Athletes are usually looked up to for their perfect health and fitness. But many people may not know that even the fittest and healthiest athletes are often at risk of nutrient deficiencies because of their higher-than-normal nutrient needs and failure to fulfill them through diet.
Here’s where the multivitamins come in. They can fill in the nutritional gaps in an athlete’s diet and ensure they meet their daily allowance of under-consumed nutrients.
But sadly, they aren’t always vegan-friendly, so I decided to post on the best vegan multivitamins for athletes.
What Makes Multivitamins Non-Vegan? Animal Ingredients in Multivitamins
Multivitamins are a great way to ensure you hit all your nutritional needs daily. But beware – they often have ingredients that aren’t vegan-friendly. These include (brace yourself, it’s a long list):
- Bone Meal – Often found in calcium supplements.
- Bee Pollen
- Estrogen – May appear with the names Estradiol and Estrone
- Steroids or Sterol
- Glutamic Acid – A form of amino acid used as an antioxidant
- Glycerine or Glycerides
- Fish Liver Oil or Cod Liver Oil
- Digestive Enzymes – like Lipase and Pepsin. They may be plant-based but are often derived from animals.
- Linoleic Acid
- Lecithin – Unless otherwise specified. Can appear with the names Bitartrate or Choline on the ingredients list
- Propolis – Comes from bees.
- Chondroitin – Made from shark cartilage
- Glucosamine – Extracted from shellfish
- Tyrosine – Taken from chicken feathers
- B Vitamins – Usually come from animal sources
- Vitamin A
- Fatty Acids
- Carotene – Can be sourced from animals. When taken from plants, it’s usually specified on the label. It may also be mentioned as Beta Carotene or Provitamin A.
- D3 – Can sometimes be sourced from animals.
- Magnesium Stearate – A type of fatty acid taken from dairy or animals
- Caprylic Acid – Comes from animal milk.
- Cholecalciferol – Extracted from sheep wool
- Food Dyes – particularly Carmine
How to Make Sure Your Multivitamins are Vegan-Friendly?
While you may take the long route of reading the ingredients list, the best way to ensure the multivitamins you have or are considering buying are animal-free, as labels can often be misleading (who knows it better than us vegans), is to look for the vegan certification logo.
Vitamins and Mineral Vegan Athletes May Lack
The misconception that a vegan diet lacks certain essential nutrients has long been put to rest.
However, we can’t overlook the fact that a plant-based diet can put you at a slightly higher risk for certain nutritional deficiencies, especially if you’re an athlete because an active lifestyle increases your body’s nutritional needs.
In an article published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, David Rogerson – Sports Nutritionist at the Academy of Sport and Physical Activity, Sheffield Hallam University.
He provided a list of possible nutritional deficiencies athletes may develop, especially with poorly constructed vegan diets, giving us an idea of what kind of vitamins should an athlete take.
These included vitamins B12 and D, calcium, iron, protein, zinc, n-3 fatty acids, iodine, and creatine.
Several other studies show that vegan athletes can also benefit from supplementing omega-3 and taurine.
Not sure what different vitamins do in your body? Check out the following video for an interesting explanation of how vitamins work.
7 of the Best Vegan Multivitamins for Athletes
Here are some of my top picks for the best multivitamins for vegan athletes:
1. Future Kind Essential For Vegans (LINK)
If you go by the less is more rule in your life, or more simply put, only want to supplement for the essential nutrients, Future Kind Essential vegan multivitamin is the one you should pick. It contains only three nutrients, but it’s a powerhouse of energy.
The vegan multivitamin contains vitamin B12, vitamin D, and omega-3; the nutrients that vegan athletes (or plant-eaters in general) are quite likely to lack and for which there aren’t many great plant-based food sources available.
There’s B12 in two forms (adeno and methyl) for optimal absorption, and so are the omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA). In case you’re wondering, omega-3s that are in here come from algal oil. The soft gel pills are also carrageenan-free.
The minimal ingredients of this Future Kind vegan multivitamin also make it a great option for those who prefer to eat clean. There’s no long list of ingredients with names you can’t even pronounce, let alone know what they are or do to your body, and no junk to unnecessarily complicate things.
Unlike most others, these vegan multivitamins also smell good (they smell of oranges) and aren’t the usual giant size, making it easier to gulp them down.
Future Kind is also an all-vegan company that is carbon neutral, uses eco-friendly packaging, and donates a portion of its profits to animal welfare. What’s there not to like?
Take two Future Kinds Essential softgels every day to meet your body’s need for three essential nutrients and stay in good health.
2. Deva Vegan Multivitamin & Mineral Supplement (LINK)
If Future Kind Essential is a little too minimalistic for you and you need a more robust supply of nutrients, this multivitamin and mineral supplement from Deva will make a great option.
Deva is a well-known vegan supplement brand trusted by many plant eaters for their daily nutrient needs. This particular product is boosted with greens and herbs to offer your body an adequate daily dose of B-complex vitamins from plant sources.
Other nutrients include vitamins A, C, D2, and E, calcium, magnesium, iron, iodine, zinc, and a range of other essential minerals in just the right quantities to help you maintain optimal health. It’s also free of artificial preservatives.
The only downside of the Deva vegan multivitamin is that it doesn’t contain omega-3s, so you may need to supplement it separately if needed.
Unlike Future Kind softgels, you only need one of these every day.
3. Naturelo One Daily Multivitamin (LINK)
Offering a powerful dose of over 20 vitamins and minerals from whole foods and herbs, Naturelo vegan multivitamin is one of the best-reviewed vegan supplements on Amazon. And it’s not difficult to understand why.
