On the Bike FoodIf you are going vegan another thing to think about is training food. What about all of those gels, bars and chews? With honey, gelatin, dairy or egg finding themselves on many ingredient lists, you certainly will need to pay attention and contact some companies to be sure of their "vegan" status.
Gladly you have the entire Vega line of products. Although their electrolyte solution is low in sodium at only 100mg per serving and no carbohydrates, their recovery drink carries a nice nutrition profile with 4g protein and 17g carbohydrates per serving. You would have to have multiple servings to get the proper ratios (approx. 4 servings for example if you weighed 58kg), however that's not an issue. Most other recovery drinks are not vegan due to the commonly used whey protein, so this is a great choice.
Other products I like that are "vegan" (see disclaimer below) include Eload Endurance Formula Sport Drink, Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix, Osmo Nutrition Active Hydration and Clif Shot's Electrolyte Drink in Cranberry Razz and Lemonade with over 300mg of sodium per serving and an optimal combination of carbohydrates and sodium.
During training I recommend sticking with vegan gels such as Clif Shot Energy Gels, Eload Gels, Hammer Gels, Vega Endurance Gels or potatoes (spuds!), homemade rice bars or bananas. Clif Bar carries many vegan products. If you go to their website you can click on "pick and choose em" then the box "vegan" and it will show you which products fit the vegan profile. Those include some of the Luna bars and Mojo bars.
(Please note that although these companies do not use animal by-products some may use shared machinery, but most of those companies will carry a label that says so. Due to the cost of having individual machinery for vegan products, until veganism grows in popularity, many companies will used shared machinery. If this is of concern to you it is in your best interest to contact each company individually).
The cheapest of all training foods are potatoes! They make a great training companion as they don't freeze, they don't melt and you can just slice them in half with a bit of sea salt and there you go. But of course many times gels win on convenience and in the heat of summer they just make life easier on the bike.
More and more we are hearing stories of successful vegan athletes. Vegetarian athletes have been stepping up on podiums for years and I have no doubt that with well-planned diets more and more vegans will continue to step up onto podiums as well!
After much learning about vegans I can rest assured that the next healthy vegan athlete I meet will get a "hat's off!" It takes a lot of planning and commitment! Truly though, what better thing to commit to than good health, protecting the environment and proper treatment of animals? I think it's a great choice if it's something you choose to do.Search for a cycling event