For many gym goers, a vegan bodybuilder is one of those oxymorons that make you think twice.
By definition, an oxymoron is a rhetorical tool that serves to reveal a paradox or express self-contradiction. While it’s the kind of things you’re more likely to come across in Shakespearean texts, it’s fair to say that life is filled with contradictions. Consequently, leaving Shakespeare on the side, let’s dive into the intellectual paradox that forces many to scratch their heads aimlessly when they try to combine a plant-based diet and the ability to build muscles.
Ultimately, if you have friends who follow a plant-based diet only, you’ve probably noticed that bulk is not exactly the first word that comes to mind to describe them. However, it doesn’t mean that you need to follow a diet of chicken and eggs to encourage muscle growth. On the contrary, several athletes have demonstrated throughout the years that a vegan physique can be equally strong. Derek Tresize, a professional bodybuilder who’s been vegan for over 10 years, noticed that is body could get rid of fat quicker once he transitioned to plant-based meals. Additionally, he rapidly realised that he didn’t miss meat food. On the contrary, his body felt better for it! So what should you be eating to achieve the same results than Derek?
There are plenty of options
First of all, it’s important to note that vegan options are a lot easier to find nowadays. When Tresize first transitioned in 2007, his choices were limited, and he had to cook a lot of his meals from scratch. However, today, you can find vegan alternatives in most supermarkets, from Tesco to Iceland, making it easier to enjoy your favourite meals with a vegan twist. You can find delicious vegan pizza bases in shops, which you can prepare with vegan mozzarella – there is such a thing! –, tomato sauce and a delightful blend of fresh herbs! Additionally, you can also find suitable options in many restaurants so that being vegan doesn’t affect your social lifestyle. For many young adults, the idea of switching diet can be scary as it could put your casual night outs with friends and dates at risk. However, vegan options are an integral factor of the British hospitality market.
To build muscle mass, you need protein
At the heart of your bodybuilding training, you need to accept that your dietary requirements have to change dramatically. Indeed, as your purpose is to build muscle mass, you want to focus on your protein intake. In other words, there is no way you can achieve great results without using vegan proteins. You can find a helpful list of ingredients here: https://veganproducts.org/vegan-bodybuilding/protein/. As a rule of the thumb, legumes, lentils, and beans are excellent sources of protein – with 34.6 grammes per cup for whole roasted peanuts. However, you need to diversify your diet to keep yourself motivated. You can rely on vegan powders, fake meat, tofu and dairy substitutes to experiment with tastes and textures.
Your quick energy snack needs thoughts
If you’re the kind of person who likes to grab a quick energy snack before hitting the gym floor, you might want to think twice about it. Bodybuilders need a diet that encourages fat melt and increases muscle mass. Consequently, your favourite chocolate bar might not be suitable for this purpose! Unfortunately, energy snacks are often rich in sugar and fat, which are the wrong kind of calories. Take a look at this article http://foodandfitnessalways.com/snacks-avoid-road-fitness-7260/ to figure out what snacks work for you. Ultimately, it’s best to prepare your energy boost than rely on processed items such as biscuits or sausage rolls – even a vegan roll!
Do you need a food supplement?
A vegan diet can lead to vitamins and mineral deficiency, depending on the food you choose to eat. However, before you select food supplements, you might want to ask your GP to help you check whether your body receives the fuel it needs. Testing early in your bodybuilding journey is important. Indeed vitamin D deficiency is common among vegans and can lead to muscle pain, which increases your healing period between workout.
Keep a food journal
Last, but not least, bodybuilders tend to eat up to 8 small meals during the day. The frequency of food intake ensures that your body is properly fueled for workouts. Additionally, it encourages a positive nitrogen balance, which is crucial for muscle gain. A food journal can help you to track portions, vitamins and minerals throughout the day so that you can avoid any gain plateau.
There is no secret: Bodybuilding takes time and effort. Vegan bodybuilders, especially, need to pay close attention to their calories intake and their proteins. However, with dedication, you too could become the new Derek Tresize.