Not only does this vegan multivitamin pack a powerful punch of healthy nutrients taken from whole foods, but it also comes in separate formulations for men and women and people under and over 50.
You can tell how much effort and care they have put into creating these plant-based dietary supplements with just this.
In addition to being vegan, these are gluten-free, soy-free, and GMO-free and contain no colors or preservatives. Naturelo supplements are also prepared in an FDA-registered facility, so you can rest assured that they meet all the health and safety standards, too.
As per the labels, the one for men is formulated to help improve energy, brain and heart health, muscle function, bone health, eye health, and immunity, whereas the vegan multivitamin for women is formulated to support their immune, digestive, and reproductive systems, brain, heart, bone, and eye health, and also help achieve and maintain healthy hair, skin, and nails.
The best part about these vegan multivitamins (besides having so many nutrients) is that they are sourced from natural whole foods and herbs.
Along with vitamins and minerals, the supplements also contain powerful antioxidants, CoQ10, and resveratrol, which are vital for athletes. Antioxidants help against free radicals, CoQ10 is crucial for a healthy metabolism, and resveratrol has been found to help boost stamina.
It also has several herbs and spices well-known for their health-beneficial properties, such as green tea, turmeric, ginger, Ginko, and lycopene. These ingredients help prevent and reduce inflammation, support recovery, and improve vascular health.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Naturelo Whole Food multivitamins provide all the additional nutritional support one may need to stay in optimal health. It’s not just a perfect vegan multivitamin for athletes but for every individual.
Like the Deva multivitamin, it also doesn’t contain omega-3 fatty acids, so if you feel you need to supplement for them, too, you will have to add one more supplement to your routine.
4. Vega Organic All-in-One Shake (LINK)
If you detest swallowing those giant pills every day, find the taste of multivitamins a little too unbearable, keep forgetting to take your supplement, or do not want to complicate your health routine by adding another product to it, Vega Organic’s All-in-One Shake is the solution to all your problems.
It’s not your traditional multivitamin but a protein drink boosted with at least 15 vitamins and minerals for your everyday needs, including vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, and K, iron, calcium, folate, riboflavin, zinc, magnesium, niacin, thiamine, and biotin.
Each serving of this USDA-certified vegan protein and multivitamin shake provides 20 grams of protein with nine essential amino acids, two billion CFUs of probiotics, and 50% of your daily vitamins and minerals supply.
You also get 1.5 grams of omega-3 ala fatty acids (from flaxseeds) and 6 grams of fiber with each scoop of this natural goodness.
The vegan protein shake comes in plain unsweetened variety as well as five delicious flavors.
Vega Organic All-in-One Shake is not your typical multivitamin, but it is a great way to get your daily dose of essential nutrients.
5. Garden of Life mykind Organics Whole Food Multivitamin (LINK)
Similar to Naturelo supplements, these multivitamins for vegan athletes also come in separate men’s and women’s formulas to help them meet their unique dietary needs.
The core ingredients, however, remain the same in both, with 15 essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B3, B6, B12, C, D3, and K, iron, folate, and biotin.
The best thing about these Garden of Life multivitamins is that they are made with all-natural and organic ingredients, making them a perfect choice for people (athletes or not) who avoid or want to steer clear of synthesized products as much as possible.
Those concerned about their environmental impact will be happy to hear that Garden of Life is a sustainable brand and the first certified carbon-free supplement company.
In addition to being vegan and organic, mykind Organic multivitamins are also certified gluten-free, non-GMO, and Kosher.
6. Garden of Life mykind Organics Whole Food Gummies (LINK)
If you wish multivitamins to be as good to your palate as they are to your body, you should get these whole food gummies from Garden of Life’s mykind Organics range. It is the best vegan multivitamin gummy I could find.
They come in berry flavor and are made with real, whole foods using advanced clean gummy technology, which means these are unprocessed and contain no unhealthy, animal, or artificial ingredients.
The best part about these vegan multivitamin gummies is that they also come in a specialized formulation for kids, along with men and women. Whether you have a young athlete at home or a fussy eater, these will make a great addition to their daily routine.
7. Peregrune Runner Multivitamin: Vegan (LINK)
A specialized engineered vegan vitamin blend for runners powered with antioxidants and probiotics, Peregrune Runner Multivitamin is a GMP-certified product for providing energy and recovery support to those who spend hours on the track.
With triple the amount of antioxidants usually present in other multivitamins, it also provides a good immune boost and helps prevent and treat inflammation and cell and tissue damage.
Another factor that makes these multivitamins for vegan runners different (and better) than many others is that they contain the entire range of B vitamins, which isn’t easy to find.
Some of the other nutrients in it include vitamins C, D, and E, folic acid, biotin, niacin, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and potassium, along with a few others. All these nutrients are extracted from 42 different varieties of fruits and vegetables.
Pergerune may not be as big of a brand as most others on our list, but their vegan multivitamins for runners are surely a winner.
Conclusion – What is the Best Multivitamin for Vegan Athletes?
There is no one-size-fits-all multivitamin for athletes. The kind of nutrients an athlete wants depends upon various factors, most importantly, the activities they perform and the kind of food they eat. These two factors determine the exact nutrient needs of an individual.
Nutrient requirements of athletes may also vary slightly based on age and gender.
While all the multivitamins I have listed above are fit for vegan athletes, Naturelo One Daily Multivitamin makes the best supplements for vegan athletes, in my opinion, because it considers both gender and age factors.
Having said that, if you’re a runner, you may be better off with Peregrune Multivitamin.
Since workouts are an essential part of athletes’ life, you may also want to stock up on some supplements to provide adequate nutritional support to your body.
Check out my article Best Vegan Pre-Workout Supplements to get your body ready for intense training sessions.