The vegetarian diet and athletic performance

From: Joint Position Statement of the American Dietetic Association and Dieticians of Canada.

Journal rating:
rating: 95%
Study Quality:
rating: 70%

Overall Reliability

Article Quality:
rating: 70%
rating: 0%


  • The paper is a review of all identifiable studies.


  • The paper is a systematic review / meta analysis of all relevant trials.
  • This means that the data from all similar trials has been grouped to form an overall outcome.


  • Vegetarian athletes may be at risk for low intakes of energy, fat, vitamins B12, riboflavin, and D, calcium, iron, and zinc, which are readily available from animal proteins. Iron is of particular concern because of the low bioavailability of nonheme plant sources. Iron stores of vegetarians are generally lower than omnivores.
  • Vegetarian athletes, especially women, may be at greater risk for developing iron deficiency or anaemia.
  • Because plant proteins are less well digested than animal proteins, an increase in intake of approximately 10% protein is advised. Therefore, protein recommendations for vegetarian athletes approximate 1.3–1.8 g per kg of body weight per day


  • As per the results above


Editors Notes

  • Studies excluded from the review include;
  • Adults older than 40 yr, adults younger than 18 yr, infants, children, and adolescents. Settings not related to sports, nonathletes, critical illness and other diseases and conditions, drop out rates >20%