According to the people over at Men’s Fitness the principles of building muscle are the same if you’re vegan or not: after a workout, eat protein; balance your meals with fat, protein and carbs; and eat fewer carbohydrates at night.
Good news for anyone who wants to get ripped and follow a vegan diet.
It turns out, it’s really not that difficult and more and more findings are showing that actually – if you’re loading up on protein it doesn’t even matter whether it’s coming from plants or animals, if you’re getting it, it’s all good.
Hell, just look at the growing number of vegan athletes – a list which features professional NFL players, weightlifters, sprinters, UFC fighters… it can be done.
It seems like a plant-based diet might quickly be becoming the new ‘best’ diet for anyone with an athletic lifestyle, and with publications like Men’s Fitness talking about it, plant-based diets are only set to become more popular.
So, what do you need to do to gain muscle on a vegan diet?
First and foremost, you’ll want basic proteins.
Meat is not the only source for this, but the big ones now are beans and legumes (such as chickpeas, lentils and black beans), tofu and the huge variety of vegan meats now available. Variety is key. Mix it up and also note that protein is in pretty much everything from broccoli to nuts.
Just eat more.
If you’re working out a lot, you’re going to be hungrier and hungry more often. Getting an intake of a wide variety of foods is better, and if you’re looking for protein powder on top of the regular diet there are plenty of plant-based protein powders now.
They are good. Honestly. The lentils and chickpeas in your diet may have the same protein as the chicken and beef before them, but these guys are also loaded with carbs. But it’s fine, carbs are actually good for you. Foods like cakes, cookies and croissants provide less nutrients, but that was always the case whether you are eating plant-based or not. Like most basic dietary things, the source of the food is often just as important as the nutrition you get from it.
Get your B12.
In almost every article ever written on veganism, in almost every documentary made, everything tells you to just add one main supplement to your diet: B12. You want to add more? That’s cool too. Iron, calcium, vitamin D, DHA and EPA. All good things to supplement if you’re concerned about your vitamin and mineral intake. A lot of it is really just adapting to your own body anyway, something you need to do even if you’re not vegan.
Go for simple foods.
If you were trying to get jacked and ate meat, you’d do the same. Simple easy to make meals with solid planning. Doing it vegan is no different, so just go with that. A bit of planning is part of any training. A vegan meal doesn’t have to be complex: a few vegetables and some rice and maybe some beans thrown together in one way or another will do the job. But if you want to be fancy, go nuts.
It might seem scary at first , training whilst on a new diet, but if you just relax a little and focus on eating filly nutritious food, it will get easier over time. Listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry.
The products are out there, the support is out there, the evidence is there. So if you want to get jacked, go get jacked and do it plant-based!