As a vegan (especially if you are just transitioning into veganism), it can be difficult to know what vitamins and other essential nutrients you are deficient in due to your diet. A vegan diet at a glance can sometimes lack enough B vitamins, calcium, zinc, and iron. Those who naturally have deficiencies (for example, many people with autoimmune disorders are B12 deficient) need to make up for the lack of nutrients that give us the energy we need. You can look into taking products from companies like Xyngular to increase your energy, but you can also look into these five energy-dense vegan-friendly foods.
1. Coconut Butter One of the hardest things to give up is dairy. In fact, some studies have tried to answer the question of whether dairy is addictive. Good thing vegans have alternatives like coconut butter! Not only is coconut butter way more delicious than it sounds, it also contains MCT fats that rapidly relay energy to your cells. Coconut butter can be added to your favorite pre-workout snack or meal.
2. Spinach Many of us will groan and roll our eyes when someone suggests we eat spinach. It's not something most of you will enjoy right away. However, spinach is loaded with proteins, plant-based iron, magnesium, and B vitamins. These help to get oxygen into your bloodstream and keep your muscles strong and energized. If you don't want to eat whole spinach, you can make it into a pre-workout smoothie. Mix it in with your choice of fruit and maybe some chia seeds or cacao, and you might find yourself actually enjoying the flavor!
3. Almonds Almonds aren't just a tasty snack to get you pumped and ready for your fitness routine. Nuts, especially almonds, come high in calories and small in serving sizes, making them the ideal snack food. The fats and carbs found in almonds give a good immediate energy boost. The B vitamins found in almonds (including niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and folate) help to convert food into energy for your body to use. If you tire out more easily during exercise, chances are that you have low magnesium, and you can get quite a bit of magnesium through consuming almonds.
4. Chia Seeds Just looking at them, it is hard to believe that chia seeds can contain as many nutrients as they do. They are loaded to the brim with potassium, omega 3 fats, fiber, protein, magnesium, and B vitamins, all of which work to give you a nice energy boost. You can add them to a smoothie or mix them in with your breakfast granola. Since chia seeds have no taste, you can add them to almost any meal conceivable and notice no change in flavor.
5. Vegan Protein Powder If you really want something that packs a massive punch, there are some fantastic vegan protein powders available in your local grocery store or pharmacy. These products aren't just animal product-free, they are also designed with the health needs of vegans in mind. Therefore, you will notice that a lot of these powders add more B12, magnesium, and protein to their formulas than they do in their non-vegan formulas. They also tend to add probiotics, which many vegans lose out on once they stop consuming dairy. One of these shakes every morning can help you get the energy you need.
Put down that coffee with dairy-free creamer and give some of these awesome energy-rich foods a try instead! You can fuel your body for a great workout just by adding some of these foods to your daily intake.