Veganism is becoming popular throughout the world in recent years due to increased awareness of health, environmental, and animal welfare issues. Besides the general public, athletes are also attracted towards vegan diets. While going through this article, you can train your mind with a vegan bodybuilding diet. This article will provide you complete information about food that you should abstain from and that you can consume. There is also a sample 7-day meal plan for your convenience.
Vegan Bodybuilding Diet
A vegan bodybuilding diet is one that is completely free from foods of animal origin. As compared to a traditional vegan diet, a vegan bodybuilding diet has higher protein content. Bodybuilders require foods of higher nutritional content for muscular development. About 0.7-1.0 gram protein per pound of body weight is recommended for optimal muscle growth. 10-20 percent calorie surplus is also essential for gaining good muscle mass. It is an unfortunate fact that plant protein is of lower quality as compared to its animal-based counterpart, so it is also challenging for bodybuilders to plan their diet without affecting muscle growth. Thus, to ensure sufficient muscle growth one has to prepare their diet with recommended protein, calorie, and other essential nutrient content. For this, careful planning is essential.
How To Plan the Diet?
While planning for a vegan diet, you have to be careful in selecting the ingredients. The availability of the required quantity of nutrients in selected foods should be ensured. Before starting the vegan bodybuilding diet, you can go for a 7 days meal plan. While planning, following things should be considered:
Find foods with high protein content
- Bodybuilders require a high amount of protein for their proper muscle growth. So, being a bodybuilder you have to rely on food sources with high protein content. As many vegan proteins do not contain all essential amino acids. So for ensuring the intake of all essential amino acids, one has to consume a wide variety of foods and in higher quantities. For this you can rely on food sources like tofu, seitan, quinoa and many leguminous foods. You can also use vegan protein powder to meet your protein requirement in order to maximize your muscle growth
Ensure the intake of plenty of fluids
- Fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes have high fiber content. Continuous consumption of these types of food may increase your fiber content with certain side effects like bloating, abdominal pain and flatulence. In order to overcome this problem of high fiber intake, you can consume enough water. 1 ml of fluid per calorie is recommended to overcome the problem of high fiber content.
You have to educate yourself
- While following a vegan diet you have to educate yourself. As vegan diets abstain from certain types of food groups, there is high risk of nutritional deficiency. To avoid this, you must have proper knowledge about foods with their key nutrients. For educating yourself, you can rely on several articles related to this subject.
Food source should have enough fat
- In order to fulfill calorie requirements, you should consume a sufficient amount of fat. As compared to carbohydrates and proteins, fats provide twice as much calories. Hence, it is good for muscle development. About 0.5 grams per pound of body weight fat is recommended for daily consumption.
Benefits of a Vegan Diet
Following are the some benefits of the vegan diet.
1. Reduces the risk of heart diseases
Vegan people have significantly lower risk of heart diseases. Vegan diets have less amount of saturated fat and cholesterol that reduces the risk of heart diseases. Besides, vegan diets have higher fiber content that is proven beneficial for the heart. Higher fiber intake is supposed to lower the incidence of stroke and heart diseases.
2. Maintains healthy body weight
Vegan people have significantly lower body mass index as compared to the people with the traditional diet. Vegan diet is also more effective in improving body weight. Vegan diets do not put you on weight. So, this diet is highly effective for bodybuilders.
3. Less risk of cancers
A vegan diet is associated with the reduced risk of various types of cancer. Intake of foods with high fiber content, micronutrients and phytonutrients is beneficial for the body. A higher BMI is associated with an increased risk of cancer. As a vegan diet lowers the BMI, it also reduces the risk of cancer. High intake of processed red meat is also associated with higher risk of colorectal cancer. Abstaining them from your diet will protect you from having such type of cancer.
Disadvantages Of Vegan Bodybuilding Diet
Despite its many benefits, a vegan bodybuilding diet can have the following disadvantages:
- May lead to nutrient deficiency
- Vegan diet is associated with increased risk of nutrient deficiencies. Abstaining animal products from your diet reduces the intake of calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc and vitamin B12 and vitamin D. These various deficiencies can be corrected by using supplements. Vegan omega-3 fatty acids supplements are easily available in the market.
