People that want to build muscle but are also strict vegans often get asked “but if you don’t eat meat, how do you get enough protein?”.
Well, the good news is that if you ARE a vegan and you DO want to build muscle, it IS possible. But first, you need to understand the basics of building muscle. Let’s take a look:
Building Muscle with Exercise
In order to encourage muscle growth, you should be training with weights. This is also referred to as “resistance training”. Weight training boosts the growth of your muscles by making small tears in your muscle fibres when you push your muscles further than usual.
Repairing Muscle After Exercise
After training, your muscles need recovery time and sufficient nutrients to repair. The small tears you have made in your muscular fibres fuse together to build new muscular strands in your body. It is vital that your body receives enough proteins to aid this repair and to allow the proteins to be delivered to all recovering cells.
The Importance of Protein
Proteins are made up of building blocks known as amino acids, and it is with these blocks that your body can begin to repair damaged tissues, specifically in this case, torn muscles. Amino acids play a crucial role in maintaining, fixing and also building muscle.
Sources of Protein for a Vegan
Whereas most meat eaters will opt for lots of eggs, chicken and steak for their main sources of protein, a vegan can choose other (just as nutritious) ones!
Instead of getting your plant-based protein indirectly through your meat, you can go directly to the source. High amounts of protein can be found in lentils, nuts,beans, seeds,peas, and soy…and that’s just the start of the vast list.
The great thing about these types of food is not only that they are vegan-friendly, but they are also filled with fibre (therefore helping you digest every mouthful!) and packed full of antioxidants which are great for supporting the immune system, and hold other fantastic health benefits.
If you’re unsure about going vegan because you feel like you will be depriving yourself of so many foods, then check out a load of online recipes to get inspiration and soon you’ll have some great meals that not only taste good, but are helping you build muscle too!