How To Build Muscle On A Vegan Diet (Based On Science!)

How To Build Muscle On A Vegan Diet (Based On Science!)

You've decided to follow a vegan diet, and you also want to build bigger muscles. You'll encounter lots of people that say the two things can't exist together. They'll claim that the nature of a vegan diet makes it harder for you to build muscle. Don't pay attention to any of that as it is simply false!

To start, building muscle requires a fitness routine. If you're a complete beginner, Muscle & Fitness has a good 4-week routine you can start with. Once you have that side of things sorted, you should focus on your diet. Here are some tips to help you build muscle as a vegan:

Use a combination of different protein sources

Ultimately, protein is the big muscle-building nutrient. The muscles in your body are actually made from protein, hence why you need it. A common issue with vegan diets is a lack of protein because there's no meat or dairy. Obviously, you still get protein from things like beans, lentils, bread, nuts, and even some vegetables. Make sure you eat a combination of different protein sources to have the best effect. 

Why? Because many of these sources don't provide a complete protein. Effectively, this means it has a complete amino acid profile, benefiting muscle growth. Thankfully, when you combine plant sources, you get the complete profile and don't miss out on anything from a meat-eating diet. 

Aim to eat a gram of protein per pound of body weight

Now that you've identified what foods to eat, you must understand how much protein to aim for. Realistically, a gram per pound of body weight is the best approach. Some people up this to two grams, but that's if you seriously want to pack on muscle or are a professional athlete. 

Right away, some of you may worry that this is an unrealistic target for your vegan diet. In which case, you can very easily add supplements to the equation. Places like have plant-based protein shakes you can add to your diet. Consume them after working out or between meals to boost your protein intake. If you reach your target through your meals alone, you won't need a supplement. 

Don't forget to eat carbs

Carbohydrates are essential if you want protein to actually work and do its job. This is the fuel that helps muscles build and get stronger. Thankfully, the vegan diet is so good at adding carbs to your diet. You probably eat a lot of pasta and rice, so make sure you have these with almost every meal. Remember, there's a difference between good carbs and bad carbs – bad ones are packed full of sugar and don't provide health benefits. So, eating two chocolate bars with your meal won't help you build muscle! 

All in all, building muscle on a vegan diet isn't any different from doing it on a traditional diet. You just have to think a bit harder about the foods you eat. Thankfully, as this diet has become more popular, you can find loads of brilliant vegan recipes to try out. In turn, this makes your life a lot easier.