- Risk of higher fiber intake
- Another negative side of vegan diet is that it is associated with higher intake of fiber. Too much consumption of fiber may lead you to the problem of bloating, flatulence and abdominal. The fiber intake is recommended as 25 and 38 grams respectively for women and men which is easily exceeded on a vegan diet.
- Hard to meet protein and calorie requirement
- Vegan diets have high fiber content. However, it has low protein and calorie content. So, without proper planning it is difficult to meet protein and calorie content. This is basically due to the exclusion of animal based products in diet.
What Type Of Food To Eat?
You can include following food in your diet:
1. Quinoa and amaranth
These two are pseudo-grains. These are complete sources of protein.
2. Hemp, flax, sunflower and chia seeds
These are rich sources of proteins and omega-3 fatty acids.
3. Soy products
Soy products include tofu, edamame, soy milk, tempeh and soy protein powder.
4. Calcium-fortified plant milks and yogurt
Vegan diets are often deficient in certain nutrients. These fortified products are a rich source of calcium and vitamin D.
4. Meat substitutes
These meat substitutes are typically derived from soy or pea protein.
5. Beans and legumes
Beans and legumes are a good source of protein and fiber.
6. Nuts and Nut butter
When combined with a complementary protein, they serve as the excellent source of protein. Also, they are also a good source of fat.
Tahini are made from the seeds of sesame. They are a rich source of fat. It also serves as a source of protein.
8. Whole grains and cereals
It is a good source of protein, vitamin B and fiber.
Oats are a popular food source. They have a good amount of protein. It also provides a certain amount of fiber to our body.
10. Sprouted grain breads
They are a good source of proteins and carbohydrates.
11. Fruit and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are an important part of any diet.
12. Nutritional yeast
It is mainly fortified with vitamin B12. It is mostly used in vegan cooking for its savory flavor.
13. Vegan dark chocolate
Vegan dark chocolates have a high amount of antioxidants. It also has a certain amount of vitamins and minerals.
What Type Of Food To Avoid?
Vegan bodybuilding diet prohibit the consumption of following foods:
1. Animal food
A vegan diet prohibits the consumption of animal based foods like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products.
2. Vegan junk food
Candy, ice cream, and some vegan protein bars should be avoided.
3. Mock meats and cheese
They are processed food with additives having lower nutrient content. So, these products should be restricted.
7-Day Meal Plan (Sample)
A sample 7-day meal plan is described below. However, calorie and micronutrient intake varry according to people.
Basically focus on food with high protein content. Oats, vegan protein powder, soy milk, banana and nut butter are good as breakfast.
Lentils, vegan pasta, spinach, onion, beans and celery should be included in your diet.
Teriyaki tempeh with broccoli and quinoa are excellent for dinner.
Enjoy a strawberry-banana protein shake!
You can enjoy burritos made with tofu scramble and vegan tortillas with vegetables.
Lentil loaf, kidney beans, veggies and nutritional yeast can be taken as lunch.
You can have black bean veggie burger with sweet potato fries.
Oatmeal snack bars and peanut butter can be eaten as snacks.
Sprouted grain bread, hemp and sunflower seeds.
Vegan burrito made with rice and beans.
Sweet and sour stir fry made with tofu, rice noodles and vegetables.
Mock tuna salad sandwich
Cacao powder, vegan protein powder, almond milk, Peanut butter
Black bean and quinoa
Kidney beans, tomatoes, red lentils
Pancake high in protein content made with whole grain flour, vegan protein powder
Edamame, Soba noodles
Vegan sloppy joe made with veggies
Burritos with tofu scramble
Quinoa, black bean, Lentils
Black bean veggie burger
Oatmeal made with oats
Bread with sprouted grain
Vegan burrito made from rice and beans.
Tomatoes, Lentils, Soba noodles
As people are becoming more conscious about health, veganism is becoming more popular. Traditional bodybuilding diets are higher in protein content than vegan bodybuilding diets due to incorporation of animal protein in their diet. A vegan diet reduces the risk of cancer, hypertension and several heart related diseases. Despite its manifold advantages, it may lead you to nutrition deficiency. In order to avoid nutrition deficiency, you have to plan properly for your diet. Hopefully this article has been helpful in showing you which foods are best for gaining muscle on a vegan diet. As always, this article should not be considered medical advice. Always consult a medical professional or dietician before making any changes to your diet.