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Build Muscle On A Vegetarian Or Vegan Diet

Tips For Vegetarians And Vegans To Get Enough Plant-Based Protein

When it comes to nutrition, it's necessary to get all your macronutrients in order to achieve your fitness goals. Protein is an important nutrient for your body, for maintaining muscle, bone mass, prevent fatigue and keeping the immune system strong, especially when it comes to fitness, because it helps you build and repair muscle tissues. Vegans and vegetarians don't have a hard time getting their carbohydrates and good fats. However, getting your daily protein intake can be a pain.
Gymaholic provides you some tips and food suggestions in order to help you get fit.

Frank Medrano vegan bodybuilder

"Vegans can't get fit". Looking at the picture above, you can see that a non-meat eater can make gains; yes he is vegan. So don't think your goal is impossible, but since it's harder to get higher amounts of protein, you will have to be very dedicated to your diet.
This article will contain the information to help you build muscle on a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Vegan: The Difficulty Building Muscle

As it's explained in this protein article, if you want to get fit it's important to consume high protein foods, which contain the essential amino acids (there are 9); and are called a complete protein.
Contrary to what people think; it's possible to obtain these amino acids in order to build muscle with a well-balanced diet, but not in the same amounts as those found in animal sources.

Build Muscle On A Vegetarian Or Vegan Diet

Some vegetarians can consume food like eggs and milk; which are very efficient high-protein foods. However, vegans can't consume them, which is why it's important to find other protein sources to help you obtain your dream body.
If you're trying to build lean muscle on a vegetarian or vegan diet, it's important to eat nutrient dense foods. Here are examples of foods that are high in protein:

  • Quinoa

  • Quorn (meat substitute)

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Beans, lentils and legumes

  • Tofu

  • Soy

  • Brown rice

Don't be that vegan that eats fruits and legumes all day, that's not enough. Your body needs protein, even more if you're exercising. If you want to build muscle on a vegetarian or vegan diet, you will have to strive for balance!

Get The Right Protein Powder For Vegans

Having a well-balanced diet is necessary to build lean muscle mass. Remember, you need 1g of protein per pound of body weight (2.2g/kg) in order to obtain muscle growth. For example, someone who weigh 80kg would have to consume 176g of protein daily to get results. That's a lot of meal preparation!
Protein powder is one simple way to help you get 20g of protein in one shake. Vegetarians can consume whey protein, since it contains milk.
Vegans would have to take a look at:

Remember that supplements are recommended, not required in order to get results. It will simply help you get your protein intake more easily.

Healthy vegan recipe

As A Vegan It's Necessary To Watch Out For Micronutrient Deficiencies

Vegan or not vegan, it's important to eat all your macronutrients (Carbohydrate, Protein, Fat) and your micronutrients (Vitamins and Minerals). For more information, check our nutrition plans for men and women.
Micronutrient deficiencies can have a big impact on your health, so it's important to eat a well-balanced diet so you get everything you need. Here are the micronutrients that vegans and vegetarians should consume more:

  • Vitamin B12

    • Foods rich in Vitamin B12:

      • May require a supplement
  • Iron

    • Foods rich in Iron:

      • Leafy greens

      • Beans and lentils

  • Omega-3

    • Foods rich in Omega-3:

      • May require a supplement
  • Vitamin D

    • Foods rich in Vitamin D:

      • Soymilk

      • Orange Juice

  • Calcium

    • Foods rich in Calcium:

      • Broccoli

      • Spinach

  • Zinc

    • Foods rich in Zinc:

      • Pumpkin seeds

      • Almonds

Other Supplement That Vegans Should Consume

A vegan diet doesn't provide enough micronutrients to get an healthy body. This is why it's necessary to take a multivitamin supplement. However, not all the multivitamins are the same, and there are specific products for vegans.

Make A Nutrition Plan According To Your Goals

Gymaholic hs created several nutrition plans for men and women, but they contain food for omnivores. So it will be your job to change those meals to 'animal-free' foods:

In Conlusion

This article; build muscle on a vegetarian or vegan diet gave you some tips in order to prepare your nutrition plan according to your goals.
Let's summarize what we've just learned:

  • You can build lean muscle mass while being vegan.

  • Protein is the main problematic macronutrient for a vegan lifter.

  • Protein is necessary if you want to build muscle.

  • Eating fruits and vegetables is not enough, consume nutrient dense foods!

  • It's recommended to consume protein powder.

  • As a vegan, you should have a well-balanced diet.

  • Watch out for micronutrient deficiencies!

  • Multivitamin supplement is highly recommended.

Keep calm and build muscle being vegan

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