Regardless of what you’re searching for when it comes to bodybuilding, there are always myths and misconceptions. There are a lot of them when it comes to plan-based diets and bodybuilding as a vegan. Some information is true, however, there are still lots of myths. We’re going to talk about bodybuilding for vegans. In other words – building muscle and strength with a plan based diet.
From overall health improvements to protecting the environment and avoiding animal cruelty, those are all big advantages. But how would a plant based diet affect your training? Some say it’s not an efficient approach, others say it is great. Let’s take a closer look at whether a plant based diet can support muscle and strength building.
Can You Be Vegan and Build Muscle?
Wondering if you can build muscle on a vegan diet is actually a pretty common question. Even though a plant based diet is not anything new, there has been a clear increase in vegan people in recent years. However, how would a plant based diet affect muscle and strength? Can you be vegan and still hit your bodybuilding goals?
In short, yes, you can. Despite many people claiming otherwise, you can still achieve awesome bodybuilding goals without eating meat or other animal derivatives.
The myth suggesting that you can’t comes from people who were not aware of how to have a proper vegan diet supporting their bulking (usually bulking) goals. The trick is to know how to transition to a vegan diet and support your physique and performance goals. Especially if you haven’t followed a plant based diet so far.
Optimize Your Vegan Diet For Muscle and Strength Gain
While following a plan based diet and building muscle and strength may indeed be a bit harder than eating meat, it shouldn’t feel like an uphill battle. Still, it’s important to ensure your nutrition supports your fitness, overall health, and physique goals. Follow these tips if you go (or already are) vegan and want to build muscle.
Master Nutrition Quality
There’s a lot of junk food that you should avoid as a bodybuilder, right? Yeah, that’s true. And all that junk food is only non-vegan stuff, right? Wrong! While a lot of poor quality food comes from animal derivatives, there are a lot of poor-quality foods among vegan diets too. So, regardless if you’re a vegan or not, the quality of your foods should be the biggest priority when building muscle and strength.
What I’m talking about is that french fries are vegan. So many would try to binge eat fries when attempting to bulk up which is a huge mistake. And that’s just an example. There are lots of plant-based snacks such as vegan cookies. Better go for an apple with almond butter rather than cookies or Pringles. These are vegan foods, but the quality is more important here in order to hit your goals.
The point is – you need to make sure your body hits its macronutrient goals and other important stuff like fiber, vitamins, and other minerals. There are processed vegan foods too. It’s better to be a meat eater that eats quality foods, than a vegan that eats junk plant based foods when it comes to bodybuilding.
Think About Calories
As said, macronutrients, fiber, minerals, and vitamins are all very important. But you should understand calories! Calories are a measure of energy that we get from foods. Eating the right amount of calories is important for athletic performance and physique goals. Regardless if you’re a vegan or not, you can easily eat too many calories. On the other hand, you may not eat as much as your body may need to support your weight training goals.
What you should do is find out how many calories you need to consume each day and stick to the plan. Then adjust it every 2 weeks (as your body changes). Some online calculators help offer a good estimation of your calorie intake. It depends on your goals, age, gender, weight, height, activity level, and other factors.
So, having a vegan diet (plant based) you may think that it is fully packed with nutritious foods. That’s not true. As said earlier, you should still aim for quality foods. You should aim for the right amount of calories and you should aim to hit your macros too. That’s why vegan diets may be a bit harder. They are a little harder to hit the right balance of macronutrients (AKA macros) when you hit the right number of calories. Yet, nobody said that it is impossible. So, whether you follow a vegan diet or not, hit those calories with perfect macros.
Not only that, but you’ll need to pay attention to micronutrients too. Examples:
- Minerals – Sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, copper and others
- Fat soluble vitamins – Vitamin A, D, E, K
- Water soluble vitamins – Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, C
People switching to a plant based diet are concerned about their protein intake. That’s why I said that it’s a tiny bit harder to keep a perfect macros balance. That’s because, usually, plant-based foods do not offer the same high amount of proteins. And as we all know, protein is very important. But as said, there’s nothing impossible.
High level vegan athletes will need anywhere between 1.8 to 2.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. You may not need as much if you do not train very intensely.
So, here are some high protein vegan foods for you. If you recently went vegan or are considering making this change, it’s important to know the good protein sources that will help you hit your gym goals. They include:
- High protein pasta (such as red lentil, chickpea, edamame, and black bean)
- Soy curls
- Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
- Nutritional yeast
- Hemp hearts
- Chia seeds
Pre and Post Workout Foods
Vegans searching to build strength should pay attention to slow-digesting vs fast digesting carbs. The slow ones with a moderate amount of protein can support your pre-workout fitness goals. The faster digesting carbs with more protein will help with your recovery post-workout.
