Absolutely, yes – vegan protein is good for building muscle. There are hundreds of millions of vegetarians and vegans in our world. Some have come to a plant-based lifestyle because of religion, some because of health reasons and many others because they feel that it is intrinsically wrong to harm living beings in order to eat.
Although some people still ask if it is possible to stay full and energized without consuming animal products, much of the world has come to realize that there are many ways to fuel the body with plants alone. Besides fruits and vegetables, vegans and vegetarians have a plethora of grains (like amaranth, quinoa and rice), nuts, seeds (like pumpkin and sunflower seeds), beans and legumes and much more to choose from. But what about building muscle? Is it possible for vegans to build strong, lean muscles eating plant protein alone?
Scientifically speaking, the answer is yes. Eating meat is simply not necessary for building strength and muscle mass. The reason is simple: whole plant foods are amazing sources of protein. What comes as a surprise to some people is that the amino acid profile of plant protein is just as good as that of meat. And unlike meat, plants are also rich in fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and phytonutrients that help the body ward off illness. By eating a varied diet of fresh whole plants, you will get all of the amino acids necessary to build lean, strong muscle.
And it’s not just everyday people that can gain muscle and thrive on plant protein. If you are training as a bodybuilder, veganism and vegetarianism are still options for you – in fact, there are more vegan and vegetarian bodybuilders than ever before, and numbers continue to rise as people learn the health dangers of eating too much animal protein. If you are looking to build mass while you train, simply up the amount of plant protein you are eating (for example, about one gram of protein per pound of your bodyweight) and make sure you get it from varied sources. Of course, this is more protein than an average person needs, but will work well for individuals training to gain mass.
In our fast-food society, people often overdose on animal meat and animal by-products, which are heavy in saturated fat and bad cholesterol. Not only is this type of meat-heavy diet bad for maintaining a healthy weight, but studies show that an excess of animal protein can lead to kidney damage, the onset of gout and increased risk for a multitude of chronic diseases. In contrast, eating a diet rich in plant protein doesn’t come at such a high cost.
Whatever your goals are – whether just to add more protein to your plant-based diet or to supplement your intense training regimen – plant protein powders are an eco-friendly, cruelty-free and easy way to make sure that you get the amount of protein that your body needs.
Try mixing Sprout Living’s Epic Protein or Simple Protein into smoothies, yogurt, sauces, oatmeal and salads, or simply mix it with water to add a naturally delicious punch of raw vegan protein to your day.
Photo Credit: jonathanklein.net
- Shannon Clark, BodyBuilding.Com, “No-Meat Muscle: 4 Rules For Building Lean Mass On A Vegetarian Diet,” http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/no-meat-muscle-4-rules-for-building-mass-on-vegetarian-diet.html
- Derek Tresize, Breaking Muscle, “How to Build Muscle Mass on a Plant-Based Diet,” http://breakingmuscle.com/nutrition/how-to-build-muscle-mass-on-a-plant-based-diet
- Julieana Hever, VegNews, “3 Myths About Protein and a Plant-Based Diet,” http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?catId=7&pageId=4753