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How To Build Muscle on a Vegan Diet

On December 7, 2016
By Anis

It is a common perception that it is hard to build muscles or body in a vegan or vegetarian diet. But this is not true. Though there is a lack of animal protein available for consumption for vegans or vegetarians. It is most certainly possible to build muscles. Plant based proteins and other essential nutrients and vitamins and natural fats are far healthier than meaty ones. The fats found in plants are also much healthier as they contain more good cholesterol and are in such small quantities that they help distribute weight evenly. Animal fats increase bad cholesterol and are linked to heart attacks.

It is protein that builds muscle NOT meat

Protein is a building block and contains essential amino acids. The human body uses proteins to repair tissues and help build them over time.  Apart from building body, it is also helpful in the building of skin, cartilage, bones and blood. It must be noted that animal protein isn’t the only source and several plant-based protein can get you in great shape.

Though meat is higher in protein it is also comes with a risk. The natural fats present in meat can make you beef up and not distribute weight evenly and you might end up being flabby instead of muscular and lean. It also increases the risk of heart attack and accumulated bad cholesterol.

The fat contents in plant-based protein are far healthier. It increases good cholesterol and helps in the even distribution of weight.

How Much Protein?

For every pound there should be about 0.7 to 1 gram of protein that is to be consumed. Only this will increase and help body build.

A Goal That Is Realizable

Animal proteins or plant based proteins? The body doesn’t distinguish between the two. But it is common to mistake that vegans and vegetarians have thin, lanky, scrawny build and this is not true. Muscle building comes from exercising and lots of protein intake. Vegan food or vegetarian food is very healthy and they can get you an excellent physique.

About a year ago, a man who followed the Vegan diet proved that vegans are capable of being exceptionally strong by hoisting an impressive, 1,212.54 pounds over three yards (32.8 feet to be exact).

Because protein is the key ingredient needed for maintaining muscular strength and gaining it weight trainers and bodybuilders need to consume lots of protein to feed muscle the nutrition for it to become stronger and grow in size. Following a vegan or a vegetarian diet will not hinder or hamper your muscle development.

Break Up Meals

Instead of eating large chunks of meals it is more advisable to break the meals into smaller meals that can be consumed through out the day. This will reduce the energy loss and will maintain even weight distribution. It will also increase stamina. Fats and carbohydrates are required for this purpose. It is important to consume carbohydrates, protein and fats in the quantity of 40 to 30 to 30. This will accelerate muscle building.

Vegan Protein Rich Foods

It is a wise choice to incorporate these vegan or vegetarian alternatives in your diet to build muscles and body. They are protein rich and are extremely healthy.

Nuts and Nut Butters

Nuts are rich sources and are quick energy givers. They help one to build muscles easily. They are tasty and can be eaten as snacks or incorporated in salads and regular dishes. The oils from nuts and the butters made from nuts are also rich sources of protein and other essential ingredients. These can be used in sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, toasts and other dishes. They can also be substituted to regular oil. Nuts can cause allergic reactions to several people thought so be careful before you pop nuts in your mouth and ensure you aren’t allergic to them. For those who aren’t allergic to nuts, they serve as healthy packs of protein for bodybuilding. Cashew nuts, peanuts, hazelnuts walnuts, pistachios and almonds are all good sources of protein. There are so many kinds of nuts for you to choose from and this will help you stay fit and boost your immunity.


Beans such as black-eyed pea, navy beans, pinto beans, black beans, and kidney beans along with lentils and legumes and pulses are extremely rich in protein and are healthier because they have a lower fat content than animal proteins. Other sources of beans include winged beans, hummus, garbanzo beans and chickpeas.

Beans are rich in iron, magnesium, protein and potassium. These help in general upkeep and wellbeing. They increase stamina and muscle development. Fibers present in beans increase digestion and helps in better immunity.

Tempeh and Tofu

Tempeh is a soy product and it is kind of like cheese. Tempeh is a rich source of protein. It also contains natural healthy fats and several key nutrients like magnesium, iron, vitamin A and B12. 100 grams of tempeh contains almost about 20 grams of protein thus making it an excellent source of food for bodybuilding. You can eat it in salads or sandwiches and you are good to go. Tofu or bean curd is also excellent source of protein with 100 grams of tofu containing about 10 grams of protein.

It is a lesser-known fact that these protein alternates have the same nutrient content as some red meat such as beef. Thus they can be extensively incorporated into a vegetarian or a vegan’s diet.


Quinoas are grains that contain potassium, iron and lots of protein. 100 grams of quinoa contains up to 14 grams of protein. It is also rich in magnesium and eight other amino acids that will help in bodybuilding. It is a rich source of carbohydrate with little fat and contains lots of calcium too. Quinoa is also available in several varieties and can be eaten in salads and regular foods. They also give loads of energy to help one sustain throughout the day.

Greek Yogurt

Yogurt is light, refreshing and extremely healthy. 5 ounces of non-fat or low fat Greek yogurt or hung curd contains up to 18 grams of proteins, it also rich in calcium and riboflavin, which helps in building muscle. Thus it is an ideal incorporation to those who want to build their body.


Soybeans, lentil sprouts, legumes, pulses, leafy green vegetables and soybean sprouts are also enriched with lots of proteins that help build the body and contain several key nutrients like vitamins, minerals, potassium, antioxidants and fiber.

Including items such as corn, green peas, spinach, broccoli, kale, lima beans, sun-dried tomatoes, cowpeas, Brussels sprouts, kidney beans, artichokes, asparagus, mushrooms and cauliflower in your diet can help you obtain proteins and essential vitamins and minerals easily.

Proteins are key to building muscles and you will now notice that several vegetables and fruits are rich in proteins and this in turn will enable you to develop muscles and be an addition in exercising. Therefore it is possible to develop muscles by eradicating animal products and meat from your diet.



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