Building muscle on a vegan diet can be daunting at first. “But we can’t eat meat!” “What about our protein intake?” “Plant-based foods don’t help gain muscle.” Wrong, wrong, wrong. Here is how (and why) bodybuilders can go vegan to reach their goals.
WHAT CONSTITUTES A VEGAN DIET FOR BODYBUILDING?
When it comes to bodybuilding, nutrition is one of the most important elements one needs to be mindful of. It takes careful planning to program an adequate meal plan that will not only help your body and muscles grow but also achieve all the essential nutrients it requires.
As a vegan, the latter could be tough. With animal-based products struck clean off of your list, it is often considered risky to go on this diet without the right amount of protein entering your body. But that is no longer a given and you can check out our list of plant-based protein-rich foods to assure that: https://yogahealthexpo.com/10-best-vegan-protein-sources/.
Here is how one can transition to a proper plant-based vegan diet that will aid their bodybuilding goals:
- STOCK UP ON STAPLES: The vegan diet consists of many staples that are necessary to lay the foundation for a good meal plan. Including foods highly rich in proteins, make sure to consume plenty of those rich in fibers, antioxidants, and other important minerals which form the basis of your muscle gain. Legumes, beans, green leafy vegetables, and other such must-haves can be found here: https://yogahealthexpo.com/7-calcium-rich-foods-that-arent-dairy/.
- TRACK YOUR INTAKE: Now that you have laid down the basis of your vegan meals, get into the habit of tracking your nutrient intake. It is important to understand what your body might be lacking in the long run, so make sure to eat mindfully and consume the right amount of nutrients on daily basis. Monitoring will help you assess if this diet is well-suited for your body as a lifestyle.
- SAY YES TO SUPPLEMENTS: As a vegan, meeting certain nutrient requirements will be dependent on external supplements. Creatine, known as the most essential (and one of the healthiest!) supplements for bodybuilders, shall easily be part of your diet. Caffeine for a pre-workout energy boost, beta-alanine for improving exercise performance, and soy protein for tapping your protein quota are other essentials that shall aid your vegan journey.
- WORK OUT: Fitness is all about two aspects – food and exercise. While you have the food section organized, working out as a vegan bodybuilder takes another route. While sadly there are no vegan-specific workouts, it is a green light for you to personalize your regimes as per your comfort. Adjust your training frequencies to four times a week, use heavy or light weights, take rests of two minutes between workouts, and switch between different regimes. But remember, a plant-based diet will never hold you back from reaching your goals.
- KEEP LEARNING: As beneficial as veganism can be for bodybuilding, there is more room for concrete discussion on the subject. For optimal results, one should keep acquiring new knowledge on their vegan meal plans and through consistent efforts, incorporate more or less of the diet into their lifestyle as required. Remember: there is no one suit that fits all.
BENEFITS OF GOING VEGAN AS A BODYBUILDER
- Promotes Better Gut Health: Studies have shown that people who eat vegan carry a better amount of healthy bacteria in their gut – thus promoting an overall healthier digestive health. Good gut health has also been associated with better mental health and the risk of fewer brain-related disorders.
- Allows Easy Weight Management: The exclusion of animal-based products makes the vegan diet low in fat and a calorie which makes it easier for bodybuilders to maintain their required body weight in the long haul.
- Reduces Risk of Heart Diseases: Veganism has long been associated with protecting the heart and reducing the risk of heart-related issues. For a bodybuilder who is constantly pushing their limits and is at high risk of strokes and heart failure, going vegan can be great reassurance for healthy heart health.
Established in Vancouver, Canada, the Yoga Health Expo 2022 will be a one-day festival celebrating the joys of good well-being through a holistic approach to the Yogic way of life including Yoga, Veganism, and Vegetarianism in our lifestyle. The celebration shall welcome famous yoga teachers Vancouver, interactive yoga classes Vancouver and a platform for vegan products and vegan food Vancouver.
For more information on our upcoming International Yoga Festival & Health Expo, please visit: https://yogahealthexpo.com/
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