Build Muscle On A Vegetarian Or Vegan Diet

Plant-based diets have been popular among amateur and professional athletes. In this article we will give you tips on how to build muscle on a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Plant-based athletes can hit their carbohydrate and fat intake with easy, but they tend to consume enough protein. Having the right protein intake is important if you want to build muscle, be healthy or lose weight.

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
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Legumes: beans, lentils...
  • Tofu
  • Soy
  • Brown rice
  • Quorn (meat substitute)

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!

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 80 kg would have to roughly consume 176 g of protein daily to get results.

Protein powder is one simple way to help you get 20g of protein in one shake. Vegetarians can consume whey protein.

Vegans should take a look at:

  • Plant protein
  • Soy protein
  • Brown rice protein

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

Plant-based diet or not, it's important to eat all your macronutrients (Carbohydrate, Protein, Fat) and your micronutrients (Vitamins and Minerals).

Plant-based diets tend to have micronutrient deficiencies. They have a big impact on your health, so it's important to eat a well-balanced diet so your body gets everything its needs to function.

Here are the micronutrients that vegans and vegetarians should consume in higher quantities:

  • Vitamin B12:
    • May require a supplement
  • Iron:
    • Leafy greens
    • Beans and lentils
  • Omega-3
    • May require a supplement
  • Vitamin D:
    • Soy milk
    • Oranges
  • Calcium:
    • Broccoli
    • Spinach
  • Zinc:
    • Pumpkin seeds
    • Almonds

Here’s a plan for women that goes well with plant-based diets:

And for men:

You might also consider taking multivitamin supplement.

  • 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.
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