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Skidmore College

Special Needs of College Students, Vegetarians, Vegans, Young Women and Athletes

  • In general, college students need to be especially mindful to get a sufficient intake of calcium, fiber, potassium, magnesium, zinc, folate and vitamins A, C, D and E. Alcohol-consumption is a factor college students need to keep in mind, as it has the capacity to dehydrate and deplete the body of folate/folic acid, zinc, magnesium, calcium, vitamins C and K, etc. If one chooses to consume alcohol, it is important to stay well-hydrated and conscious of getting sufficient nutrients- supplements are highly recommended.
  • Vegetarians have to work harder to get sufficient amounts of protein, iron, and vitamin B. Vegans face the same difficulties as vegetarians with the additional concern of getting enough calcium, zinc, and vitamins B and D. Busy college-aged vegetarians and vegans are probably best off supplementing essential vitamins and minerals in order to ensure they are not depriving their body when it is under so much stress.
  • Young women especially are at an increased risk for insufficient iron intake, especially when menstruating or anticipating pregnancy. The use of oral contraceptives can also deprive the body of essential nutrients such as zinc, folate/folic acid, and vitamins B, C and E and the use of dietary supplements is highly recommended.
  • Athletes need to be especially conscious that they are eating a sufficient amount of carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals (such as iron) to fuel their body, maintain their muscles and generally be able to endure the physical strain of sports. It is also important for athletes to remain well-hydrated to maximize the effects of these nutrients.