There are a number of different products to achieve different goals in relation to sports nutrition.
As a vegetarian there are a number of issues in getting the same nutrients necessary to achieve either bulking, lean muscle mass or weight loss.
Vegetarians can rely on almost all of the same carbohydrate sources such as potatoes, pasta and rice for bulking but the question is often asked, “where do I get my protein from?”.
The simple answer is…lots of places!
Common sources of protein in vegetarian food stuffs include (but are not limited to) eggs, cottage cheese, quinoa, cous cous and meat replacement products such as Quorn.
If you are spending a lot of time in the gym you may wish to consider a blended or whey protein product, i.e. a ‘protein shake’, to assist muscle repair after a hard session. These days many of the large sports nutrition product manufacturers/companies mark their products as vegetarian (less likely as ‘non-vegetarian) but some still do not do so.
From my experience the common elements in sports nutrition products such as protein powder (‘whey’ or ‘blended’ protein) and capsules are additives which include E120 (cochineal/carmine), E441 (gelatine) and E904 (shellac).
If you are vegan, ovo-lacto vegetarian or lactose intolerant then there are many more products to watch out for and most protein powders are not vegan as they usually some variety of egg albumen, lactose or casein. However, there are vegan sports nutrition products out there which can achieve great results to include pea protein, soy protein and hemp protein.
In terms of capsules and tablets such as creatine the common caution to gelatine should be exercised.
The answer to anyone’s questions as to whether there are products out there…yes there is! There are numerous website and it is very common for there to be sports nutrition stores in your local town or city.
Just remember, always read the ingredients list and ensure that, if you have any doubts, the internet is an invaluable source!
I am by no means a qualified sports nutritionist but I am keen gym goer, a vegetarian and user of pure protein powder and creatine and encounter no issues.
Reviews of vegetarian and/or vegan friendly sports nutrition products will follow on the blog in future.
NB. Always see your doctor or nutritionist before commencing any course of diet or exercise, especially if this away from your normal daily routine.