11 High Protein Post-Workout Vegan Meals for Strength Training


High protein post-workout vegan meals are perfect for strength training.

There is a lot of stigma surrounding the vegan diet and protein. But many dieticians, doctors, and athletes maintain that vegan food is the optimum source of protein.

Proteins are amino acids that are essential for our bodies to function properly. It’s not just for muscle: protein is found in bone, skin, hair, and virtually every body part. Protein helps build and repair tissue after exertion, exercise, or injury. This is particularly important to athletes and people who have strenuous jobs or participate in hobbies and sports that are taxing on the body.

A plant-based diet can provide ample protein, even for those of us with extremely active lifestyles. Many vegetables also contain protein as well as other essential vitamins and minerals. For example, broccoli contains more protein per calory than steak, as well as vitamin C and zinc, both of which can boost your immune system and recovery time. Dark green vegetables like kale and spinach are even higher in protein per 100g.

The Best Sources of Vegan Protein

Soy products such as tofu, tempeh, edamame, and even soya milk are high in protein. Fermented soy products such as tempeh are particularly nutritious and promote a healthy gut. Some foods, such as soya milk, are also frequently fortified with iron, B12, and other essentials.

Beans, legumes, and pulses such as lentils, chickpeas, and red kidney beans are all extremely versatile. When combined with grains such as pasta, rice, or quinoa, legumes make a particularly effective, affordable, and simple high-protein meal.

“A 100-gram serving of cooked chickpeas provided 18 percent of the daily value for protein, 30 percent of the daily fiber, 43 percent of the daily folate intake, and 52 percent of the trace mineral manganese,” plant-based cardiologist Dr. Joel Kahn writes for LIVEKINDLY. “They are also rich in resistant starch the provide fuel to intestinal bacteria that produce short-chain fatty acids like butyrate that favor a healthy gut.”

Nuts and seeds are another versatile source of protein. They contain healthy fat and calories, and almonds are a particularly good source for calcium. Poppy seeds are also high in calcium, while chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Vegan meat is increasingly popular with vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters alike. It is, on average, more expensive than whole and other soy-based proteins but can still be a useful replacement for animal products. Seitan, or wheat gluten, is easy to make at home and is high in protein.

Supplements are also popular, and many brands now produce dairy-free protein powders. For those requiring high protein foods to effectively recover from exercise, there are many protein-dense options to choose from.

What’s the best vegan protein for athletes?

Protein for Vegan Athletes

Many athletes are vegan for a combination of health, environmental, and animal welfare benefits. As plant-based lifestyles become more prominent and accessible, many people are now promoting veganism as a way of maximizing both performance and recovery time.

Bodybuilder Abhishek Thevar, aka the Vegan Beast on Instagram, follows a 100 percent plant-based diet. The Bangalorean personal trainer and dance instructor has made it his mission to help others build muscle without eating meat.

Thevar has been a vegetarian since childhood and cut out dairy in 2014 after discovering vegan calisthenics expert Frank Medrano. Thevar has maintained a strict diet throughout his entire weightlifting career.

“It’s a myth that people who are into sports need a lot of protein,” says Thevar. “It’s just a marketing gimmick that has been followed.” He adds: “An athlete needs only 1.2-1.8gms of protein per kg of the body weight, which can be covered in a vegan diet.”

Other prominent vegan athletes include cyclo-cross cyclist Molly Cameron, 5-time Wimbledon winning tennis player Serena Williams, and F1 driver Lewis Hamilton. UK football club Forest Green Rovers is the world’s first all-vegan football team and has been plant-based since 2010.

Vegan protein is the subject of the popular 2019 documentary “The Game Changers.” The film follows elite special forces trainer and martial artist James Wilks as he speaks to other athletes about performance and diet.

Throughout the film, Wilks and other experts question whether meat is really the best form of protein. According to Wilks, athletes are increasingly switching to plant-based food for its many health and nutritional benefits.