Example: oatmeal with soy milk and hemp hearts pre-workout and an apple with a protein shake post-workout. By the way, pay attention that many protein shakes are from animal derivatives, but there are lots of vegan protein shake options too.
What Plant Based Foods To Eat While Weight Training?
There’s a myth that a plant based diet is boring, is limited to eating salads only, and is hard to make gains or even keep them. That’s all not true. Vegan foods can be awesome, and tasty. They can support your fitness goals and they can be overall great. But as said, a vegan diet can still deprive you of important nutrients if you go the “vegan junk foods” path, for example.
Here are examples of plant-based foods for carbs, protein, and fats. Also, I would recommend you to make sure that you will get enough micronutrients, minerals and vitamins too. For example, brown rice is not rich in vitamins B (multiple) or C. So, while it can be an awesome source of carbs, you still need to eat them all to get them all: fiber, iron, calcium, selenium, magnesium, copper, zinc, phosphorus, and vitamins (all) among a lot of others!
Vegan foods for carbs sources:
- Sweet potatoes
- Brown rice
- Kidney beans
Vegan foods for protein source:
- Soy milk
- Green peas
- Chia seeds
- Nutritional yeast
Vegan (plant based) fat sources (healthy fats):
- Chia seeds
- Cashew nuts
- Pumpkin seeds
- Brazil nuts
- Flax seeds
You can combine them during your plan based weight training. You can have fruits with oats and vegan yogurts for example. May still go for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. May even add burgers, such as seitan beef burgers which are vegan burgers when you need to pump those calories up. There are lots of combinations and ways to build muscle and strength as a vegan.
Workouts As A Vegan
Regardless if you’re a meat eater or a vegan, or about to be a vegan – the workout plans are the same. What really changes in terms of workout regimen is your goal. For example, you should follow a different training schedule if you’re training for Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, or bodybuilding. It also greatly depends on whether you’re on a cutting or a bulking cycle.
Other than that – it doesn’t matter. You should still have proper workouts for the back, legs, arms, chest, or cardio among others.
Mistakes to Avoid When Trying to Build Muscle and Strength as a Vegan
If you’re considering going vegan (or already are) while building muscle, it is not uncommon to make one or multiple of the following mistakes. Such mistakes are especially likely to make newbie vegans. Simply because they are not fully aware of how awesome a plant based diet can be. Even if you’re searching to build muscle and strength.
Check some mistakes that you should try to avoid:
- Removing animal products without replacements. Remember that a vegan diet involves cutting out animal products. However, a lot of nutrients come from animal foods. So, if you take out animal products, make sure you’re replacing the nutrients, otherwise, you’ll end up deficient in several things. Check for a variety of plant-based foods that can work as alternatives.
- Eating vegan foods means they are healthy. Many consider that having a vegan diet automatically means it is a healthy diet. Some vegan foods are just not good for you. There are a lot of junk and processed foods that are still vegan (plant-based). They will not support your training goals and they can damage your health.
- Focusing on what you can’t eat. Many people start to worry about the animal-based foods that they’ve left behind when starting a vegan diet. That’ll never work. Instead, start to think about what you can have and get more creative with plant-based foods instead (and trust me, you can do it!).
A vegan diet can actually build muscle and strength, it can be very healthy and may never become boring. But that’s all as long as you know how to follow a proper diet. Following a proper diet is crucial regardless if you’re a vegan or a meat eater, both to stay healthy and support your bodybuilding goals.
The workout regimen doesn’t depend on whether you’re a vegan or not. It remains the same. It only changes depending on your goals.
Moreover, regardless if you’re a vegan or a meat eater, you can support your physique and performance enhancement goals with the help of the right anabolic steroids. At Supps-For-Life.to you can find anabolic steroids that will greatly enhance the effectiveness of your efforts in the gym and in the kitchen while dieting.
In the end, don’t worry, anabolic steroids are vegan and they can greatly help achieve your goals. You just need to learn how to use them right in order to stay away from side effects and get the best results. Supps-For-Life.to is here to help. We offer the best quality steroids to avoid side effects and enhance effectiveness and can teach you how to use them right, specifically for you and your goals. Moreover, we offer the lowest prices for all products!