11 Best Muscle-Building Vegan Foods Ideas With Recipes
It is commonly stated that gaining muscle mass when following a vegan diet is tough. This is thought to be owing to a lack of protein in this plant-based diet.
Nothing could be further from the truth, though. Muscle gain is not impossible for vegans if they eat a diversified diet and consume enough plant-based proteins.
Do you want to gain the most muscle possible on a vegan diet? This blog will provide you with a list of the greatest plant-based proteins for building and maintaining muscle mass.
Why Is Protein Necessary For Muscle Growth?
Eating a wide variety of complete foods is essential for overall health, regardless of which diet you follow.
Two macronutrient types are especially important for vegans seeking to gain muscle: protein and carbs.
Protein is the building block of muscle, and numerous studies demonstrate the relevance of a protein diet for muscle gain.
Our muscles break down protein as they continuously activate during resistance training or exercise.
However, the muscle cannot grow if the amount of protein broken down exceeds the amount generated.
Muscles also need complete proteins that contain all nine essential amino acids to function and grow.
While there are a few plant-based sources of complete proteins, you can also combine incomplete proteins with plant-based foods to provide your body with complete protein.
(And no, they don't have to be consumed all at once to be effective; make sure you have all nine amino acids in your diet throughout the day.)
What Protein Do I Require?
Protein requirements vary depending on height, weight, fitness objectives, degree of activity, and age. The current daily protein allowance is approximately.
73-1 gram per pound of body weight per day. Experts advise that this recommendation be considered a bare minimum to meet your body's fundamental demands and prevent becoming unwell.
Athletes should aim for 2.2-3.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight, roughly double that amount. More information on how vegans obtain protein can be found here.
Why Are Carbohydrates Necessary For Muscle Growth?
While protein is the building block of muscle, getting enough carbohydrates in your diet is equally critical.
If you aim to gain muscle, you're probably putting in long workouts that require a lot of energy. Carbohydrates provide the energy your body needs to fuel those efforts.
When you exercise, your body refills the glycogen in your muscles depleted by eating carbohydrates.
If your body doesn't obtain enough carbohydrates after exercise, it will rely on other sources, like protein, to restore glycogen stores protein that should be used to build muscle.
Most carbohydrate consumption should be complex, but simple carbs like a piece of fruit can provide a short surge of energy before or after a hard activity. You'll be glad you fuelled yourself wisely when pushing for that last rep.
As A Vegan, Here Are Some Tips On How To Gain Muscle Mass:
- Make certain you consume enough calories. To gain muscle mass, you must consume more calories than your body requires. Naturally, choose calorie-dense foods such as avocado and nuts. A body analysis scale may calculate your BMR, the minimum number of calories your body requires.
- Get adequate protein in your diet. Consume enough protein throughout the day, dividing it up between meals and snacks. You should consume at least 20 grams of protein after exercising since studies have shown that this amount stimulates muscle protein production the most.
- To receive vital amino acids, eat a diversified diet. Amino acids help your body store and transfer various resources (including fat, water, and carbohydrates).
- The 9 necessary amino acids, in addition to protein, are required for optimum muscle growth. Your body does not manufacture these amino acids. They must be obtained through food. Amino acids are mostly found in protein-rich foods, but not all include them, so make sure you eat a diverse vegan diet to acquire all 9 amino acids.
- Get adequate fat in your diet. Fat contains more calories than carbs and protein, making it crucial to consume enough calories.
Muscle-Building Vegan Foods
Nuts like peanuts, almonds, and pistachios can help you get additional bone-building calcium into your diet without having to eat dairy.
Because they're made up of a well-balanced blend of protein, fiber, and fat, one serving (1oz) offers roughly 160 high-quality calories (according to Calorie Counter).
Nuts are a terrific power food that can help you fill up, slim down, and be the perfect snack on the move or in the office.
“Nut and seed butter include more fat than protein, but these ‘healthy' fats help you lose weight,” Brown explains.
Lentils, peas, chickpeas, and soybeans are legumes similar to beans but grow in pods.
They're low in fat, cholesterol-free, and one of the most protein-dense foods for vegetarians and vegans.
Cooked lentils have roughly 18 grams of protein; use the brown variety in soups and the green kind in salads.
Plant-based proteins are often overlooked, but they are the other-highest source of protein after meat.
The average protein content of all bean varieties (black, pinto, navy, kidney, etc.) is around 15 grams.
