Disclaimer: After watching the documentary film Gamechangers and monitoring my nutrition and diet over the previous 12 months, I decided to prioritise plant-based/vegan meal options. I am not vegan 100% of the time. However, I currently prioritise vegan meals in my diet.
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In this article, I’m sharing my approach to consuming a vegan diet in a bodybuilding lifestyle.
Towards the end of 2019, I decided to prioritise plant-based meals in my nutrition. Something that made sense to me is if I can get all of my macronutrients from plants that are unprocessed, I should be able to consume enough to fuel my body so I can achieve my bodybuilding goals.
I was confident about this because 12 months prior, I started to track what I consumed using a food and calorie tracker (Not vegan). Getting carbohydrates and natural fats from plants was easy. It was getting the protein requirements from plants that seemed to be the challenge.
However, if you know the nutrients in the food that you consume, then you can plan what to consume so that you will get the right amount of macronutrients into your system.
If you plan to build muscle, you want to aim to consume around 1.6-2g of protein per kilogram of your body’s weight.
Currently, I am 82kg. So I should consume 131.2-164g of protein per day.
Where can vegans get their protein from?
I’ve shared a table below with the macronutrients.
|Chia seeds (20g)||0.5g||4.1g||6.1g|
|Jasmine rice (200g)||160.4g||14g||2.0g|
|Peanut butter (20g)||4.4g||5g||10.3g|
|Almond milk (100g)||0.3g||0.5g||1.5g|
|Sesame seeds (20g)||4.7g||3.5g||9.9g|
|Pine nuts (30g)||3.9g||4.1g||20.5g|
|Kidney beans (100g)||12.9g||7.8g||0.5g|
How can you boost your protein intake on a vegan diet?
When bodybuilding, it is always ideal to get your protein from non-processed sources. However, using supplements will always make things more convenient.
You can opt for Optimum Nutrition’s plant-based protein, which provides 24g of protein per serving. However, there are only 19 scoops per package, so it is something that you will need to factor into your nutrition costs.
Isopure is another option.
What are some things that you should consider with a vegan diet?
You will need to take supplements that can help you improve your protein intake.
Alot of the food tends to be more calorie dense compared to when consuming meats. There’s several meats that have little to no carbs. Whereas with a vegan diet, there will be carbs in everything that you consume.
You will need to increase your food size portion to feel full.
I typically aim to consume a meal that weighs between 400-600g per serving.
Splitting your macros into thirds should work. You should be able to consume meals such as:
- 100g Oats
- 30g chia seeds
- 150g Almond milk
- 20g peanut butter
This should provide approximately 20g of protein.
- 200g rice
- 100g Edamame
- 200g lentils
This should provide 39.3g of protein.
- 200g rice
- 200g beans
- 200g of spinach
That meal would provide 33g of protein.
The three main meals add up to 92.3g of protein.
You can top up with snacks in between and supplements, which should allow you to hit your protein macros for the day.
What do you think about a vegan diet for bodybuilding?
Let us know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.