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Essential Muscle Building Rules for Vegans: What You Need to Eat to Gain Muscle Mass

Bodybuilding, Diet, Fitness, Weight Loss

Essential Muscle Building Rules for Vegans: What You Need to Eat to Gain Muscle Mass


A vegan diet is becoming more popular. In this regard, many athletes have a question: “How to build muscle mass on a vegan diet?” You can achieve bodybuilding success by avoiding animal products. We’ll answer the most popular questions vegan bodybuilders have.

man doing pushups

To begin with, let’s clarify that a vegan diet for muscle growth includes more than sufficient protein intake, calorie control, and fat dosage. This is a definite system in which success depends literally on everything: the frequency of meals, the total amount of proteins, supplements, and vegan BCAAs, the amount of water, the combination of foods, and many other factors.

The result directly depends on how you will manage to organize your nutrition – from the number of meals to the amount of water drunk. Success, in this case, is the result of an integrated approach, and not just the effect of protein, as followers of meat-eating believe. So, what is a vegan diet for building muscles? Let’s take a look at the sports nutritional guidelines for vegans.


How to get enough protein on a vegan diet?

After all, protein can be obtained from both animal and plant foods. In addition, the protein obtained from plant foods is absorbed by the human body much easier. It has undoubted benefits: it does not provoke an increase in cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and the development of cardiovascular diseases.

Plant protein is quite suitable as a building material for cells; in addition, it supplies a balanced amount of amino acids to the body. Protein is found in legumes, nuts, grains, hemp, seeds, rice, fruits, and vegetables.

Hemp protein is especially rich in important muscle-building amino acids. Hemp is a unique plant: 70% of hemp protein is edestin, a protein very similar in composition to proteins in human blood. It assimilates easily and is a godsend for vegan bodybuilders.

Yellow peas, brown rice, and soy are also excellent sources of protein. Don’t overdo it, as excessive consumption can cause allergy.

healthy pancakes

Healthy Calories

It is difficult for vegan bodybuilders to consume enough calories. If you get enough, you can start losing weight.

To make sure you’re getting sufficient calories, you can start consuming vegan bodybuilder diet supplements. You also need to make sure you are eating the right foods.

Healthy protein comes from nuts, quinoa, and some fruits such as raisins and bananas. Peanut butter and almond butter are good snacks, like plant milk smoothies. Soy milk is high in protein. You can also have a snack on high-protein vegan meats. Eat tempeh, tofu, seitan to get enough calories. You can also cook with coconut oil, which will increase the calorie content.

Good Carbohydrates

Don’t be afraid of carbs. They will help you build muscle. However, this does not mean that you should eat unhealthy foods. Stick to low-glycemic carbs such as whole wheat pasta and whole-grain bread. Eat oatmeal for breakfast, and try to add legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, and beans to your vegan diet every day.

Enough Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids help you build muscle and avoid injury. Most bodybuilders get them from fish, but it is possible to get Omega-3s from plant sources; for example, there is more Omega-3 in walnuts than in salmon. Chia seeds, flax seeds, brussels sprouts, wild rice, vegetable oils, vegan milk, and algae oil are also good sources of vegetable Omega-3s.

Eat Less, but More Often

It is important that you have a constant flow of nutrients such as protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates entering your body. Not only does it help keep your body toned and ready for your next workout, but it also helps boost your metabolism and make you burn fat faster.

banana dessert

Keep a Food Diary

Track what you eat, so you know which vegan diet foods and recipes work for you. A food diary helps you determine how many calories and protein you have already consumed so that you can understand what else you need to eat. You can also use a vegan diet meal planner to plan your eating routine for the week.

Vegan Protein Powder & Bars

You can also supplement your diet with high-protein snacks such as vegan protein shakes and bars. It is convenient and can help you if you have no time to cook or consume fewer calories than you need.

Useful Tips for Bodybuilders’ Vegan Diet Plan

  • Forget about artificial, overly processed food and gradually switch to natural: using such food, the body can get strength and energy.
  • Eat fruits for breakfast – they will not only nourish your body with useful substances but also wake it up, stimulating it to take action. And the right start for an athlete is the key to a successful day.
  • Even if you have at least one serving of greens a day in your diet – the amino acids contained in it will greatly promote muscle growth.
  • Avoid fried foods in favor of baked ones – this will significantly help your body and your muscles.
  • If you notice leg cramps during exercise or at night, it means that you lack sodium and potassium. Try to increase the intake of these elements.
  • If you are worried about sleep problems, add zinc and magnesium to your diet to help the body relax after exhausting workouts.

woman weight lifting


Summing up, we would like to advise you to pay attention to the experience of successful vegan athletes. They recommend: be persistent in achieving your goals and boldly move towards them. Develop a set of principles for your training and vegan diet menus and stick to them.

Get into the habit of a healthy vegan diet plan. Organize your life – from workouts to dinners. Only those who set definite goals for themselves achieve success. People who have chosen the path of a vegan athlete always see the goal and persistently go towards it because they know what they want. And we wish you the best of luck with that!

Please share your experience in the comments. Have you tried a vegan keto diet? Tell us about your eating habits.

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