Beans are also extremely low in fat, high in fiber, and, best of all, inexpensive. “While beans are not complete proteins, they contain many important amino acids required for muscular growth. Include, Brown adds, “5-1 cup daily for protein and fiber advantages.”
4. Cruciferous Vegetables
In particular, broccoli is a good protein source from cruciferous veggies. Add two cups of raw broccoli to a salad or eat some for 5 grams of protein as a mid-day snack.
5. Non-Dairy Milk
One cup of calcium-fortified hemp milk contains roughly 3 grams of protein and 30% of your daily calcium requirements.
Drinking soy milk can provide you with even more protein. One cup contains 8 grams of protein. Have a glass with your breakfast, pour some into your cereal, or mix it into your smoothies.
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that is high in protein. It contains a protein content of 70%, which is extremely high.
This means it has more protein than meat and dairy. Spirulina powder can be readily added to a smoothie or dish, or supplements can be taken daily.
“Chia seeds are high in protein, healthy fat, and omega 3s, making them one of the greatest snacks or additions to dishes,” Brown notes.
“Make chia pudding or sprinkle chia seeds on yogurt for a protein boost.” “Make chia pudding or sprinkle chia seeds on yogurt for a protein boost. “Chia seeds include 60 calories and 3 grams of protein per tablespoon.
8. Protein Powder From Peas And Hemp
“These proteins are showing up in a lot more protein powders,” Brown says. “Because it's equivalent to animal protein, pea protein is one of the best protein options in terms of nutrition and amino acids.”
9. Tofu And Tempeh
These meat replacements include 12 grams of protein per 100 grams and are adaptable. You can, for example, use them in various stir-fried meals, curries, and salads or consume them lightly fried alongside veggies and rice.
10. Nutritional Yeast
Vegans are familiar with nutritional yeast flakes. Although it resembles dry sawdust, this type of yeast has a cheese flavour and might be used instead of grated cheese.
Five grams of vegan protein can be found in a tablespoon (10 g) of these flakes sprinkled on top of your pasta.
11. Porridge Oats
Oatmeal is a great protein-rich breakfast or post-workout meal. It has a protein content of roughly 13 grams per 100 grams and is simple to combine with other vegan proteins.
You may make your protein booster by combining soy milk (7 g protein), a dollop of peanut butter, a handful of nuts, and some blueberries.
Plant-Based Muscle-Building Recipes
1. Sesame Tofu
Ingredients For The Marinade
- Tamari: ¼ cup
- Water: 2 tablespoons
- Garlic: 1 clove
- Peanut or sesame oil: 1 tablespoon
- Agave nectar: 1 tablespoon
Ingredients For The Sesame Tofu
- Gluten-free extra-firm tofu: 1 package
- Rice wine: 4 tablespoons
- Peanut oil: 2 tablespoons
- Sesame seeds: 2-3 tablespoons
- Ginger: 1 tablespoon, minced
- Tamari: 2 tablespoons
- Coldwater: ¼ cup
- Agave nectar: 2 tablespoons
- Spicy chilli sauce: 2 tablespoons
- Zest of one lemon
- Gluten: free Hoison sauce: 2 tablespoons
- Scallions sliced: 2 tablespoons
- Garlic: 4 cloves
- Tofu should be cut into cubes. In a mixing dish, combine the marinade ingredients. Toss the tofu cubes in the marinade and set them aside in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
- To make a slurry, combine 2 tablespoons of arrowroot with 14 cups of cool water and put it aside. Place the rest of the arrowroot on a plate. Remove the tofu cubes from the marinade, brush off any excess, and cover in arrowroot powder. One tablespoon oil, heated over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan or wok. Cook the tofu cubes in the oil for about 7 minutes or until they are browned and crisp on all sides. Place the tofu on a paper towel-lined dish after removing it from the pan.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the last tablespoon of oil to the pan. Garlic and ginger should be added now. Cook for 30 seconds or until the mixture is aromatic. Combine the mirin, tamari, Hoisin, agave, and chilli sauce in a separate pan. Bring to a low simmer, stirring occasionally. In a separate bowl, make an arrowroot-water slurry and stir it into the sauce. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
- In a small skillet over low heat, toast the sesame seeds while the sauce cooks. Every once in a while, move them around with a spatula and keep an eye on them so they don't burn. Remove them from the heat when they turn brown and toasted.
- Toss the tofu with the sauce to coat it and reheat it. Turn the heat off. Toss in the lemon zest. Serve with toasted sesame seeds and scallions on top. Serve with steamed vegetables and brown rice.
