A Perfect Guide to Vegan Bodybuilding Diet


Vegan diet has become very popular over the years as people, including bodybuilders have come to rely on this eating plan for its numerous health benefits.

This piece of article discloses in-depth reviews of vegan diet for bodybuilding, types of food to embrace and types of food to avoid at all cost.

What Is A Vegan Bodybuilding Diet?

For all the benefits that comes with looking good, bodybuilders engage themselves with intensive strength training in attempt to develop their muscles so as to attain this unique physique.

Nutrition as simple as it sounds has a major role to play when it comes to developing muscles. It is widely recognized that for full muscle development, the protein intake of an individual should be at the body weight of 1.6 to 2.2 grams per kg. (1)

For developing more muscle mass, calorie surplus of 10 to 20% can also be beneficial, especially to those who aren’t new to workouts. (1)

A typical bodybuilding diet consist of a lot more animal foods, this is as a result of it being a legit source for calorie and protein.

On the other hand, a vegan bodybuilding diet is a plant-based diet (2). This makes it challenging for bodybuilders who rely on vegan diet as its protein is of lower quality compared to that of the animal-based diet. This can also affect the development of muscle (34).

In fixing this, it requires careful planning to ensure proper intake of calories, protein and other required micronutrients lacking in a vegan diet.

How to Execute a Vegan Diet

It requires quality time and effort in planning a vegan diet so as to ensure proper and complete meal consumption.

A vegan bodybuilding diet consist of a variety of staple foods.

In executing a vegan bodybuilding diet, it is very beneficial to structure out a 5 to 7 days meal plan to make sure you are fortified with all the required ingredients. This is as a result of the many vast items required in vegan recipes.


Have More of High Protein Plant-based Foods

It is important to note that enough protein is required to ensure effective muscle building. Therefore it is important to include more of high protein plant-based foods in a vegan bodybuilding diet.

Take into consideration the fact that a variety of these vegan protein sources usually don’t have all the needed amino acids present, a variety of these foods have to be consumed in higher amounts so as to meet up with these needs.

Implementing high protein plant-based foods into your diet, the likes of legumes, seitan, quinoa and tofu, has the capability of speeding up your chances of muscle gain.


Consume Enough Fat

The intake of adequate amount of fat leaves you with enough calories required to enhance muscle gain. Fat is known to provide two times the amount of calories carbs and protein produce per a gram.
The overall recommendation for fat consumption for an off-season bodybuilder is known to be 1 gram per kg (0.5 grams per a pound) daily (1).

For a bodybuilder who weighs 170 pounds, this sums up to around 80 grams of fat a day.

Tracking your macronutrients intake – fat, protein and carbs, within the first few weeks may be of an advantage to you when journeying through vegan bodybuilding diet, as this helps you ensure your needs are being met.

Drink Enough Fluids

A vegan diet features more of fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains, which in turn results to high fiber intake.

Abdominal pain, bloating and excessive flatulence are all side effects of excessive fiber intake (5).

To escape the side effects gotten from excessive fiber intake, one has to drink enough water. 1ml of fluid at a minimum per a calorie will be an ideal start (6).

A perfect example will be if you are used to eating a 2,000-calorie diet, your liquid consumption should be 68 ounces (2,000 ml) of liquid. It will be wise to take into consideration that your need for water consumption may vary when exercising.

Education is Key

Educate yourself as to knowing which of these vegan foods provide the key nutrients required to stay healthy, this is as a result of being limited to a variety of foods by the vegan diet which in turn exposes you to some certain key nutrient deficiencies.

The good news is that, vegan diet being popular has brought about useful educational resources that can help place you on the right path.


The Benefits of Vegan Bodybuilding Diet

You’ll be amazed as to the numerous health benefits of the vegan diet.

It Reduces the Risk of Having Heart disease

A research showed that individuals who follow vegan diets are at a lower risk of having heart disease (7).

The reduction of saturated cholesterol and fat intake plus high fiber consumption alongside other plant nutrients, may be partly responsible for the reduced risk of having heart disease.

People involved with the vegan diet naturally do have lower blood pressure compare to the rest of the population (7).

In addition, vegan bodybuilding diet consist of mostly vegetables and fruits, which possesses dietary fiber in good quantity. Good amount of fiber consumption has been related to reducing heart disease alongside stroke incidence (8).

It Can Help You Achieve Healthy Body Weight

Compared to those involved with traditional Western diet, individuals on a vegan diet tend to have a lower BMI (Body Mass Index), it helps with reducing a variety of several factors associated with diseases (7).

