There is a common misconception in the fitness world that in order to build solid muscle and see progress in your fitness journey, you have to have a diet that includes meat. While meat has a large number of protein and essential fats that aid in the growth of muscle groups, you can obtain the same amount of nutrients from a vegan diet. Vegan protein is a fairly new source of nutrients for people who are restricted to that kind of diet. For whatever reason, a person chooses a strictly vegan diet, they should know that there are products on the market to help them stay loyal to their vegan obligation while not sacrificing the option of gaining some serious muscle. If you are planning to start a vegan bodybuilding plan, now is the perfect time because of the variety of products available to you.
From vegan protein powders to vegan pre-workout supplements there really is an option now for everyone. Traditionally speaking, bodybuilders in earlier days were restricted to finding protein from a couple of primary sources such as eggs, red meat such as beef, white meat such as chicken, and most fish. While these foods have a very high amount of protein they are not for everyone, especially someone who is a vegan. Being a vegan for a lot of people is a decision made out of morality because of the way the see animals treated. Other reasons may have to do with dietary restrictions and health reasons such as allergies and so on.
Vegan bodybuilding is much easier than it seems and is simpler than most would think. While eating food the old fashion way is usually preferred over a diet of supplements, as a vegan, you need a steady diet of both. Your body burns a certain number of calories a day and if you work out routinely you need to replenish those nutrients as well. Using vegan protein powder is an amazing alternative and tastes great. If you are on a track to vegan bodybuilding you probably do not have time to eat the 5 meals a day needed when bodybuilding to keep up your calorie and nutrient intake. Having a midday, post or pre-workout, a vegan protein shake can help make sure you do not miss out.
There are plenty of vegan bodybuilders who not only defy the norm and break the stereotype of what it is to be vegan but they do so using vegan supplements. Many people often ask how much protein should my body intake to gain muscle? This question is always as easy as you may think. It all depends on your body type, workout routine, and overall health. It is always recommended you eat about 1.62 grams of protein per kilogram that you weigh if you are trying to build up muscle. Let’s discuss some rules of thumb you should follow to get the most out of your diet when you are bodybuilding as a vegan.
Getting enough calories
When using a vegan bodybuilding diet, getting enough calories is critical.
An average plant-based vegan diet has a much lower calorie content than a conventional diet, meaning vegans should closely monitor their levels. If you don’t consume enough calories, your body can shift into a catabolic state, meaning it devours itself for energy. The larger the calorie deficit, the more your body will fuel itself on existing muscle tissue instead. In other words, without consuming enough calories your hard-earned muscle mass will slowly waste away.
For peak form, bodybuilders should strive for 15 to 20 calories per pound of body weight, and then adjust that number based on noticeable gains or losses at the gym.
Eating enough protein
Of the three macros (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) the one that seems to matter most to bodybuilders is protein. This sometimes leads to stress for vegan athletes. Will your diet provide enough protein to keep you bulking up? The answer is yes, so long as you track your levels.
Any fitness dietary plan needs to contain a full menu of proteins from a variety of sources. For instance, experienced vegan bodybuilders can combine multiple protein powders derived from hemp, brown rice, and peas to form complete proteins. There are plenty of ways to get the protein you need on a vegan diet. Dozens of delicious options for vegan protein sources abound, many of which are complete proteins. Examples include peanut butter sandwiches on Ezekiel bread, quinoa, hummus, and chia. Tempeh is one of the most overlooked sources of vegan protein, but once you try it a few times, you may prefer it over tofu. Chickpeas and other legumes can provide a filling, low-fat source of protein and carbohydrates.
If you are on the go use vegan protein powders
Eating a vegan diet is not always convenient, especially when traveling or dining out. And even when you have the good fortune of finding a vegan meal, it’s usually not as high as necessary in vegetarian proteins. Even so, there’s no real reason to stress about finding convenient protein. With the explosion of vegan protein powder options today, it’s easier than ever to have access to on-the-go protein!
Consuming two to three protein shakes a day will dramatically boost your protein intake, without excessive carbs. This is what helped me dial in my macros and turned my muscle building game around.
Take Vegan BCAA
Vegan BCAA can help protect your muscles from the catabolic effects of a low-calorie diet and can help you gain mass. According to a 2010 study published in Med Science Sports Exercise, BCAA reduces muscle soreness after intense training. For the bodybuilding benefits, try taking five to 10 grams of BCAA with breakfast, five to 10 grams immediately before and after training and five to 10 grams before bed.
Eat nuts for fuel
It’s always a smart idea to add these power-packed snacks to your arsenal. Consuming nuts (and nut butter) provides a long-lasting form of energy. They’re also a much-needed source of healthy fat. Because of how convenient they are to eat, nuts are also a great way to quickly boost your calorie intake. I carry a bag of lightly salted almonds in my backpack at all times.
Instead of rice eat quinoa
Rice is a staple of the vegan bodybuilding diet, so an effective method for boost your protein and nutritional intake is to simply swap rice for quinoa.
Quinoa has higher quality protein and is a complete source of protein, whereas brown rice is not. Quinoa is gluten-free and contains calcium, B-vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin E, and fiber.