Document Detail

Vegetarian diets : nutritional considerations for athletes.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16573356     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The quality of vegetarian diets to meet nutritional needs and support peak performance among athletes continues to be questioned. Appropriately planned vegetarian diets can provide sufficient energy and an appropriate range of carbohydrate, fat and protein intakes to support performance and health. The acceptable macronutrient distribution ranges for carbohydrate, fat and protein of 45-65%, 20-35% and 10-35%, respectively, are appropriate for vegetarian and non-vegetarian athletes alike, especially those who perform endurance events. Vegetarian athletes can meet their protein needs from predominantly or exclusively plant-based sources when a variety of these foods are consumed daily and energy intake is adequate. Muscle creatine stores are lower in vegetarians than non-vegetarians. Creatine supplementation provides ergogenic responses in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian athletes, with limited data supporting greater ergogenic effects on lean body mass accretion and work performance for vegetarians. The potential adverse effect of a vegetarian diet on iron status is based on the bioavailability of iron from plant foods rather than the amount of total iron present in the diet. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian athletes alike must consume sufficient iron to prevent deficiency, which will adversely affect performance. Other nutrients of concern for vegetarian athletes include zinc, vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin), vitamin D (cholecalciferol) and calcium. The main sources of these nutrients are animal products; however, they can be found in many food sources suitable for vegetarians, including fortified soy milk and whole grain cereals. Vegetarians have higher antioxidant status for vitamin C (ascorbic acid), vitamin E (tocopherol), and beta-carotene than omnivores, which might help reduce exercise-induced oxidative stress. Research is needed comparing antioxidant defences in vegetarian and non-vegetarian athletes.
Angela M Venderley; Wayne W Campbell
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.)     Volume:  36     ISSN:  0112-1642     ISO Abbreviation:  Sports Med     Publication Date:  2006  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-03-31     Completed Date:  2006-09-28     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8412297     Medline TA:  Sports Med     Country:  New Zealand    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  293-305     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Foods and Nutrition, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47906-2059, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Antioxidants / administration & dosage
Creatine / metabolism
Diet, Vegetarian*
Iron, Dietary / administration & dosage
Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / physiology*
Nutritional Requirements
Physical Endurance / physiology
Sports / physiology*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Antioxidants; 0/Iron, Dietary; 57-00-1/Creatine

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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