5 Tips for vegans to gain muscle
It’s no secret that vegan diets are low in protein but high in fiber: Animal products are common sources of protein, and vegetables are high in the fiber that animal products lack. While these factors make a vegan diet well-suited to losing weight, they’re not so advantageous when it comes to building muscle.
If you’re transitioning your diet to veganism, you may have noticed consistently decreasing energy or muscle mass. This is likely due to a lack of protein in your plant-based diet. Vegans also consume less fat than omnivores, which can reduce muscle strength and density.1 So does that mean vegans can’t build muscle? Of course not! Here’s how to gain muscle as a vegan without sacrificing your health or your diet.
1. Learn about which plants provide protein
Beans, lentils, and grains are fantastic sources of plant-based protein. There are also vegan protein powders and supplements that you can use to augment your nutritional intake.2 Your protein needs will probably be higher at the beginning of your muscle building process, so make sure you’re consuming enough.
2. Plan ahead to stay on schedule
Planning your meals in advance will help keep you on track to meet your goals. Make sure to consider your necessary calorie intake, your protein needs, and plants with proteins that are easy to absorb. Don’t forget to make account for some variation! Even vegans can get tired of lentils.
3. Stick with the plan
Once you’ve set a meal plan and an exercise regimen, strive to maintain it. Hard work and discipline are the route to progress. Cheating on your meal plan isn’t going to strengthen your muscles anytime soon.
Staying healthy, the vegan way
Gaining muscle on a vegan diet might require a little more thought and effort than gaining muscle for omnivores, but it’s not impossible. With careful meal planning and a healthy amount of plant based proteins, you’ll be bulking up in no time.
It is also crucial to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need to support your exercise routine. Don’t be afraid of natural supplements if you suspect you’re developing vitamin deficiencies.
Vegans shouldn’t have to miss out on getting the perfect summer body just because of their diet. Fortunately, they don’t have to. Visit our site to learn more about veganism and find an answer to the age old question: are vegans healthier than vegetarians?
1 Jack Norris, RD. Vegan Weightlifting: What Does the Science Say?, The Vegetarian Resource Group.
2 David Rogerson Vegan diets: practical advice for athletes and exercisers, Academy of Sport and Physical Activity, Sheffield Hallam University | NCBI.
NOTE: The Jack Norris, RD, The Vegetarian Resource Group, Sheffield Hallam University, and National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, have not reviewed or approved the above article.