Sometimes, people who follow a vegan diet think they can’t build muscle because they don’t eat meat. However, you can still get enough protein for muscle building when you eat a diet based totally on plant foods. A vegan diet is one that doesn’t include any foods from animal sources. If you’re a vegan who’s interested in gaining body mass, here are some basic guidelines for bodybuilding.
Eat More Protein Based Foods
One of the main ways to build muscle is to eat more foods that contain dense protein. These include foods such as nuts, beans, whole grains and seeds. Just be sure you avoid artificial meat products and other processed foods.
You’ll need to include these foods into every meal and snack. For example, instead of just eating cereal or bread, add peanut butter, which is a legume and source of protein.
Consume Sufficient Amounts of Essential Vitamins and Minerals
People on vegan diets need to be sure they get enough essential vitamins and minerals that can be lacking when meat is absent from a diet. Therefore, taking vitamin supplements is important. There are three primary vitamins and minerals that are derived from animal sources that are crucial for building muscles. They include:
• Vitamin B12—Because plants, fungi and animals can’t produce this vitamin, it’s imperative that you take B12 vitamin supplements.
• Calcium—This mineral helps your muscles contract and keeps your bones strong. Besides orange juice, calcium-rich foods are those including kale, broccoli and spinach.
• Iodine—You need iodine to keep your thyroid healthy. Iodine also helps with maintaining your metabolic rate. Two ideal sources of iodine include iodized salt and seaweed.
Consider Your Body Weight
You’re probably wondering how much protein you’ll need to eat. According to WebMD, eat about 0.75 grams of protein for each pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 200, you’ll need to consume roughly 150 grams of protein.
If you eat three meals, this would be roughly 50 grams of protein per meal. Of course, this is considerably more than an average person needs, but if you want to build muscle through intense body training, you’ll need to eat more protein.
Considerations and Warnings
• Instead of eating three big meals a day, eat six to eight smaller meals such as three main meals, along with three to four snacks. It’s best to eat about every two hours and only consume nutritious foods.
• Drink a protein shake within an hour after you’ve completed a workout as your body craves nutrients following intense exercise.
• Consuming an adequate amount of water is critical for anyone undergoing a bodybuilding program. Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day to ensure you’re hydrated.
Don’t start a bodybuilding program without knowing what to eat or what to do. If your diet isn’t right, it could be causing you to feel fatigued or affect your gains. In other words, your diet can either help or hurt your bodybuilding goals, in addition to affecting your health. If you have any questions or concerns regarding vegan bodybuilding, don’t hesitate to consult a professional bodybuilder.
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