How to build muscles on a vegan diet

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Peter Minkoff

Peter is a gay lifestyle writer at Queer Voices and The Queerness magazine. Follow Peter on Twitter for more tips.
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Since the most famous source of protein is meat, people often wonder how somebody who is on a vegan diet can actually build muscles and look fit. Of course, it might be a bit more challenging at first, because you require a lot more food without including meat, but it’s far from impossible.

With that in mind, here’s how you can build muscles on a vegan diet.

Stay balanced

To build muscle, you need a good balance of fats, carbs, and proteins. For example, potatoes are a good source of complex carbs, as they can provide you with the energy you need to work out.

Next, you can choose nuts and avocado as your sources of fat, and they can boost the health of your heart.

Finally, there are proteins, and you can get them from lentils, beans and chickpeas, which can help sate your appetite.

Eat the rainbow

Fruits and veggies have so many benefits, and they are low in calories, which means that you can enjoy them as much as you like. All the vitamins you can get from them can improve your immune system, and they are very important for good exercise results.

From veggies like carrots and spinach to fruits like bananas and apples, it’s safe to say that you really are spoiled for choice.

Consider supplementing your diet

Sometimes, getting enough protein can be a bit difficult. You might want to consider taking organic hemp food products as a supplement, such as those from Hemple or Dutch Natural Healing. It can help you reach your goal faster, and it can help you adjust your diet better. Hemp also has the benefit of giving you omega oils that you’d normally get from certain kinds of fish.

Moreover, vegans also need to take B12 supplements, as B12 comes from animal sources and not eating animal-based products can make it really hard to get enough of this vitamin. Sublingual forms of B12 are best for the over-the-counter forms, although you can also get patches which are even better (but harder to find).

Finally, a protein shake or bar is always a handy thing to have, especially during your workout sessions. These can help fill you and provide the right materials for muscle building.

Time it well

It’s not just about how much protein you eat but also about how you arrange those grams throughout your day. Some studies have shown that there’s only a certain amount of protein that your body can absorb in one sitting. So, try to get about 0.4 grams of protein per 1kg of your body weight, per meal. In other words, divide your daily intake of protein into three or four meals, so your body can absorb it properly.

Feeding times

Speaking of timing, you should eat regularly and not just once or twice a day, no matter how busy you might be.

By eating three or four times every day, you’ll have more energy, and your body will be able to function much more efficiently. So, make sure to eat before and after your workout sessions, as those meals are the most important when it comes to gaining muscle.

Get more calories

Last but not least, the simplest but one of the most important tips – eat more. In order to build muscle, you need to eat more calories than your body can burn through your daily activities, including workouts. Therefore, make sure that you’re eating enough quality food, and don’t forget to drink plenty of water as well. Staying hydrated will prevent protein breakdown, so make sure to always have a water bottle with you.

Gaining muscle on a vegan diet might be a bit more challenging, but that challenge can be easily overcome if you pay attention to the kind of food you eat and ensure that you are actually providing your body with enough calories.

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