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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I'm 15 and I've been a vegetarian for approximately two years or so now. I've also played soccer for the past ten years of my life. Anyway, soccer conditioning for my school team just started and I'm pretty out of shape due to not practicing for a while (like months with little to no exercise). I have a tendency to get terrible migraines due to either dehydration or even possibly malnutrition I think. These migraines were sometimes triggered due to exercise before I was a vegetarian but they've started becoming more frequent in these past years that I've been a vegetarian, which could be a coincidence or not... (Also, if anyone's remotely medically knowledgeable, my migraines come with "auras" which means I get a warning sign a few minutes before they come which consists of blurred vision and a weird lack of peripheral vision.)

Anyhow, I went to my second day of soccer conditioning today and suffice to say, I got one of these bad migraines afterward even though I felt fine during the work-out. Well, my dad is convinced that my diet is a part of the problem and he's starting to tell me that I need to drink more water (which I do need to do) and *gasp* eat some meat. Clearly, I am not a fan of the second option, yet I'm also not a fan of migraines. I'm not the worst eater either, but I'm certainly not the best or healthiest... I was just wondering if anyone had any recommendations for good vegetarian foods to eat before a work-out/exercise and even afterward, so I can feel better and my dad can leave me alone! Thanks in advance, and sorry for the length of this post....haha.
 

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It's tough to say because of your age. Maybe talk to a school nurse, nutritionist, physician, or coach? You're growing and need to eat lots of micronutrient and macronutrient dense foods. Before sports, maybe some bananas? So you get a quick boost of within 20 minutes, and also throughout your exercise/sports. If not that, maybe some complex carbohydrates, like some oatmeal or lentils at least an hour before exercise/sports.

Hydration is very, very important. It could have side effects like migraines. Constipation is another, if your stool is kind of clumpy like a bunch of pebbles stuck together.

As for the meat... the only reason I can see a suggestion for meat would be for iron and protein. But those two are available in plant sources. Are you getting enough of both? Legumes such as lentils, beans and soy products like tofu have tons of protein and iron in them.

Um, other thoughts from reading your post. Migraines and sports.. drink water, eat enough nutritious foods. You getting enough sleep? not just 7-8 hours, but maybe if your body needs more sleep you can try going to bed a little earlier and see if you sleep 9ish hours? Sometimes a lack of sleep can cause migraines. As for your migraines being somewhat frequent at different times, I can't really give an opinion. Have you talked to your family doctor about your migraines? Maybe she/he can give better insight.

Also, this post is just an opinion from someone who does a lot of sports and is vegan. Take it with a grain of salt, and hope you feel better/kick some butt in soccer. Keep us updated , kiki.
 

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I know that B12 is a common deficiency for vegetarians and vegans, so try either taking a B12 supplement, or, assuming you're a lacto-ovo vegetarian, eat more eggs and cheese! If you're vegan, try drinking fortified soy milk (with B12) or other fortified foods like cereal.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lafayette View Post

I know that B12 is a common deficiency for vegetarians and vegans, so try either taking a B12 supplement, or, assuming you're a lacto-ovo vegetarian, eat more eggs and cheese! If you're vegan, try drinking fortified soy milk (with B12) or other fortified foods like cereal.
I don't know if it's truly common, especially lacto/ova veggies. I get 75% of my b12 just in my morning latte alone. I don't think it's anymore common than in meat eaters.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by danakscully64 View Post

I don't know if it's truly common, especially lacto/ova veggies. I get 75% of my b12 just in my morning latte alone. I don't think it's anymore common than in meat eaters.
you're right, i didn't even think of what i ended up sounding like; maybe I should rephrase. B12 is one of the nutrients that are HARDER, but still easy, to attain in a vegetarian/vegan diet. i know that some people had complaints of headaches due to lack of B12
 

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Water, B12, and magnesium.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dormouse View Post

MOD POST

I'm moving this from the teen forum, so other members can legally give advice.
Legally
I posted from my phone, had no idea it was even in the teen forum to begin with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lafayette View Post

you're right, i didn't even think of what i ended up sounding like; maybe I should rephrase. B12 is one of the nutrients that are HARDER, but still easy, to attain in a vegetarian/vegan diet. i know that some people had complaints of headaches due to lack of B12
No prob
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you everyone for your replies! I'm going to try some of your suggestions and see how it works out.

KrisMTL, this thread got moved out of the teen forum, so your post could have stayed
I read your post before it was deleted though, and it was very helpful & detailed, so thank you very much! Unfortunately, I can't remember the specifics of it from the top of my head, but some of the points: yeah, I think I'll definitely talk to my doctor about it to see what she thinks. A medical perspective would prob be best. I'm going to try to drink more water and make sure I eat a banana or something before I exercise, too. Also, more sleep! I only get around 6-7 hours a night, even less pretty frequently, so lack of sleep is a really valid possibility for the migraines. I'm pretty bad at getting adequate amounts of sleep, but I'll definitely work on it to see if that helps.

lafayette, thanks, but I doubt it's a B12 deficiency. I'm a lacto-ovo vegetarian, so I'd like to think I get a good amount of B12. Like danakscully64 said, I get a lot of B12 just from really simple things like eating scrambled eggs or fortified breakfast cereal w/ milk.

Doktormartini, more water would definitely be a good idea. I'm going to go water crazy before I work out next time and see if that helps. I think I'm good with the B12. As for magnesium, what exactly would I get magnesium from? I'm not quite the nutritionist, haha.

