Can Vegan Diet Help You Gain Muscle?

A vegan diet is devoid of all animal-based products so you need plant-based foods rich in protein if you want to gain muscles.


Athletes and body builders such as Patrik Baboumian, Billy Simmonds and Dominick Thompson have one thing in common – they all are vegan. They have a super muscular body just like many other top athletes just by following a well-balanced plant-based diet.

Over the years, we have been taught that the traditional way of building muscles is training hard and consuming meat so you can meet your daily protein requirements and build your muscles. However, today, we have athletes with a supreme muscular body by eating a well-balanced plant-based diet.

Think again if feel that you will not be able to get enough protein to gain muscles by going on a plant-based diet. Undeniably, we get enough protein from animal-based foods, but a well-balanced vegan diet can also provide you a sufficient amount of quality protein to support and build your muscles.

Plant-based protein-rich foods such as soy products, grains, nuts and seeds, and beans and lentils could provide you enough adequate protein without even using special food supplements.

The vegan diet excludes all animal products, such as poultry, eggs, fish, meat, milk, cheese as well as other dairy products. So, you need to completely rely on plant-based foods rich in protein to gain muscles.

The key is to get enough quality protein on a daily basis. Vegetarian bodybuilders and athletes who look to gain muscle often eat “good quality” protein at each meal.

Many plant proteins contain all essential amino acids we need to gain muscles. In fact, plant-based foods have different proportions of essential amino acids when compared with animal-based foods.

So, for quality protein and essential amino acids, it is important to make sure you have a well-balanced vegan diet that includes beans, peas, lentils, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and soy foods.

Vegan athletes typically eat five or six small meals a day, which include protein, as well as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts and seeds. They also include quality carbs in their daily meals to fuel their muscles with energy.

Another macronutrient, fat, is also necessary to supply energy to muscles during workouts, which is why they include foods rich in healthy fats such as almonds, walnuts, avocados, canola oil, and olive oil. If you want to go vegan but looking to gain muscles, see a registered dietitian who can help you with a customized vegetarian diet that meets your needs.