Vegan Diet For Better Muscle Growth

Vegan Diet For Better Muscle

It’s always a big question whether we can build muscle by following a vegen diet or not. The answer is yes, but proper planning and choice of food items is crucial. Assuming that a vegan diet couldn’t supply enough nutrients is one of the biggest misconceptions. At this moment we should be thankful to sports people who achieved success even following the vegan lifestyle and have challenged this misconception. A vegan diet has many fold benefits over the non-vegan lifestyle. Vegan diet is associated with significantly lower risk of heart diseases, cancers, high blood pressure and increased longevity. Many researchers have found that a plant based diet due to their high carbohydrate, antioxidant and phytonutrients contents help athletes to improve their performances. Vegan diet do not lower your performance, this is supported by the following facts:

Vegan Diet For Better Muscle Growth

According to the article published in Journal of International society of sports Nutrition, the exercise capacity was found similar among the participants whether they follow vegan or non-vegan lifestyle.

An Australian researcher in his review mentioned that the vegan diet neither improves nor hinders athletic performance.

A Canadian researcher stated that a vegan diet provides even more proteins than the non-vegan lifestyle.

Why Vegan Diet For Better Muscles Growth?

Nutrition has the key role in muscular development. For optimal muscle growth the protein intake should be as high as 0.7 to 1.0 grams per pound of body weight per day. About 10-20% additional calorie is required for proper muscle growth. Long time ago, traditional bodybuilders primarily focused on animal based protein for muscle development. Animal products are a rich source of proteins and plant products have less protein content as compared to animal products. So, vegan people must take much care while choosing the nutrient source. The vegan plant builders diet is high in fruits, vegetables and plant based proteins. It abstains from red meat eggs and dairy products. Most of the vegan people have following foods in their diets.

1. Quinoa and Amaranth: These two pseudocereals act as complete sources of nutrients.

2. Soy and pea Protein: These are used as the substitute of meat products.

3. Nutritional yeast: It is mainly fortified with VitaminB12.

4. Sprouted grains: These act as good sources of proteins and carbohydrates.

5. Whole grains: They are rich in vitamin B and Fiber content.

6. Nuts: They act as a good source of protein when combined with other complementary food.

7. Porridge oats: It is best as breakfast after workout. It consists of about 13 gram proteins per 100 gram diet.

8. Vegetables: Green vegetables are a rich source of vitamin A. They also contain iron and certain other minerals. Most green vegetables contain a lesser amount of proteins. However there are certain protein rich vegetables. The following are the some protein rich vegetables:

9. Artichokes: It consists abou 3.3 gram protein per 100 gram.

10. Asparagus: It has 2.2 gram protein per 100 gram.

11. Cauliflower: It has 1.9 gram protein per 100 gram.

Do vegan Diets For Better Muscle Growth Need Some Supplement?

There is always a risk that a vegan diet may be deficient in certain nutrients. Considering these to avoid the side effects it is good to take certain nutritional supplements. One of the commonly used supplements is vegan protein powder. The use of vegan protein powder assures the fulfillment of required protein. Another commonly used supplement is multivitamin that basically supplies deficient nutrients like calcium, iron, zinc and vitamin B12. Beta alanine is also used as a supplement. 

Also Read: Vegan Keto Diet Plan And Food List

Designing An Effective Vegan Diet 

A basic meal plan is the first and foremost thing for a bodybuilder. You cannot achieve desired growth until and unless you follow a specific diet pattern. Though it’s so simple and easy, you need not to be panicked about this. You have to smoothly follow given pattern for achieving proper growth and development of your body:-

1. Identify your calorie requirement

First you have to find out how much calorie is required for your body. FOr this you have to be familiar with the calorie intake and calorie use in the body.

2. Choose your macronutrients

Proteins, fat and carbohydrates are the major macronutrients. You have to consume a high protein and low fat containing diet and the rest of calorie is supplied from carbohydrates.