Unraveled in a 16-week study on the effects of vegan diet which involved 75 individuals with excess body mass, the vegan diet was more effective  at improving insulin resistance markers, body weight and fat mass compared to other regulated diet (9).

It May Prevent Certain Cancers

The vegan diet has been associated with reducing the risk of different types of cancer (10).

This is likely as a result of increased consumption of vegetables, legumes and fruits in a vegan diet which in turn yields to increased fiber, phytonutrient and micronutrient consumption (11).

Excessive body mass index is one of the major risk factors for some types of cancer, the vegan diet is known to facilitate the reduction in body mass index (12).

In addition, much soy intake can help reduce the risk of having breast cancer in women (13).

Following a vegan diet restricts you to consuming a variety of processed foods, the likes of red meat which is associated with increasing the risk of colorectal cancer (14).

Disadvantages of the Vegan Bodybuilding Diet

Sadly, the highly praised vegan bodybuilding diet with all its different health benefits also have downsides to put into consideration.

Nutrient Deficiencies

This is the main disadvantage of the vegan bodybuilding diet. The long term absence of animal products from an individual’s diet significantly reduces some essential nutrient intake, primarily the likes of omega-3s, vitamins B12 and D, calcium, zinc and iron (7).

One may have to rely on supplements as substitutes to ensure adequate consumption of these essential nutrients.

Nutrition education has a major role to play when embarking on a vegan diet, as these nutrients are being gotten from well prepared vegan foods.

High Fiber Intake Complications

A moderate amount of fiber consumption is considered healthy while excess consumption of fiber is considered to be risky, as this can lead to digestive complications such as abdominal pain, bloating and excessive flatulence (5).

The ideal quantity of dietary fiber consumption is 14 grams per 1k calories which sums up to 25 grams for a woman and 38 grams for a man. On a vegan diet, this quantity can be exceeded with ease (15).

Consuming fiber at a really large amount can result to less appetite. To some this might be an advantage, same time to some people, if the required amount of calorie intake is neglected, this could hinder bodybuilding progress (16) (17).

Can Be Challenging Meeting Up With Require Protein and Calorie Intake

The vegan bodybuilding diet being mostly made up of nutrient-dense, high fiber foods, without well-thought planning, it might be a problem meeting up with the required amount of calories and protein.

Obviously the vegan diet has lesser amount of calories compared to the traditional diets, this is as a result of excluding other animal-based foods which are rich in calories.

This can be corrected by including healthy fats to your foods, also normalize eating cooked vegetables as this lets you consume more volume as compared to eating raw ones.

Foods to Get Married to

A typical vegan bodybuilding diet is usually made up of the below listed foods.

Amaranth and Quinoa – Theses pseudograins are known to be legit sources of protein.

Soy Products – Examples of these foods are edamame, soy powder, tofu and tempeh.

Chia Seeds, Hemp, Sunflower and Flax – This is a good plug for omega-3s and protein.

Legumes and Beans – These are all very good sources for fiber and protein.

Spirulina – Alongside several minerals and vitamins, it serves as a vault for protein.

Meat Substitutes – Usually these substitutes are made with pea or soy protein, they are made to feel and look like real meat.

Calcium-prepared Plant Yogurts and Milk – These products provide daily requirements of vitamin D and calcium.

Tahini – Gotten from sesame seeds, it contains good amount of fat and a small amount of protein.

Oats – Oats I general serves as a good source of protein and fiber.

Nutritional Yeast – This is a great source for vitamin B12, it best known for its savory flavor.

Whole Grains and Cereals – These foods serves as banks for fiber, B vitamins and protein.

Sprouted Grain Breads – These could be your go-to for complex carbs and protein.

Butters and Nuts – These are healthy fat reserves.

Fruits and Vegetables – This is at the top of the food chain for a vegan diet.

Healthy Oils – These are the likes of hempseed, avocado oil and olive oil. They possess healthy fats and omega-3s.

Foods to Divorce

Vegan Junk Food – The likes of candy and ice cream should be avoided because they are high in processed calories and sugar.

Animal Foods – The likes of dairy, poultry, eggs, fish and meat should also be avoided.

Cheese and Mock Meats – These foods may be high in additives as they tend to be processed.
In general, avoid foods that might not be vegan friendly, the likes of some deep-fried foods, dark chocolates, breads, potato chips, candy, etc. These products may be made out of animal derived ingredients.

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