How to Build Muscle On A Plant-Based Diet
Some people think that building muscle while on a plant-based diet is difficult or impossible because they don’t think it’s possible to get enough protein for muscles to build and strengthen.
There are some widespread misconceptions about plant-based based diets and plant-based muscle building including the belief that you can’t get enough protein on a plant-based diet to build muscle.
Most people also think that you need more protein to build muscle than you really do because there is the constant message of “eat more protein” in the fitness community.
Misconceptions can keep some people from trying a plant-based diet, so if you’re trying to build muscle on a plant-based diet, know that it can be done.
Below you’ll learn about a few athletes who are vegan or vegetarian, you’ll get some tips on how to build muscle on a plant-based diet, and you’ll get some information on protein and how to get an adequate amount of it for muscle building.
5 Vegan Athletes for Inspiration
There are too many vegan and vegetarian bodybuilders to list here, but this will give you few to be inspired by. These are amazing athletes that eat a plant-based diet.
- Robert Cheeke – Vegan bodybuilder, vegan activist, motivational speaker, and author.
- Torre Washington – Vegan bodybuilder who 100% supplement free.
- Rich Roll – Vegan ultra-endurance athlete, speaker, and author.
- David Carter – Vegan American football player, known as the 300 lb vegan.
- Derek Tresize – Vegan bodybuilder, personal trainer, and certified plant-based nutritionist.
Diet for Plant-Based Muscle Building
It isn’t as difficult to build muscle on a plant-based diet as some people think, but you do have to be mindful about the quality of the foods you eat and train.
You have to eat foods that are going to power your body while yogu work to build muscle.
You can’t eat junk food if you’re going to be fit, healthy, and have strong, defined muscles. Some people choose to use plant-based supplements and some don’t, but the choice is up to you and will depend on your personal tastes.
You will also need to ensure you eat the proper amount of calories to build muscle.
The protein myth that you can’t get enough protein on a plant-based diet is what stops a lot of people from trying a plant-based diet or plant-based muscle building.
They don’t believe that it’s possible to get enough protein on a plant-based diet to be muscular or healthy.
The misconceptions about protein needs are rampant throughout the fitness community, and companies perpetuate these misconceptions in order to sell you their protein products.
The meat, dairy, and supplement industries will do what it takes to earn your business.
The truth about protein is that it’s almost impossible to be protein deficient if you eat a healthy diet of whole plant-based foods. You don’t have to get protein from animal products.
If you are concerned about protein intake, here are some high protein foods to focus your diet around.
- Beans and legumes – high in fiber and protein.
- Nuts and seeds – high in protein and healthy fats.
- Plant-based protein shakes – if you’re not comfortable with your protein intake you can use plant-based protein powder for protein shakes instead of whey protein.
- Tofu, tempeh, seitan – these meat substitutes pack a huge protein punch.
- High protein vegetables – broccoli, asparagus, kale, and many other vegetables contain high amounts of protein.
Weightlifting On a Plant-Based Diet
In order to gain muscle, no matter what diet you’re on, you will have to train.
You will need resistance in order to strengthen and build muscle, and lifting weights is perfect for that.
Choose a well-rounded weightlifting program that focuses on compound lifts. Train regularly, and continue to increase resistance, or weight, so that you’re challenging your muscles.
When your muscles are challenged, they grow. You may also see that on a plant-based diet that you recover faster. Many vegan athletes have reported much lower recovery times after workouts.
As you can see, it is possible to build muscle on a plant-based diet. These tips should help you get started building the body you want while providing it with the right foods to power your workouts.
Focus on quality foods, get adequate rest, and train hard, and you will be able to build the muscle you want.
7 Top Tips for Fueling Your Exercise with Plant-Based Foods
No matter what type of diet you choose to eat you’ll have to ensure that it will properly fuel your workouts. Eating the wrong foods can leave you feeling weak, tired, and unable to complete workouts.
Fueling your exercise with plant-based foods can be intimidating if you’re new to a plant-based diet, but once you learn some basic information, you’ll be confident that your food choices powering your workouts effectively.
Below you’ll learn some great tips for properly fueling your body on a plant-based diet so that you can be healthy, strong, and have prolonged stamina.
1) Eat whole foods
Whole foods are foods with little to no processing.
It’s basically eating foods as close to their natural state as possible. When eating whole foods, you’ll eat fresh, healthy foods and will avoid all processed foods like boxed meals and anything with added sweeteners or preservatives.
If you eat whole foods, your body will the nutrients it needs to perform it’s best.
2) Eat the proper amount of calories
Eating the proper amount of calories will give your body what it needs to be at its healthiest.
If you try to live off of green vegetables, you won’t be giving your body enough calories to function properly.
Your body needs a variety green vegetables, starchy foods like root vegetables and potatoes, beans and legumes, and whole grains so that it gets enough calories.
If you’re eating too many calories, your body will feel sluggish and you won’t want to exercise.
Be sure you know how many calories your body needs, and then track your meals to ensure you’re eating the right amount.
3) Eat a variety of foods
It’s important to eat a variety of foods whether you eat a plant-based diet or not because it will ensure you get all of the nutrients you need. If you eat the same foods all the time, you won’t get all the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
4) Plan ahead
If you want to succeed in anything, you must plan ahead, and that’s especially true for sticking with a proper diet. You’ll have to plan your meals and pack ahead, especially on a plant-based diet.
It’s not difficult to pack meals the night before and have them ready to go in the morning. It will make it much easier for you to properly fuel your workouts consistently.
5) Take B12
Vitamin B12 is the only vitamin you can’t get from a plant-based diet, so it’s a good idea to take a b12 supplement.
A vitamin b12 deficiency can lead you with low energy, and unable to workout.
6) Unlearn what you know about protein
The meat, dairy, and supplement industries have spent millions to convince you that you need more protein than you actually do.
If you believe you need more protein you will buy their products. In truth, most people need ten to twenty percent protein, and you can get that easily from a whole food plant-based diet.
7) Plant-Based protein powder
If you’re still concerned about protein, there are plant-based protein powders that you can use to ensure you properly fuel your exercise.
If you use these tips, you will have plenty of energy to power through your workouts.
Since a plant-based diet will also let you recover quicker, you’ll be able to workout more often as long as you keep these 7 tips in mind.
Plan ahead, eat the proper amount of calories from whole foods and get the right supplements and your body will be ready for anything.