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Build Muscle On A Vegetarian Diet

Oh! So you doubt the statement written above. Trust me, it is possible to build muscle without consuming meat, fish or poultry. All you have to do is follow a well-planned vegetarian diet that contains a variety of plant-based protein foods. Basically, if you are not a meat eater, then it is important to add an overall range of vegetarian products, which are rich in muscle building nutrients such as soy products, grains, legumes, nuts to your diet.

Come, have a look at the food options to eat to get the body you desire…

Pumping Up The Protein

When you are on a muscle building program that too on a vegetarian diet, the simplest way to build your muscles is by increasing 500 calories every day. Remember, it is protein that builds muscles. Also, it is important to eat good quality protein to get it easily digested. It is very important to maintain an adequate amount of protein in the diet.

For a hard trainer, it is one gram per pound bodyweight. This is definitely much higher as compared to an average individual, but if you want to gain mass through intense training, then this is the exact ratio you should maintain.

Swap water with protein shakes. Take 40g of protein in all the five meals, which makes 200g of protein every day. Plant-based sources of protein include green peas, quinoa, beans, chickpeas, green leafy vegetables, almond milk, sesame, poppy and  sunflower seeds.

Beans: Great Dietary Protein Source for Optimum Muscle Building

Beans are packed with good plant-based protein. They provide a solid dose of carbohydrate, which is good for fueling. When you break down muscle during a workout, the protein you eat helps build those muscles back, making you stronger, faster, and leaner.

For optimum lean muscle gain, different bean varieties can be part of your diet. The most popular varieties include black and pinto beans since it contains about 15 grams of protein per cup. Check the difference of black beans vs pinto beans to learn more about how they can help build your muscles.


Good fats are equally important as proteins. It is required for a lot of functions throughout the body and hormonal production is one of the main functions. Unsaturated fats not only promote muscle growth, but also improve the heart health. The best sources of fats are avocados, seeds, coconut oil and all types of nuts. Take 0.5 gm per pound of body weight every day.


Intense training requires quality fuel and carbs are the prime source of fuel. Carbohydrates are  essential to recover and add muscle mass. Remember, carb-deficient diet can imbalance your hormones. Carbohydrates from foods like sweet potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal, and fruits help in many ways, by lowering blood pressure, keeping you cool and lifting mood.

Supplements If Required

If your diet is lacking some basic nutrient, then there is no harm in taking supplements. There are many supplements available in the market that can help plant eaters gain zinc, creatine, selenium, vitamin B12 or choline. The best body building supplements can improve your overall health along with fulfilling the deficiency.


Calcium plays a vital role in muscle contractions and is essential for maintaining the bone health. Low intake of calcium can cause cramping during workouts and can hinder your performance. Calcium deficient diet can  also lead to thinning of the bones. Dietary products such as milk, cheese, butter are rich sources of calcium. Alternate sources of calcium are spinach, collard greens, kale, broccoli and spinach.

Above mentioned nutrients are required for muscle building and all of them are present in the vegetarian foods. Apart from them iron, zinc and vitamin B12 are also important for muscle building.  You can get iron from dried peas, beans, dark leafy vegetables. Pumpkin seeds and cereals are a great source of zinc.

Benefits of a Vegan Lifestyle for Athletes

For an athlete, a vegetarian diet is seemingly impossible. But, you can get rich sources of protein without eating animal-based foods. What, then, are the other benefits of being vegan or having a vegan lifestyle?

1. Makes You Healthier

Switching  to a vegan diet provides tons of health benefits. For instance, vegan substitutes rely heavily on whole-food, including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, peas, seeds, nuts, and vegetables. These food items are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and other beneficial plant compounds, like cannabinoids.

2. Aids In Weight Loss

A vegan lifestyle can help shed off excess weight. It’s deemed more effective than other types of weight loss programs, such as calorie-restricted diets. This is because vegan diets have a natural tendency to lower calorie intake without you actively focusing on cutting calories.

3. Reduces Risk Of Cancer

When it comes to diet and other health-related choices, a vegan lifestyle involves using natural options. Vegans opt for organic, non-genetically modified food, which means less risk of being exposed to preservatives, harsh chemicals, and toxins that can cause abnormal cell structures.


By considering the best nutrients your muscles need, you’ll realize that plant-based foods are enough to complete your nutrient requirements for building strong and healthy muscles. It’s possible to build muscles on a vegetarian diet by knowing the rich protein dietary sources like black and pinto beans. Indeed, living a vegan lifestyle is very fulfilling and healthy.

Author Bio:

Emily Kristina is a skin expert by profession. She loves to share her knowledge and experience with people. She regularly contributes her write ups to health or skin care related websites and blogs with most of her writings based on tips for best anti aging skin care. In her free time she loves to travel, fashion shows and music.You can connect with her @EmilyKristina1.

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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