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Is it possible to pump up if you are a vegetarian or vegan
Is it possible to pump up if you are a vegetarian or vegan

Read to the end, and you will stop doubting it.

Is it possible to pump up if you are a vegetarian or vegan
Is it possible to pump up if you are a vegetarian or vegan

What it takes to build muscle

To increase muscle mass, you need:

  • engage in strength training;
  • give the body enough rest;
  • eat properly.

The first two points are the same for everyone - the training and rest of omnivores, vegetarians and vegans are no different from each other. A detailed analysis of the regime and the necessary exercises can be found in the articles below:

When it comes to nutrition, avoiding meat or all animal products at all can make the task more difficult. But with the right approach, this will not be a hindrance either.

What Problems Vegetarians and Vegans May Have

The main problems of those who have given up meat or all animal products in general lie in the field of nutrition. A plant-based diet is often associated with deficiencies:

  • Total calories … Vegans consume 602 calories less than omnivores, and vegetarians consume 263 calories. It is good for weight loss, but can inhibit muscle building.
  • Food protein - the main building material of muscles. Avoiding meat reduces protein intake by an average of 17%, and from any animal products by 27%.
  • Leucine - amino acids, especially important for muscle building. Plant sources contain only 6–8% of this substance, while in animals it is 8–11%.
  • Creatine - carboxylic acid, most of which is contained in muscles and is involved in energy metabolism. Due to its lack, muscles do not work as efficiently, which makes it difficult to give all the best in training and provide sufficient stimulus for growth.
  • Vitamin D and zinc required for high levels of free testosterone, a male sex hormone that promotes muscle growth.

Also, a plant-based diet is often associated with vitamin B12 deficiency, but it has no direct effect on muscle growth, and its deficiency is not associated with exercise.

How to eat to build muscle

Below we will look at how to solve basic nutritional problems and accelerate muscle growth with a plant-based diet.

Increase your calorie intake

To build muscle, calorie intake must be about 15% higher than calorie expenditure. You can do without an increase, but in any case, the calorie content of the diet should be in balance with energy costs.

This can be a problem as the high fiber content in vegan diets quickly leads to satiety. Therefore, focusing on hunger is not the best option.

First, calculate your calorie intake using the Mifflin-Geor formula:

For men: 5 + (10 × weight [kg]) + (6, 25 × height [cm]) - (5 × age [years]) × 1.55 (adjustment for training 3 times a week).

For women: ((10 × weight [kg]) + (6.25 × height [cm]) - (5 × age [years]) - 161) × 1.55 (adjusted for training 3 times a week).

Then, evaluate your daily diet and calculate whether you are consuming enough calories. If the numbers don't agree, use several strategies:

  • Eat more often … Add snacks between meals.
  • Choose high-calorie foods. Lean on nuts, seeds and dried fruits, season salads and dishes with vegetable oils.
  • Make protein shakes and smoothies made from milk (can be substituted for almond or coconut), seeds, nuts, cereals, bananas and berries. This shake is high in calories and protein and is much quicker and easier to drink than eating a plate of vegetables.

Add more protein

Protein is essential for building muscle. Moreover, it is not only its quantity that matters, but also the source of receipt. The fact is that plant food contains anti-nutritional substances - trypsin inhibitors and phytic acid, which interfere with the absorption of protein and beneficial trace elements.

Therefore, in the absence of meat in the diet, it is especially important to monitor the sufficient intake of high-protein foods and count the amount of this macronutrient.

Jordan David is a bodybuilder, trainer, and founder of the Conscious Muscle vegan diet and exercise website.

Kendrick Farris is a weightlifter who represented the United States at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.

David Haye is a heavyweight boxer.

Give your strength training and keep an eye on your diet and you can build your ideal body.