Why Vegans Have Lower Energy (and How to Improve It)

Tired woman
How does veganism affect energy levels?

Have you ever wondered why vegans have lower energy? That sometimes seems to be the case, and it's a common belief the effect stems from making inadequate protein and dietary choices to maintain energy levels.

Insufficient Protein Causes Low Energy Levels

Vegans consume a plant-based diet, free of animal products and by-products. This means their protein sources must come from fruits, vegetables, and grains. Vegans who do not focus on getting adequate amounts of protein may experience lower energy levels and could feel tired or fatigued. Many people consider the lack of naturally protein-rich food one of the main dangers of veganism. However, those who do not eat a variety of foods may also grapple with low energy, regardless of total protein intake.

  • To be healthy and ensure proper nutrition, vegans require a balanced diet. That diet should include a mix of fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins, which provides optimum amounts of the vitamins and minerals necessary for good health and vitality.
  • It can be somewhat difficult to meet daily protein needs on a vegan diet, though it isn't impossible. Many vegans do reach and maintain adequate levels. Protein supplementation and eating plenty of non-animal-based protein sources can help.
  • In some cases, a vegan may have trouble consuming enough calories to maintain adequate energy levels. Such an effect is likely when the foods he or she is choosing are not nutrient-rich enough to provide adequate calories. In those situations, it may be necessary to swap out the low-calorie foods for better, more nutritious, and higher-calorie options.

The Role of Protein

It is important not to underestimate the role of protein in any diet. Meat isn't the only way to get protein. A variety of plant-based proteins can help meet and maintain your muscle stores and energy level.

Consider the following plant-based sources:

  • Soy products - Soy is one of the best-quality vegan protein sources. Soy milk, soy yogurt, soy cheese, and tofu are all examples of great protein sources for vegans.
  • Pea protein - Pea protein comes in a variety of forms, the most popular of which is probably powdered plant protein supplements you can add to water, shakes, smoothies, or rice, soy, hemp, or almond milk.
  • Beans - Beans are another fantastic source of protein and nutrients. You can incorporate beans into meals in a variety of ways. Try mashing your favorite beans and forming patties from them or using them as meat substitutes in casseroles. Add them to salads, soups, or stews to ramp up the dishes' total protein content.
  • Lentils - An excellent, nutritious addition to soups and stews, lentils are a simple and inexpensive food that can help you add more protein to your diet.
  • Nuts - Nuts are a good source of protein and fat, two nutrients sometimes lacking in a vegan diet and can explain low energy levels.
  • Certain grains - Whole grains such as quinoa contain protein and complex carbohydrates that help you stay full while supplying healthy doses of plant protein.

Creating a Healthy Balance

Meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans alike must strike a balance between proper nutrition and exercise in order to achieve their best health and fitness levels, which will increase energy. Consuming a variety of foods, exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep, and finding ways to eliminate and manage stress are all slices of the healthy and balanced pie.

Consult a Physician

It's worth noting that in some cases, the answer to why vegans have lower energy levels may have nothing to do with the fact they are vegans. It's important to look at the whole picture before making assumptions. If you or someone you know has been experiencing low energy levels for an extended period of time, consult a doctor or other medical professional for advice.

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Why Vegans Have Lower Energy (and How to Improve It)