Fitness Focus: Is It Possible to Build Muscle on a Vegan Diet?

Photo by Victoria Shes on Unsplash

Bodybuilding Benefits of Meat

Building muscle takes more than lifting weights. Although working out is a vital component, rest is also important, providing tired, damaged muscles with an opportunity to heal from the stresses they experience during exercise.

Stereotypes Surrounding Veganism

The association between veganism and a skinny, weak physique is practically universal. We have been conditioned to believe that we must eat lots of animal protein in order to build muscle. This simply is not true. Take for example man’s evolutionary cousin, the gorilla. Gorillas are herbivores, yet a fully grown silverback has the strength of 20 humans, enabling it to lift up to 4,000 lbs.; up to 27 times its own bodyweight.

Vegan Bodybuilders

Raised by Argentinian Hare Krishna parents, bodybuilder Nimai Delago has never eaten meat. Delago explains that he grew up 95 percent vegan, with the exception of dairy products.

Building Muscle on a Vegan Diet

Building muscle on a plant-based diet requires significant dietary and lifestyle changes. Weight trainers need to eat protein, and contrary to popular belief, it is possible to get enough without eating meat. From beans and lentils to soy-based foods, many plant-based foods are rich in protein.

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Douglas Healy

Douglas Healy

Douglas Healy is a Springfield, Missouri-based attorney with nearly 20 years of legal experience.