Ironically, I was out with my friends today and we met this guy, and like a few minutes into the conversation my friend told him that I'm a vegetarian. His response was pretty much the usual "oh my god, how do you do it?!" But then when I told him I play varsity soccer, he switched to "oh my god, that can't be healthy!" Ugh, stereotypes like these are the reason my dad thinks I need to start eating meat again.. Just the other day my dad told me that I looked "awfully thin." This is ridiculous. Anyway, I'm positive my migraines aren't a veg*n diet problem -- look at all of the great veg*n athletes. If anything they're just a specific problem with my diet, so hopefully I can find a solution. Thanks again everyone!
 

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Water and or a sports drink before during and after you workout should help prevent headaches that are due to dehydration. It could also be heat exhaustion if you're exercising in high heat or over-exerting yourself.

Check your diet to make sure youre getting adequate nutrients, but I wouldn't assume diet is the culprit. Migraines are really tricky and the cause is often unknown. Try keeping a journal and recording all kinds of things that lead up to your headaches. You could be sensitive to gluten or perhaps you're allergic to one of the plants at your exercise area. There are all kinds of triggers and the only way to figure it all out is to keep good records of your headaches and preceding events.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Keeping a record of my migraines sounds like a really good idea. Also, I live in Florida, so I definitely do exercise in high heat...haha. It's October and temperatures are still in the low 90s some days, so heat exhaustion is certainly possible.

Yeah, migraines are super tricky, because they're definitely caused by dehydration sometimes, but I've also had migraines occur out of the blue on days where I thought I was in "perfect condition." Lately, exercise in the heat has been the trigger, but my worst migraine was actually a couple of years ago on a day where I hadn't done any exercise at all. It started with blurred vision and I even experienced some weird numbness on one side of my body, then the grand finale was throwing up. :/

More info although rather icky: a lot of the time my migraines lead to nausea and then throwing up. I'm not sure if that helps with a cause diagnosis or anything.. I've talked to my doctor about it a little before, but honestly she seems equally clueless and told me that it might just be "puberty and hormone imbalances."
 

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Some info on magnesium and migraines:
http://www.ars.usda.gov/news/docs.htm?docid=10874
"Studies show that about half of migraine headache sufferers have a low amount of ionized magnesium in the blood, which suggests a low magnesium status. And magnesium supplementation reduces the number and duration of migraines, including menstrual migraines, in some people. The findings suggest that too little magnesium can worsen the suffering from migraine headaches."

You can get magnesium in raw chocolate, green leafy veggies, whole grains (not white carbs), beans, nuts, seeds...etc
 

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Originally Posted by KrisMTL View Post

Sorry, didn't notice what section the thread was in, deleted my post.
Kris, I moved the thread out of the teen forum and restored your post. I hope that's okay.
 

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I agree with ElaineV about keeping a journal. If you're concerned about food related, keep track of your food but also describe your migraine, including what you were doing, any medications, etc. I'd recommend going and seeing a specialist, perhaps your doctor can recommend one?

I started getting migraines around 18+/- (I'm 34 now). I drink a lot of water, but some activities like soccer, racquet ball, etc or just intense heavy physical activity have given me migraines within 10 to 15 minutes regardless of how much water I consume. I can usually feel something beforehand, so I know when they're about to start. I don't get auras, but I do get nauseous and I'm sensitive to light, sounds, and smells.

Over the years, I've found that I need to eat regularly or I'll get a migraine, some glues give me migraines (or to be specific something the glues contain trigger migraines in me), and so on.

I tried going to my regular doctor at the time, but gave up do to feeling like I was given the run around. I've learned to adjust my lifestyle to try to deal with it.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks, Doktormartini, I'll try to include more of those in my diet and see how that goes!
nogardsram: Ah, a fellow migraine sufferer...yeah, my regular doctor didn't really do much for me at all. I'm trying out the food journal thing now, but anyway I went back to soccer, made sure to eat a banana and drink more water/a sports drink beforehand, and voila, no migraine.
I'm going to try to keep this up, and hopefully I won't have any more bad experiences. Thanks for your responses everyone, I'll let you know how everything works out.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kikikaylen View Post

I have a tendency to get terrible migraines due to either dehydration or even possibly malnutrition
Malnutrition would not be related specifically to your physical activity but would certainlynot make it easy and would exasperate the outcomes you mention.

Do you now, or have you, had an eating disorder? if not, what makes you think youcould be malnourished? Have you seen a doctor or dietician about this?
 

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I used to get the same problem too since I do alot of exercise. I did find though eating low-fat joghurt (600-700 ml) with a range of fruits (such as raspberries, grapes, nuts) really helped keep my fitness levels up. I had to wait only for half an hour to digest and felt amazing throughout the workout. I guess there's a few options you can explore...
 

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Oh dear, your migraines sound like mine. I started to get migraines in 7th grade and continued to get them often until a couple of years ago. I only went vegetarian almost 4 years ago, so that didn't have much to do with it. Like you, I would get an aura on the side of my visual field and then that would go away after 15 minutes, then 5 minutes later I'd have a KILLER headache, followed by vomiting about 30 minutes later if I didn't get myself to sleep in time.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, I was able to figure out that these happened when I was going through highly stressful times (crazy school projects made worse by my procrastination, emotional issues - breakups and such, etcetera). I have since learned to watch my stress levels and to catch myself and reset (with meditation, reflection and writing, yoga, what-have-you) because I DO NOT want to experience that hell if I can avoid it. Hormones may also play a role. Just keep in mind the WHOLE picture of your life. There are MANY factors that may contribute, whether it be nutritional needs, hormonal issues, stress factors...

Hoping that banana and sports drink helps and it's easily pin-pointed with that!
Keeping my fingers crossed for ya!
 
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