Plant Based Eating for the Female Runner

May 16, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Plant Based Eating for the Female Runner

Plant Based Eating has almost become mainstream in the last couple of years. Many runners and athletes have turned to a plant-based diet. We look at the pros and cons of Plant Based Eating considering foundational health as well as the impact on running performance and female health.

LISTEN HERE Episode 4: Plant Based Eating for Runners



Find out about Karen and Aileen’s personal and professional experience of plant based eating.


The role of a nutritional therapist in helping people transition to plant based eating.


The key nutritional concerns that anybody following a plant based diet should consider and how it may support general health and wellbeing – pros and cons.


The key nutrients are that people following a plant based food plan may miss out on e.g. B12, Iron, Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3) and potentially food sources of Vitamin D and micronutrients from dairy foods,


Considering nutrient testing to establish your nutrient status.


Plant based proteins – suggestions on what you may include in a healthy food plan.


Aileen and Karen’s favourite plant based recipe books and Chefs.


The female vegan runner – what do they need to consider nutritionally?


Scott Jurek, one of the greatest runners of all time and insights into his 100% plant based diet.


Views on research and anecdotal evidence regarding the long-term effects of plant based eating on running performance


  • Plant based diet helps supports good foundational health for everyone
  • To optimise nutrition status it’s important to focus on getting B12, iron, Vitamin D, optimal protein, essential fatty acids and micronutrients
  • Focus on iron status and nutrition for bone health
  • Get tested for key nutrient status (especially if you notice fatigue, low energy and poor recovery)
  • Everyone is different – a personalised food plan is best
  • You can BE a healthy VEGAN!


  • The ONE nutrient that stands out is IRON as pre-menopausal women require additional amounts during menstruation
  • Some of the foods we mentioned are phyto-oestrogens (e.g. beans/pulses/fermented soy) which are supportive of balancing female sex hormones at every age stage from teenage years through to post menopausal years
  • Following a plant based food plan is also supportive for promoting good bone health especially minimising development of osteoporosis

Related Episodes:

Sports Nutrition Foundations for Female Runners

Macronutrients to Help Runners go Faster and Longer

Performance Effects of Overtraining Syndrome


The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.

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