3. Decide what to eat

At last you have to decide what to eat and what not to eat.

4. Eat variety of diet to get essential amino acids

About nine amino acids are required for optimum muscle growth in addition to proteins and carbohydrates. Since these amino acids are not produced by the body, they need to be supplied through diet. Amino acids are found in protein rich products, so incorporate a variety of food in your diet to assure the uptake of essential amino acids.

At last you have to decide what to eat and what not to eat.

How Much Protein Is Required For Muscles?

Animal based protein like chicken, beef etc. have higher protein value as compared to their plant based counterpart. In order to compensate for total protein, you have to consume more quantity of plant based proteins. A person weighing 170-pound requires following quantity of proteins. Here is a vegan food list with protein content:-

✓Almonds (2 Tbsp) – 4 g

✓Black beans (1 cup cooked) – 15 g

✓Cottage cheese, 2% (1/2 cup) – 14 g

✓Oats (1/2 cup dry) – 5 g

✓Green peas (1/2 cup frozen) – 4 g

✓Lentils (1/2 cup cooked) – 9 g

✓Pumpkin seeds (2 Tbsp) – 4 g

✓Quinoa (1/3 cup dry) – 8 g

✓Soy nuts (2 Tbsp) – 9 g

✓Tempeh (3 oz) – 20 g

✓Whey protein powder (1 scoop) – 25 g

How To Follow The Vegan Diet?

It requires proper planning for starting the vegan diet for better muscular growth. While following a vegan lifestyle, it is good to plan 5-7 meals a day to make sure that all ingredients are incorporated in proper proportion.

Have Enough Fat In Your Food?

Sufficient calories of fat is required to promote muscle growth. As fats provide twice as much calorie than that of carbohydrates per gram, so incorporation of enough fat in your diet is crucial. 1 gram of fat per kilogram of body weight is generally recommended.

Drink Plenty Of Water?

Diet of a vegan bodybuilder consists of an adequate amount of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes. Also, the fiber intake is also high. Excessive fiber intake may lead to side effects including bloating, flatulence and abdominal pain. To get rid of these problems you have to consume plenty of water. Intake of 1 ml of fluid per calorie is good for health and to get rid of these problems.

Disadvantages Of Vegan Diet For Muscle Growth

Despite its many fold advantages, this too has many downsides. The following are the some downsides of vegan diet:

Following the vegan diet may lead you to nutritional deficiency. By abstaining, the animal product reduces the intake of several nutrients which may lead to severe deficiency.

Vegan diet may lead to the intake of fiber that shows various side effects including abdominal pain, flatulence and bloating.

It is also quite difficult to meet nutritional requirements.

The diet may be highly monotonous due to limited food items.

 Tips For Vegan Bodybuilder

The following are some tips for the vegan bodybuilder.

  • First of all make sure that you get enough calories. The supply of calorie must be on a regular basis.
  • Consume plenty of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables supply high quality nutrients as well as antioxidants and boost up your immune system.
  • Following the vegan diet for better muscle growth you cannot neglect chickpeas and legumes.
  • Quinoa has higher protein content than brown rice and tastes like that of brown rice. So, it is good to swap up rice for some quinoa.
  •   Avoid processed food items.
  • Always vary food items. Continuous consumption of the same food item may be monotonous.
  • Nuts are an excellent source of fuel for the body. They provide a long lasting form of energy.
  • Considering the absence of certain nutrients in your food, use supplements as per requirement.
  • Eat frequently throughout the day. This will help to intake all the requirement nutrients as per requirement.
  • Always be positive and keep working towards your goal.


Following a vegan diet for better muscle growth is increasing day by day throughout the world. The misconception about the vegan diet is slowly changing. Many sports persons following a vegan lifestyle have made great contributions towards this positive change. Plant based food has less protein content as compared to that of animal products. However, this can be overcomed by combining several food items and increasing the frequency of eating in the day. The deficient nutrient can also be obtained through supplements.

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