As a vegan, building muscles and gaining strength may seem like a daunting task, especially if you are starting out. Most forums and resources that educate fitness enthusiasts and athletes emphasize animal proteins such as lean beef, lamb, chicken, eggs, fish, milk, and liver oil. While these meal items offer the ideal nutrients for growing lean muscles, you can find similar benefits in a myriad of plant-based options. From CBD-infused superfoods to vegan protein shakes and organic supplements, all you need to build muscles and strength is the right ingredients, recipes, and approaches. Even one of the most prolific bodybuilders of all time, 6 x Mr Olympia Dorian Yates, now follows a plant-based diet. Here is a brief look at five tips vegans can easily follow for increased strength and lean muscles.
1. Understand your vegan diet restrictions and limitations
While a myriad of plant-based food items can replace natural animal protein, fats, and carbs, the vegan diet has a few drawbacks. To avoid deficiencies and not to miss out on essential nutrition, you should have a comprehensive understanding of your vegan diet. This includes knowing what nutrients are available in abundance and how you can maximize your intake of scarce micronutrients.
You can look up the animal proteins that offer the best results and find plant-based alternatives. Once you know the limitations and restrictions of your vegan diet, it becomes much easier to find the essential nutrients you need to incorporate in your regimen. It also allows you to identify the supplements you need to take.
2. Eat a wide variety of plant foods
If you want to build lean muscles and gain strength, you should optimize your nutrient intake. Make sure you are getting a wide variety of different food options. Regular eaters can get protein from lean beef, but it does not make sense to take beef for a whole month when there are other alternatives like chicken, fish, and eggs.
Similarly, the vegan diet has plenty of alternatives for every micronutrient. Take vitamin E, for instance. You can get it from broccoli, butternut, squash, and several other plant foods. Eating a wide variety of plant foods allows you to absorb more nutrients from your diet, thus reducing the need for supplementation.
3. Establish a muscle-building workout routine
While nutrition is a crucial part of building lean muscles and gaining strength, we cannot oversight the importance of regular workout. Physical exercise allows you to burn extra calories and fat. It also keeps you fit, improves blood circulation and heart rate, regulates metabolism, relieves body tension, and promotes the synthesis of more cells and tissues. If you intend to grow bigger muscles, you must establish a workout routine that optimizes muscle generation.
According to experts, different workouts target different muscle groups. Weight lifting and bench press, for instance, can help you grow bigger chest and arm muscles. Planks, sit-ups, and leg raise, on the other hand, tighten and build your core and abs. An effective workout routine will significantly improve your results, especially when you combine it with proper nutrition. This means you should identify the best vegan options for pre and post-workout. You can also improve your workout performance with anabolic steroids or oral testosterone boosters. Establishing a Dianabol cycle is one approach you can take to get the most from your workouts.
4. Consume more calories and nutrients
To build muscle, you must consume more calories from protein, carbs, and oils. The caloric deficit does not work for muscle gain. There are various ways to optimize your calorie and nutrient intake. Consider vegan protein powders such as pea protein, hemp protein, brown rice, pumpkin seed, and sunflower seeds, among others. You should also take complex carbs like potatoes, corn, and brown rice. For fats, stick to unsaturated fats from vegetable oil, avocado, seeds, and nuts. You can also take mineral and vitamin supplements to increase your intake of essential micronutrients.
5. Get sufficient rest and recovery
Rest and recovery are essential for any workout and fitness goal. Muscles, tissues, and cells grow during rest. This is also the time when all the heavy work you put in the gym comes to play. Your body repairs muscles and relieves tension from your sore muscles at night. Therefore, you should get high-quality night sleep as well as occasional naps. If you work out regularly, make sure you take some breaks between your training sessions to allow recovery and growth. According to studies, you need at least 7 hours of quality good night sleep. You should also break away from your workout routine at least once a week.
There are various other ways to optimize your vegan diet and lifestyle for muscle growth and strength. The goal is to choose highly nutritious protein-rich plant foods. You should also compliment your nutrition with healthy lifestyle habits. Integrate regular exercise, drink a lot of water, get enough sleep, avoid stress and drug abuse, among other things. This will create a supportive environment for muscle growth and overall fitness. More importantly, learn what nutrients and workouts suit muscle growth and find ways to integrate these into your vegan lifestyle.