build muscle with a vegan diet

How to Build Muscle on a Vegan Diet: Tips for vegans who want to increase muscle mass

Personal trainers need to be able to offer a bespoke service to all their clients. With veganism becoming more popular than ever, a smart PT knows they must adapt their knowledge so they can support and help someone who has certain dietary requirements.

So how would you help someone increase their muscle mass without using the stereotypical animal-protein focused diet?

This article discusses how a vegan can achieve maximum muscle gains without the need to consume any animal products. This information can be applied to everyone who is interested in gaining muscle through a vegan diet.

vegan fitness

Tips for getting enough protein in your vegan meals

When it comes to nutrition, it’s necessary to get all your macronutrients in order to achieve your fitness goals. Everyone needs protein, however, if you are trying to increase muscle mass or you’re bodybuilding then this is paramount. Protein is an important nutrient for your body. It is used for maintaining muscle, bone mass, preventing fatigue and helps keep the immune system strong.

Don’t think mass muscle and a vegan diet is an impossible partnership. It is certainly harder to get the same amount of protein in your diet, but certainly not impossible. It simply needs a good understanding and plenty of dedication.

The main objective is to focus on a balanced diet. Although a lack of meat and dairy products may limit you slightly, there are still plenty of foods out there rich in protein.

The Strong Vegan 

As a personal trainer, it’s all about helping your client achieve what they want to. We know that if someone is interested in bodybuilding or gaining extra muscle mass that a protein rich diet is important.
So how can we ensure our clients achieve this with a vegan diet?

Contrary to what people think; it’s possible to obtain these amino acids in order to build muscle with a well-balanced diet that excludes all animal products.

Some vegetarians can consume food like eggs and milk; those are very efficient high-protein foods. However, vegans can’t consume them, this is why it’s important to find other protein sources that will help you achieve your muscle goals.

These foods are a great starting point to include in a vegan’s protein focused diet:
• Quinoa
• Nuts and seeds
• Beans, lentils and legumes
• Tofu
• Soy
• Brown rice

Finding The Right Protein Powder For Vegans

Having a well-balanced diet is necessary to build lean muscle mass. For example someone who weighs 80kg would have to consume 176g of protein daily to get results. That’s a lot of meal preparation!
Protein powder is one simple way to help you get 20g of protein in one shake.

Protein supplements are a way of ensuring your body is getting enough protein. The main problem is that most rely on whey protein which is made from milk so not suited for vegans.

Vegans would have to take a look at:

Plant Protein
Soy Protein
Brown Rice Protein

Remember that supplements are recommended, not required in order to get results. It will simply help you get your protein intake more easily.

There are plenty to choose from but here’s 3 products that are worth checking out:

Ka’Chava (Chocolate, Vanilla)
Nutrition: 200 calories, 24 g protein
Protein base: vegan protein blend, omega-3 fiber blend, super-fruit blend, adaptogen herb blend, super-greens blend, digestive enzymes, and probiotics.

This shake is absolutely delicious. The best part of Ka’Chava is that it’s very thick in consistency, which makes you feel like you’re drinking a big rich smoothie without actually having to make one, and it actually keeps you full for several hours. With 24g of protein per serving it’s a great option.

Sprout Living Epic Vegan Protein powder Original
Nutrition: 120 calories, 26g protein, raw, gluten-, nut-, and soy-free
Protein base: brown rice, pea, sacha inchi, and cranberry seed protein.

This newly reformulated version of the original protein powder includes a sizeable increase in the grams of protein, along with better taste and consistency. Try blending EPIC Original Protein with a banana, nondairy milk, and any other fruit you’d like for a refreshingly light and frothy meal replacement—it’s especially perfect for a breakfast on the go.

Yuve Vegan Protein Powder with Chia Seeds
Nutrition: 146 calories, 21g protein, gluten- and GMO-free
Protein base: rice protein, pea protein.

This new vegan protein shake, serves as an extremely nutritious and equally delicious meal replacement packed with various super-food, digestive, and green blends. Mixed with a simple nondairy milk, this shake is smooth and decadent and even comes formulated with whole chia seeds in the blend to chomp on.

Healthy vegan recipes

We are lucky enough to have access to plenty of food blogs and dietary info at our fingertips. Just a simple search on Pinterest and you’ll find lots of great vegan recipes that can offer you a balanced and varied diet.

These will give you plenty of ideas, however, remember your fitness goals! If the focus is on building lean muscle, don’t get carried away with fatty vegan recipes. You need to make sure the recipes you include in your diet offer you the protein you want.

Key takeaways for a muscle building vegan diet:

You can build lean muscle mass while being vegan.
Protein is necessary if you want to build muscle.
Eating fruits and vegetables is not enough, consume dense foods!
It’s recommended to take a protein powder.
As a vegan, you should have a well-balanced diet.
Watch out for micronutrients deficiencies!
Multivitamin supplement can be useful.
Your exercise regime should be exactly the same as someone who eats meat.


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