There is no way that you can get big muscles and physically strong on a vegan diet!

Well just ask, Jim Morris, Billy Simmonds, Denise Nicole or Patrick Baboumian to name but a few. They are all bodybuilders with numerous competitive titles.

bodybuilding on a vegan diet

We are used to hearing this all the time from meat-eating friends. We say you can in fact get bigger and stronger on a vegan diet. There is no doubt in our minds that a vegan diet is healthy and that we can get everything that our bodies need for an intense lifestyle by choosing food correctly. BUT, a vegan lifestyle is like a diet – planning is required.

The number one concern being a vegetarian or being a vegan is where you get protein. Some vegans that I have met make the mistake of thinking that you do not need much protein at all. Of course, not all people are in a position to give nutritional advice and we have to be much more sensible than that.

Let’s start with some nutritional and dietary basics, regardless or inclusive of your lifestyle choice.

We all need to load up on healthy sources of fat. Without enough fat in your diet, your skin will dry up, your energy will plummet, and you will look like you need more sleep. Getting 20-30% of your calories from fat is a good way to go. Load up on healthy fats such as: flaxseed oil, olive oil, almonds, walnuts, almond butter, and avocadoes. Also, vegan diets are free of all saturated fats, which is great for the most part. However, some saturated fat is required for optimal health, so get some coconut oil or coconut milk into your diet as well.

Make sure that you eat a variety of food to get a full array of healthy and muscle building amino acids. Some examples of good combinations include: black beans, lentils and brown rice, almond milk, green peas and almonds. Have some veggie burgers and other alternative meat products from time to time, but make sure that the majority of your diet comes from fresh organic food.

While it is true that protein is an extremely important nutrient to have in your diet, it’s not true that you necessarily need copious amounts of it to make physical progress. There are plenty of ways for vegetarians and vegans to build the muscle they are after despite the fact that they aren’t consuming any meat products.

With that in mind, here are some tips that vegetarian bodybuilders need to know.

The very first thing you must do as a vegetarian bodybuilder is make sure that you get enough calories.

Second, be sure that you are taking in plenty of fruits and vegetables. These are going to supply you with a high quality source of nutrients as well as all the antioxidant protection to keep your immune system feeling strong.

For vegetarians looking to build muscle, one of the key sources of protein they need to be looking into are chickpeas and other legumes. These will also be a good low-fat source of carbohydrates as well and make for a great snack before a hard workout.

If you’re in the habit of always eating brown rice with your meals, swap that up for some quinoa instead. Quinoa tastes much like brown rice (a combination of brown rice and oatmeal) and is higher in overall protein content than brown rice. On top of that, quinoa is actually a complete source of protein, whereas brown rice is not. This is important for the process of muscle building to take place.

Fifth, it’s a good move to make use of vegetarian, vegan or egg white protein powders. These will dramatically help to boost your protein intake and are quick and convenient for when you need them. As long as you do make sure to mix them up with other sources of protein, they are definitely a ‘must-have’ for your daily diet. Check out Sunwarrior products.

One big mistake that many vegetarians make is relying a great deal on heavy, overly processed foods. Don’t do this. Remember, being vegetarian doesn’t mean you get free range to eat as many high-carb snack foods as you want. You have to be eating healthy and eating a fresh diet that contains whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

Also be sure that you’re taking the time to vary your foods in your diet as well. As a vegetarian you may find that it’s easy to gravitate to the same foods over and over and over again. Try to prevent this if you can. By making sure to take in a higher variety you will prevent nutrient deficiencies and have better luck with your diet program.

Another protein source that’s highly beneficial for vegetarians is tempeh. This one is one that is often overlooked so start finding creative ways to add it to your diet today. Many people find they prefer this over tofu, which is the other main vegetarian option.

One thing that you may want to consider, and this will highly be based on your personal beliefs, is going lacto-ovo vegetarian. What this means is that you will include both egg and dairy products in your diet. This will dramatically boost your protein options since then you can include egg and egg whites, cottage cheese, yogurt, cheese, and milk. It will definitely make your life as a vegetarian bodybuilder easier.

Another great food that you’ll want to take in are nuts. Nuts provide a healthy source of fat and will provide a long-lasting form of energy as well. One handful will significantly boost your calorie intake and help make muscle gain that much easier.

For your essential fatty acids, since you likely won’t be consuming fatty fish or fish oil, turn to flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, and walnuts. These will have to be your primary sources for this must-have nutrient.

Another good way to boost your fat content is to start smearing natural almond butter on as many foods as you can in your diet. This will also help to boost your overall calorie intake as well, which is obviously important when aiming to build muscle. Smear some almond butter over your bananas, apples, mix it into oatmeal, or add it to any fruit smoothies you may be preparing.

One nutrient that you may fall short in without eating any red meat is iron. Since iron is responsible for good red blood cell development, it’s not one you want to risk being low in. If you do, you’re going to find you’re fatiguing a lot faster in your workouts as well. If you plan on carrying out a vegetarian diet for the long term, consider adding an iron supplement to your day or juicing green vegetables and wheatgrass, which are excellent sources of iron.

Two other vegetables that you’ll definitely want to think about adding in higher quantities as well are broccoli and spinach. These both will contain nice doses of calcium, which is another nutrient you may fall short in. In addition to both of these, also think about using a calcium supplement.

So be sure that you’re keeping all of these tips in mind. More and more people are turning to this style of eating and it definitely does not mean you need to give up on your fitness and muscle building goals.

network fitness clubs

We offer programmes that can increase your size or simply improve your overall shape and tone up. We have skilled trainers who are very experienced in getting your great results. Gordon And Martin, Network Fitness Clubs founders, have over 20 years experience within the fitness arena: They bring their knowledge into your experience.