Vegetarians, vegans, and other people who don’t eat meat can build muscle just as much as meat eaters. In fact, some studies have even shown that vegetarians have a lower risk of becoming obese than those who eat animal products.
Vegetarian and vegan bodybuilders follow a strict vegan bodybuilding diet that’s low in fat and high in protein. Generally speaking, to build muscle you need about 25 percent of your calories from protein.
Before you start reading about the best vegetarian bodybuilding foods, let’s take a look at some common myths surrounding this diet: Many people believe that eating a lot of protein will help them build more muscle mass.
This is not always the case; too much protein can be hard on our kidneys and cause disease if we eat it every day.
But also make sure you get enough vitamin B12 to prevent problems with brain function and nerve cells as our brains need these beneficial nutrients for proper functioning.
What is a High Protein Vegetarian Diet?
Proteins are the building blocks of our bodies, muscles, and other tissues. Our body needs protein to grow and repair tissue and get energy. Vegetarians and vegans don’t get enough protein in their diets so they recommend a high-protein vegetarian diet.
This means you consume high amounts of beans, legumes, seeds, and soy products. The recommended amount of protein is 10-35% of your total calories. This can be broken down into protein grams per meal.
To properly manage your protein and nutrient intake, be sure to create a proper meal plan that contains sufficient protein for your goals whether that is for muscle building, weight loss, or you just want to eat fewer carbs in your vegan diet.
What is a good amount of protein for muscle building?
Muscle is built through a process called protein synthesis. The body uses amino acids to build new proteins. The body can only use 21 essential amino acids for building new proteins. The American Dietetic Association recommends 0.8-1 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
When working out, you should be looking at 1.5-2 grams of protein per pound of body weight to maximize muscle growth.
To maximize your protein consumption and daily protein intake, you can use one of the many recommended vegan protein powder products on the market.
What’s the best vegetarian bodybuilding food?
This really depends on the person. If you’re a vegan who isn’t getting enough protein from your diet, you should eat vegetarian bodybuilding high-protein foods like whole grains, tofu, tempeh, and beans. If you’re eating a high-protein vegetarian diet, you should eat a variety of low-fat, high-protein plant-based foods.
How much protein you eat in your vegan diet can be completely different depending on your goals. Vegan diets are often already more difficult as you have fewer protein sources to choose from and low-carb diets can be difficult to maintain without a properly outlined meal plan.
Dried Beans and Lentils
These legumes are a well-known protein-rich food and are very easy to prepare. They are a good source of fiber and potassium. Legumes are low in saturated fat and are a good source of protein and iron. Black beans, butter beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, red beans, and lentils are rich in protein.
An easy way to get these into your vegan diet is by adding them into something like a vegan sloppy joe, throw some vegan chili on top and you got yourself a great meal.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts are a great source of healthy fats and protein. They are high in monounsaturated fatty acids that help lower cholesterol levels in the body. Seeds are rich in minerals, vitamins, and proteins. They come in different varieties like almonds, cashews, pistachio, flax seeds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, and more. You can also add Chia Seeds to pretty much anything you like.
Just be sure to keep track of your daily caloric intake when eating nuts.
Tofu and Tempeh
Tofu and Tempeh are great for a low-carb diet. These soy products are rich in protein. They are also a good source of minerals and vitamins. You can make tofu at home or buy it pre-made in the refrigerator section of your grocery store. You can also buy soy milk and tofu in the frozen section of your store. You can make tempeh at home or buy it in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. It is a fermented soy product that has high levels of protein.
You’ll often find tofu as the most common vegan food that acts as one of the meat substitutes for vegans and vegetarians.
Baked Goods and Cereal
Some people think that eating a high protein vegetarian diet means eating only beans. But whole grain products like whole-grain bread, cereals, and vegan pasta provide carbohydrates as well as protein. These foods should be eaten together with beans and legumes as they are also rich in fiber.
Baked goods can be a great easy snack for you to nibble on. Make yourself some oatmeal snack bars mixed with some plant-based protein powder and you got yourself a delicious snack that will help keep your calorie intake on track.
A high-protein vegetarian diet can be very beneficial for bodybuilders and people who are looking to gain muscle. It is important to eat a variety of high-protein foods in order to get all the essential amino acids needed for muscle growth. Beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are all great sources of protein. Be sure to eat a variety of these foods in order to get all the nutrients your body needs.
When following a high protein vegetarian diet, be sure to:
- Eat a variety of high-protein foods
- Focus on getting all the essential amino acids
- Drink plenty of water
- Supplement with a vegan protein powder if needed
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables for vitamins and minerals
If you are looking for ways to increase your protein intake, here are some recipes for high-protein vegan foods:
- Black Bean Brownies
- Quinoa Salad with Edamame
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger
- Lentil soup
- Vegan Pad Thai
- Spicy Chickpea Curry
- Vegan Burrito Bowl