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Vegan runners going for gold

Growing numbers of athletes are going vegan to improve their performance. This study compared the micronutrient status of meat-eating, vegetarian and vegan recreational runners. They looked at levels of vitamins B12 and D, folate, iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. Results showed little, if any, variation between groups. For example, about 80 per cent of each group were getting enough vitamin B12, with higher levels seen in supplement users. Average values of vitamin D were in the normal range with no discernible differences between any of the dietary groups. 

The authors conclude that a well-planned vegan diet, including supplements, can meet an athlete’s requirements. They did, however, caution that athletes adopting a vegan diet should take B12 supplements. This accords with Viva!’s recommendations that all vegans should take a B12 supplement. 


Nebl J et al. 2019. Micronutrient Status of Recreational Runners with Vegetarian or Non-Vegetarian Dietary Patterns. Nutrients. 11 (5).