Vegan Gym Gang
A lot of vegans get told that our diet is not ideal for building muscle and that we won’t be able to achieve our fitness goals due to a lack of protein, etc… YAWN! But we know, thanks to vast amounts of scientific research and evidence, that this couldn’t be further from the truth! It’s becoming more widely accepted that not only is it possible to be completely healthy as a vegan, but that it can actually be the way to achieving the highest level of fitness, I mean the strongest man alive is vegan! Gymshark even has vegan sponsored athletes who have contributed blog posts about their diets and how veganism has helped them with their fitness journey, check out Stephanie Moir’s (aka Amberlft) post here about why she chose to become vegan and how she keeps on track with healthy eating.
This got me thinking about being more conscious of our fitness lifestyle and how to incorporate veganism into it. The fitness industry is so huge already and is slowly but surely making room for us vegans, but there is so much more to do and it starts with us as individuals to start trends and movements that will make the industry more eco-conscious and sustainable. I’ve put together a few ideas of how to bring your vegan and fitness lifestyles together!
1. Sustainable sports wear
It’s something I hadn’t really thought too much about when beginning my vegan fashion journey, but the clothes we work out in are just as important as our everyday outfits. I started looking around for ethical gym wear or brands that had a commitment to sourcing recycled or sustainable materials, my search was not very fruitful. However, I did find a couple of gems and I want to promote them for all you gym buffs out there that want to flex those guns in pure ethical fabulousness!
Vegan Athletic Apparel is a really good brand based in Australia, who aim to provide high quality, ethically made, sustainable active wear. Their products include breathable tech tees, cycling jerseys and base layer tops with the slogan “Set them free”. These guys are super serious about the technology behind the fabrics they use and the benefits to your workout, so go with them if you’re a hard core cyclist or athlete. They also ensure their products are of the highest ethical standards and are committed to sourcing and manufacturing their clothing in factories that have good working conditions and have visited the manufacturers to inspect the working conditions and environmental considerations that they operate under.
H+M have recently launched a new collection of sustainable gym wear called “In it for the long run” (bravo marketing department, bravo) featuring a wide range of sports leggings, sports bras, hoodies and tops. The pieces are made from recycled polyester, polyamide and spandex, and the brand has gone one step further and set themselves a target of being completely circular (“‘Circular fashion’ can be defined as clothes, shoes or accessories that are designed, sourced, produced and provided with the intention to be used and circulate responsibly and effectively in society for as long as possible in their most valuable form, and hereafter return safely to the biosphere when no longer of human use.” Dr. Anna Brismar, 2017, circularfashion.com) by 2030 – all eyes on you H+M, we shall see! Not only is the new collection affordable (I’ve ordered myself a couple of the pieces and will let you guys know my verdict when they arrive!) they are also very minimalistic and chic, what’s not to like??
Heartcure Clothing sells t-shirts and joggers that are perfect if you like to wear casual stuff to the gym! They are a more relaxed fit and come in grey, black and white, so can easily double-up as everyday wear – multipurpose clothing score! HC pieces have super cute slogans and illustrations that promote veganism, like this gorgeous tee that says “honey leave them bee”.
2. Reusable water bottles
Hydration is everything. I drink 2.5 litres of water a day and not to be too cringe but it’s changed my life! I sleep so much better now, don’t have as many skin problems as before and hardly ever get headaches. Drinking enough water is so important, especially when working out, but what I hate seeing is people in the gym or on a run with a single-use plastic bottle! We know how bad the plastic problem is (shout out to my main man David Attenborough) and one of the biggest culprits is single-use plastic such as water bottles.
But don’t worry, there are so many options for reusable water bottles now it’s just a case of picking which one goes best with your trainers! One of my favourite brands is Chilly’s who have developed beautiful bottles that keep your water cold for 24 hours! They are £20 on the website.
The Bopple Carry Cap 1L water bottle is a great pick for gym-goers as it has a curved design which makes it easier to hold and has a filter to get rid of chlorine and other contaminants from the water as you drink. Only £4.97 on Currys at the moment in their clearance sale!
The Nike T1 Flow Swoosh bottle is a popular choice for the Nike-junkies out there, that Swoosh can really make you feel like a sponsored athlete while your texting on the treadmill can’t it? This one’s actually great as its 946ml meaning less frequent fill ups! £17.95 on the Nike website.
3. Cruelty-free products and supplements
It’s not sexy but we all sweat and get ugly in the gym, it’s proof that you’ve actually worked hard and achieved something! However, when we finish our beast mode we need to return to the vegan queens (and kings) we really are, and this often requires some assistance.
Original Source shower gel is still one of my favourite’s as it’s so affordable and smells amazing! You can buy it nearly everywhere (UK) and is only £1 at Tesco right now.
You will need a powerful deodorant to freshen up after your shower and one of the top recommended products is Kiss My Face Natural Liquid Rock Roll On Deodorant, PETA approved and only £7.63 on Amazon!
If you are into protein supplements there are a couple of brands I would recommend, but please do your research into this as you need to make sure you’re getting the right amounts of everything in relation to your body type and fitness regime – remember everyone is different! Hemp and pea protein seem to be the hot picks right now, but I have also seen rice, soya and other plant-based supplements.
Choosing the right footwear is crucial for success in your workout, they need to be comfortable, functional and, of course, stylish. There really is no need to wear leather shoes (especially in the gym!) so focus on non-leather materials such as mesh and spandex.
Something else you need to be aware of is the use of non-vegan glue being used to put the trainers together – disgusting isn’t it? You need to check with Nike which of their trainers use vegan glue and which do not. Asics are widely known not to use animal products in their glue, so they’re a good place to start!
I also found these beauties from Etnies, which are so Elle Woods at the gym I can’t even deal! You can buy them here on sale, and you can thank me later.
Not all workouts need to happen in the gym - if you’re more of a sporty spice you might want to think about the equipment you’re using. Unfortunately, there are still people who think that we need to use animal skins, intestines and other animal products to make products for human entertainment. You can always ask your coach or sports teacher to find out if the sports equipment you are using is vegan friendly, and if not, here are some eco-friendly alternatives to show them!
Tachikara produce vegan footballs and basketballs that look so cool I may just pick up a sport right now. Bright colours and Japanese design makes these a great choice for you stylish ballers!
Fair Trade Sport makes footballs (American and British) and basketballs that do not contain any animal skin or products and are fair-trade, eco-certified. An absolute winner for all you conscious consumers looking for humane, responsibly sourced balls (don’t laugh)…
You can now buy vegan alternatives to most sports equipment, for more information check out the PETA list of sports companies who are leading the way!
I hope you guys find this list useful and if you have any other suggestions please do comment below or get in touch via the contact page! Happy sweating everyone!