Bodybuilding has become a hobby for millions of people worldwide. Anybody who is at least moderately experienced in it knows that with the heavy training you need to pay attention to nutrition as well. In fact, many consider eating to be a major part of muscle building. Now, you most likely have heard of the main idea about what to eat to gain muscle – protein. The problem for many lifters who want to follow the vegan lifestyle is that they believe getting enough protein on a plant-based diet is impossible. Which is not true at all. Previously we wrote an article about best sources of protein for vegans and you can read it if you want to know which foods you should be eating. Now let us discuss muscle gain specifically with the vegan diet.
Protein is the building material for your muscles and it is important to get enough of it after weight lifting to recover. Many times the reason why vegans do not gain muscle mass is not that of their refusal to eat animal-based products, but because they do not consume enough protein from the food they eat. It is understandable, of course. It takes lots of thinking and planning to come up with a good vegan diet plan for fitness. Although it is completely doable and you should not worry about not gaining mass if you are smart enough.
One big challenge that you might face while being vegan and a bodybuilder is reaching the calorie requirement. Lifters often underestimate the number of calories one needs to gain muscle. Even the people who eat meat and dairy often have a hard time gaining mass as they under eat. It is especially problematic with vegans who eat lots of fruits and vegetables that can be super filling. When your stomach is full, you think that you ate enough, but that greens you just consumed have a little amount of calories and your body will quickly digest them. That is why it is important to track the amount of food you consume and make sure you are over your maintenance.
In terms of diet, the only difference between Vegans and non-vegans is how you take your protein. The rest is easy – get fat from nuts and avocados, for example, and get carbs from grains and vegetables. Although we discussed already the sources of protein for vegans, we will briefly summarize and adjust it to the muscle gain goals. You will need to get a protein powder as it is the concentrated protein and will make it easier to reach your macronutrient goals. Other food like beans, peanut or almond butter, Chickpeas, and tofu will be your daily choice.
It is not as hard as others say to be a vegan bodybuilder. If you want to have a muscle mass and still not eat animal-based food, you will achieve both of your goals with some basic research and dedication.