Fact: Athletes don’t need to eat meat to meet their nutritional needs.
Well-planned vegetarian and vegan diets are appropriate during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.1
Competitive athletes can meet their nutrient needs on vegetarian diets, including protein needs, by eating a variety of protein foods such as soy and other legumes and products made from them, wholegrains, nuts and seeds. Athletes can meet their protein needs following plant-based diets.2 Protein supplements are not necessary.3
1. Position Paper of the American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets. 2009.
2. Tripton KD, Witard OC. Protein requirements and recommendations for athletes: Relevance of ivory tower arguments for practical recommendations. Clin Sports Med. 2007; 26:17-36.
3. Venderley AM, Campbell WW. Vegetarian diets. Nutritional considerations for athletes. Sports Med. 2006;36:295-305.