He told LIVEKINDLY: “Athletes are in touch with their bodies in a way many ‘regular’ people aren’t. Many of them tell us that they can feel animal foods increasing inflammation and slowing them down.”

11 High Protein Post-Workout Vegan Meals

Ready to get cooking? Here are 11 high-protein vegan meals that are perfect for after the gym.

Spinach is high in protein, vitamin C, and vitamin K. | Yup… It’s Vegan

1. Lentil Spinach Curry With Coconut Rice

This nutritious curry recipe includes coconut rice and 8 ounces of spinach. It’s extremely high in protein as well as essential vitamins and minerals. Healthy, delicious, and nutritious.

Get the recipe here.

This chili recipe is healthy and easy to batch cook. | The Glowing Fridge

2. Healthy Pumpkin Chili

This pumpkin chili is creamy and high in protein. The recipe is simple, affordable, and uses a customizable spice blend to make adjusting the heat and quantity easy.

Get the recipe here.

This quiche is naturally gluten-free. | Minimalist Baker

3. Simple Tofu Quiche

This tofu quiche is made from just 10 ingredients. It’s quick, high protein, and gluten-free thanks to the hash brown crust.

Get the recipe here.

High protein and budget-friendly BBQ bowl. | Elephantastic Vegan

4. BBQ Cous Cous Bowl

Health-conscious protein with this BBQ bowl. The author of this recipe says it includes: “Curried couscous, broccoli, crispy tofu and BBQ sauce. It’s the perfect protein-rich lunch.”

Get the recipe here.

This vegan chickpea frittata is a great alternative to omelet. | Sincerely V

5. Chickpea Frittata

This high-protein, chickpea frittata is a perfect replacement for an egg-based frittata. Swapping eggs for chickpea flour is an easy way to make any omelet-style meal.

Check it out here.

This bean soup is affordable and nutritious. | Hello Veggie

6. Tuscan Bean Soup

Italian-style white bean soup for a budget-friendly, nutritious meal. It’s loaded with greens, vegetables, and herbs. Using pressure-cooked dry beans makes for a tender texture.

Check it out here.

This sweet and sour sauce contains no added sugar. | Healthy Slow Cooking

7. Sweet and Sour Tempeh

This tempeh dish is best served over steamed rice. The minimal sauce is mostly fresh pineapple and crushed ginger – with no added sugar. High in protein and fiber.

Check it out here.

This curry is particularly high in protein when paired with quinoa.

8. Red Lentil Dhal

Red lentils are one of the most affordable plant-based proteins and are both easy to cook and long-lasting. According to this recipe, the meal “can be enjoyed on its own or with rice, quinoa, poppadoms or steamed greens.

Check it out here.

This bowl is a perfect post-workout snack. | Jazz Recipes For Health

9. Sweet Potato Bowl

“This quick vegan breakfast bowl takes me less than 5 minutes to throw together in the morning,” says the author of the recipe. It’s made with sweet potato, raisins, nut butter, blueberries, nuts, and seeds. It’s high in protein and makes a good meal at any time of day.

Check it out here.

This creamy oatmeal is vegan and gluten-free. | image/Eat With Clarity

10. Caramelized Banana Oatmeal

Caramelized banana oatmeal is sweet, creamy, and easy to throw together as breakfast, lunch, or a snack. The recipe is high in protein, potassium, and vitamin B6. It’s also naturally gluten-free.

Check it out here.

Deceptively dessert-like protein balls. | Eat With Clarity

11. Cashew Protein Cake Balls

These cake-batter flavor protein balls are quick and nutritious. “Energy balls are often rich in plant-based protein and fiber,” says the recipe. “Plus, they often have lots of healthy fats to keep you full for longer. They’re the perfect healthy, on-the-go snack!”

Check it out here.

This post was last modified on March 31, 2021 9:29 pm

Liam Pritchett

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Liam Pritchett