mix of ALA (found in seeds and nuts) and DHA/EPA (from algal oil) to support heart, brain, and joint health.

Key Takeaways:

  • Vegans should focus on iron-rich foods and consider supplements if necessary, especially when engaging in intense physical activities.
  • Incorporating a variety of omega-3 sources ensures a balanced intake of essential fatty acids.
  • Regular blood tests can help monitor levels and adjust dietary intake or supplementation accordingly.

If you do choose to supplement these essential elements, the following options are recommended:

  • Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega
  • Garden of Life Minami MorEPA Platinum
  • Nature Made Iron
  • Solgar Gentle Iron

Calcium and Iodine: Ensuring Adequate Intake

Ensuring you’re getting enough calcium and iodine in your vegan diet is crucial, especially when dairy products and seafood are off the menu.

Calcium is crucial for the development and maintenance of strong bones and teeth, playing a key role in bone health and osteoporosis prevention. It also supports proper function of the heart, muscles, and nervous system, facilitating blood clotting and muscle contraction.

Iodine is essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, which regulate metabolism, energy production, and are critical for brain development, especially during pregnancy and infancy. A deficiency in iodine can lead to thyroid gland problems, such as goiter, and can impair cognitive function and developmental growth in children.

Here’s how to keep your levels topped up:

  • Calcium Sources:
    • Plant-based sources include fortified plant milks, tofu made with calcium sulfate, kale, broccoli, and almonds.
    • Aim for the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of 1,000 mg per day for most adults, increasing to 1,200 mg for those over 50.
    • If your diet falls short, consider calcium supplements to hit at least 525 mg per day.
  • Iodine Intake:
    • The general recommendation for adults in the UK is 140 mcg per day.
    • Iodine can be tricky as its content in plant foods varies greatly. Regular use of iodized salt and consuming plant-based foods fortified with iodine can help.
    • For those not getting enough from diet alone, a daily supplement containing iodine is a reliable method to ensure adequate intake, especially for groups at risk of deficiency such as pregnant women and vegans.

Remember, while supplements can help bridge the gap, striving for a varied diet rich in these nutrients is always the best approach.

That said, a few recommendations for each type of supplement are as follows:

  • Pure Encapsulations – Iodine (Potassium Iodide)
  • Life Extension Sea-Iodine
  • Citracal Petites Calcium Citrate Formula + D3
  • Nature Made Calcium, Magnesium & Zinc with Vitamin D3

The Best Workout Supplements for Vegans

Vegan Protein Powder

Finding the right vegan workout supplements can be a game-changer in achieving fitness goals while adhering to a vegan diet.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the best supplement types and brands to consider:

  • Vegan Protein Powder: Essential for muscle building, choose plant-based protein powders made from peas, brown rice, hemp, or soy. Brands like Vedge Nutrition and Vega Sport offer products that are rich in all nine essential amino acids.
  • BCAA Supplements: Necessary for muscle growth and recovery. As an example, Kaged Muscle provides a vegan BCAA supplement with a 2:1:1 ratio of BCAAs.
  • Creatine: A key supplement for enhancing peak power output during intense workouts. Naked Creatine is a good brand which offers a 250g container, with 5g of creatine monohydrate per serving.
  • Pre-Workout Supplements: For an energy boost, consider caffeine-based products like Naked Pre-Workout or Nitrosurge, which improve energy, focus, and performance.
  • Beta-Alanine & Vegan Tablets & Capsules: Beta-Alanine supports muscle strength by delaying fatigue. For overall health and specific deficiencies, vegan tablets and capsules from brands like MRM Nutrition can be beneficial.

Incorporating these supplements into your routine can help overcome the protein quality disadvantage often faced by vegans compared to omnivores, ensuring you meet your fitness and nutritional needs.


Throughout this exploration of vegan workout supplements, we’ve uncovered the vital role they play in compensating for nutritional gaps, enhancing physical performance, and supporting overall well-being.

From the indispensability of Vitamin B12 in maintaining essential metabolic functions to the significance of iron and omega-3 fatty acids in a fitness-focused diet, the layered insights presented reinforce the concept that achieving one’s exercise goals on a vegan diet is not only feasible but also sustainable with the right supplements.

Recognizing the broader implications, this discussion transcends mere dietary choices, reflecting a growing awareness of how veganism intersects with health, fitness, and environmental sustainability. The supplements highlighted herein serve not only as a bridge for nutritional gaps but also as a testament to the evolving landscape of health and wellness, underscoring the importance of informed choices in fostering a healthy, active lifestyle.

As we move forward, let these insights motivate us to further research and actively seek out solutions that align with our ethical convictions and fitness aspirations, ensuring a balanced, healthful approach to veganism and exercise.