Is it possible to build muscle and gain strength on a vegan bodybuilding diet, or are animal products required in order to optimize your gains?
The reality is this…
Proper muscle building nutrition is really just a numbers game when it all comes down to it, and any diet that allows you to meet your individual daily calorie/macro nutrient/micro nutrient/fiber needs for building muscle will be effective at the end of the day.
Although it may require a bit more planning and research at first, a vegan bodybuilding diet can certainly accomplish that.
Protein: There are plenty of high protein vegan bodybuilding options out there including beans, lentils, tofu, quinoa, tempeh, seitan, chickpeas, nuts, edamame, whole grains, soy milk, amaranth and meat substitutes. These all fit fine into a vegan muscle building diet and provide a significant amount of protein per serving.
If in doubt, you can also add in a vegan protein powder as well, many of which provide just as much protein per scoop as whey. You’ll only require about 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily in order to maximize your gains anyway, so meeting these numbers should be fairly easy even on a plant based bodybuilding diet.
Fats: You can easily add in a few servings of foods like nuts, seeds, avocado and healthy oils to reach my recommended figure of 25% of total calories from fat per day.
Carbohydrates: Obviously no issue here whatsoever as most plant-based foods are high in carb content by default.
So as you can see, a successful vegan muscle building program is certainly doable as long as you plan things out accordingly.
Just make sure that you know what your personal calorie and macro nutrient needs are for building muscle, and then lay out a vegan bodybuilding meal plan that allows you to hit those numbers each day. Simple as that.
Whether you’re doing this for health or ethical reasons, there’s no reason why a vegan bodybuilder can’t gain muscle just as effectively as anyone else.