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Yes, You Can Follow a Vegan Diet and Still Build Muscle

Build Muscle on a Vegan DietMore and more people are turning to a vegan diet for their own health, as well as the health of the planet. The old misconception that you can’t build muscle while following a plant-based diet is finally going away, especially as more individuals, including bodybuilders and athletes, are proving that you can get amazing results on a vegan eating plan.

Getting the Right Amount of Protein

You really don’t need to worry about becoming protein deficient if you’re following a vegan diet. Also, according to Popular Science, people think they need more protein than their bodies actually require.

For example, the recommended dietary allowance in the U.S. is 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of your body weight. That is easy to get, whether you are vegan or not. But, if you want to build muscle, you can go higher with your protein intake, going up to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

Focus on Amino Acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Getting enough of them in your diet can help your body build muscle, so rather than just focusing solely on protein, consider eating foods and taking supplements that are rich in amino acids like lysine and leucine. Food sources of leucine include nutritious options like spirulina, seaweed, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, tofu, and soy isolates, so you don’t have to rely on supplements to get these amino acids either.

Also, you don’t need to worry about pairing amino acids in the same meal. Just eat healthy throughout the day. Your body will take care of the rest. That old belief that you need to get the right mix of amino acids in a single sitting has long been debunked.

Variety Is the Spice of Life, and of a Vegan Diet

The great thing about a vegan diet is that it is packed with variety, and you will likely be introduced to a host of delicious foods that you may never have considered before. If you want to build muscle, take advantage of this variety by eating meat substitutes like tempeh, jackfruit, and seitan, as well as classics like beans and whole grains.

You might consider getting roughly half of your protein from various beans and legumes, along with another 25% of it from seeds and nuts, and another 25% from myriad grains. Doing so will help ensure that you are giving your body all of the amino acids necessary to build muscle and stay strong.

Vegan protein shakes, burgers, sausages, cheeses, desserts, and much more are also now readily available, so you don’t have to feel deprived, but you don’t want your entire diet to consist of those processed foods, so be sure to establish a healthy balance, just as you would with any other diet.

Following a vegan diet can help you improve your overall health, as well as assist you when it comes to increasing muscle mass and boosting stamina. Give it a try, but don’t be a junk food vegan. Instead, focus on eating whole food ingredients in meals that are natural, filling, and energizing, while also sticking to an effective, consistent workout routine that includes a combination of cardio and strength training.

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