However, protein is not a magic pill that will allow you to suddenly wake up shredded.
Building your muscles requires you to exercise longer, more frequently, and with greater intensity than you normally do.
Studies show that once you start doing this, then you should increase your protein intake as much as 1.8-2.0 g · kg/day to promote fat loss, prevent the loss of lean muscle, and build more muscle mass.
2. Look Into The Protein Quality Of Your Food
Proteins are made up of 20 different kinds of amino acids that determine the function of the protein in your body.
Nine of these amino acids are considered essential, this means that your body cannot make it and thus it must come from food or supplements.
When it comes to the foods you eat, it’s important to be aware of the protein quality that your vegan diet incorporates.
To make sure that you’re performing at your best, take in a combination of different proteins from multiple sources in your diet.
Plant-based protein foods like soy products, grains, nuts, and seeds are just a few of many vegan-friendly protein options you can incorporate into your diet.
Complete proteins contain all 20 types of amino acids that the body needs to make new protein in your body and build muscle.
Incomplete proteins, on the other hand, lack either one or more of the essential 9 proteins that your body is not able to create on its own.
Fats are categorized in three ways: saturated, unsaturated, and trans fats. Here’s a quick breakdown:
Saturated Fats: generally unhealthy fats found in foods like red meat and whole dairy; saturated fats should be limited to 5% or 6% of your daily caloric intake
Unsaturated Fats: good for you, and your heart; unsaturated fats mainly come from nuts, vegetables, and fish, and should make up between 5% and 10% of your daily calories
Trans Fats: most trans fats come from processing food to make it last longer and taste better, but they’re not good for you; you should take in as little trans fats as possible and limit them to no more than 1% of your daily caloric intake
Consider keeping a nutrition journal to keep track of the foods you eat and their nutritional values to assess your current diet and see more success throughout your fitness journey.
4. Load Up On Complex Carbs
Like fats, carbohydrates often get dismissed as entirely bad for you even though your body needs them to function.
Most foods, even healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, legumes, and milk, contain carbohydrates naturally.
You can load up on complex carbs (carbs that consist of multiple, bonded sugar units) like starch and fiber to provide the energy that your body needs to control your weight and build muscle.
And you should, because carbohydrates are the only macronutrient that your body is capable of breaking down rapidly during the intense exercises required to bulk up.
Also, high-quality complex carbohydrate-rich foods like potatoes have been proven to enhance your physical performance and your after-workout recovery.
5. Don’t Forget To Hydrate
Did you know that it only takes a loss of 2% of your body’s water content to negatively impact your athletic abilities by up to 25%?
And yet, most athletes underestimate their sweat losses and how much fluid they need to replace said losses.
In addition to maximizing your physical performance, proper hydration prevents cell shrinkage and damage that can prevent your muscles from growing.
When you don’t drink enough water, your cells lose their ability to contract, making exercising more difficult and eventually leading to muscle degradation.
For adults aged 19 years and older, the International Organization of Medicine recommends 95 ounces of water a day for women and 131 ounces of water for men including food and drinks.
This is the equivalent of 9 cups of water for women and about 13 cups for men. Remember to drink an additional 1.5 to 2.5 cups of water per hour that you exercise, each day.
You can make huge muscle gains without sacrificing your vegan diet.
Bodybuilders, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts alike have all found ways to maintain their vegan lifestyles while rising to the top of their fields, and you can too.
By dedicating a few moments of your time thinking about and planning your vegan diet, you’ll be well on your way towards getting ripped and fit.
Sample Meal Plan For 1 Day
Breakfast: coconut yogurt with walnuts, chia seeds, and berries
Snack: kale chips
Lunch: Brussel sprouts, baked potato, and lentil chili
Snack: celery with almond butter
Dinner: cauliflower and chickpea tacos with pico de gallo and guacamole
Snack: trail mix
Drinks: water, soymilk, juice
Now that you’ve got your nutrition figured out, head over to Dumbbells Review for everything you need to know about the equipment and exercises you’ll need to get your muscles totally shredded.
About The Author
We are a team of nutritional experts and vegan activists, who work 24/7 to bring you accurate, well-researched information that will empower you to make the right choices. Whether you are looking for in-depth nutritional advice, latest stories, or a mouthwatering recipe - this is the place!