Vegetarian bodybuilders require a unique set of supplements. This is because their diet does not contain meat or fish. There are nutrients that are hard to get from plants and fruit alone. However, this does not mean that it is impossible to get them. There are several supplements that are vegetarian friendly. Here is a list of the most important ones and a brief overview of what they help to do.
Carnitine is an amino acid that is primarily found in red meat. Amino acids are necessary for muscle growth. While some amino acids are highly present in leafy greens or dairy, carnitine is not one of them.
There are vegetarian suitable foods, such as nuts, seeds, and beans, that have carnitine. However, the levels are not very high. The best method to get carnitine is to look for a supplement that is labeled as vegetarian friendly. A common method of producing amino acids is via bacterial fermentation. So you don't have to worry that you are taking a pill filled with red meat.
DHA is a type of essential fatty acid that is primarily found in fish. It is important for many bodily functions, including the reduction of inflammation. This is why it is important for bodybuilders. People who lift weight in order to build mass put their body under severe stress. This can lead to joint and muscle inflammation. The DHA can help to alleviate this inflammation.
The primary food source that is acceptable for vegetarians is kelp. If you don't feel like eating large amounts of kelp, you could look for a DHA supplement that is designed for vegetarians. These are usually made from algae oil.
This is a vitamin that is lacking in vegetables and fruit. Many people can get B12 though fortified breads, pastas, or cereals. However, many bodybuilders follow a low-carb diet and don't eat much bread or pasta. Because of that, they might be low in B12. The solution is to take a supplement. You can either take a b-complex (which is a pill that will contain the full spectrum of b-vitamins) or else a stand-alone B-12 pill. B-12 pills are usually sold as lozenges that you place under your tongue.
A common problem in people who are deficient in B-12 is muscle weakness. This, coupled with the general problem of fatigue, is not something a bodybuilder will want in their life.
Whey Protein Powder
There are many benefits to a vegetarian lifestyle, but an abundance of protein is not one of them. For this reason, many vegetarian bodybuilders should consider supplementing with whey protein. The reason they should choose whey protein over soy is that whey is easier to digest and is also healthier. There have been serious health concerns for both men and women over the high levels of estrogen-like compounds in soy.
So, choose a whey protein that is made from grass-fed cows. This is the healthiest type of protein powder available and the type that will be easiest to digest. For organic whey protein powder without soy, consider trying supplements like Do Vitamins.