2. Zucchini And Edamame Miso Soup
- Zucchini: 1.75 pounds
- Frozen edamame beans: 7 ounces
- Garlic: 3 cloves, crushed
- Onion: 1 medium
- Low sodium vegetable stock: 2 cups
- Lemon juice: 1 lemon
- Grated ginger root: 1 thumb-sized
- Nori: 2 sheets
- Cilantro: 1 small bunch
- Olive oil
- Black sesame seeds (optional)
- Brown miso paste to taste
- Heat some olive oil in a large pot.
- Finely chopped onion, crushed garlic, grated ginger, and diced zucchini are added to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Toss in some stock. Bring the water to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes or until the courgettes are tender.
- Toss the soup in a blender.
- To taste, add miso paste (start with ½ tablespoon). Stir well to avoid clumping of the miso paste.
- Add edamame beans and nori sheets that have been shredded. Cook for 5 minutes more on low heat.
- To taste, add lemon juice.
- On top, sprinkle with chopped cilantro and black sesame seeds.
3. Muscle-Building Smoothie
- Almond milk: 200ml
- Rolled oats: 1 tablespoon
- Chia seeds: 1 teaspoon
- Hazelnuts: 1 tablespoon
- Pitted dates: 2 pieces
- Coffee & Walnut Vegan Protein Blend: 1 scoop
- Pinch sea salt
- To begin, pour the milk into your blender (this prevents anything from getting stuck in the bottom).
- After that, add the additional ingredients to the blender and blend until completely smooth.
- If you're feeling fancy, pour it into a glass or shaker and top it with some extra dates and nuts.
4. Avocado Chickpea Pizza
Ingredients For The Crust
- Gluten-free pizza crust: 1 batch
Ingredients For The Sauce
- Olive oil: 2 tablespoons
- Tomato sauce: ½ cup
- Coconut milk: 4 tablespoons
- Balsamic vinegar: 1 tablespoon
- Hot sauce: 1 tablespoon
- Coconut sugar: 1 teaspoon
- Smoked paprika: 1 teaspoon
- Onion powder: 1 teaspoon
- Garlic powder: 1 teaspoon
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Chickpeas: 15 oz
- Avocado: 1
- Easy vegan cheese sauce: 1 batch
- Make the pizza crust according to the recipe's instructions. Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F).
- Mix 1 tablespoon of oil and all other sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl to make the sauce. Spread the sauce on the pizza crust (reserving 3-4 tablespoons) and bake for 10 minutes.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet, add the remaining 3-4 tablespoons sauce and chickpeas, and cook for 3-5 minutes over medium heat.
- Return the pizza to the oven for another 10-15 minutes after spreading the chickpea mixture and vegan cheese sauce on top (or until crispy). You can substitute any vegan cheese of your choice.
- Remove the avocado's stem, peel it, and cut it into chunks before adding it to the pizza before serving. If preferred, season with more salt, pepper, or spices. Enjoy your delectable avocado chickpea pizza!
5. Vegetarian Chilli Mac
- Chopped onion: 1
- Red bell pepper: 1 chopped
- Pinto beans: 15 oz
- Cumin: 2 teaspoons
- Crushed tomatoes: 28 oz
- Chilli powder: 1½ tablespoons
- Cheddar cheese: 1½ cups
- Salt: ½ teaspoon
- Can kidney beans: 15 ounces
- Vegetable broth: 2 cups
- Whole wheat pasta: 8 oz
- Black pepper: ⅛ teaspoon
- Chopped green onions for serving
- Combine all ingredients except the pasta, cheese, and green onions in a slow cooker. To blend, stir everything together. Cook for 4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low heat, covered.
- Stir in the pasta and cook on high for another 15-20 minutes or until the pasta is done. One cup of cheese should be added at this point.
- Top with the remaining cheese and green onions before serving.
- To make this a freezer-to-crockpot dinner, follow these steps:
- Combine all ingredients except broth, pasta, and cheese in a heavy-duty zip-top bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible, then shut the bag. Freeze up to three months ahead of time.
- When you're ready to cook, defrost the bag's contents and transfer them to your slow cooker. Cook as suggested above with the broth (you can pour part of the stock into the empty bag to get all the spices, etc. out).
6. Vegan Protein Bars
- Gluten-free oats: 2 cups
- Coconut milk: ½ cup
- Crushed walnuts: ½ cup
- Salted maca caramel protein: 1 scoop
- Maple syrup: ¼ cup
- Vanilla extract: 2 teaspoons
- Dark chocolate: 150g
- Cacao powder: ¼ cup
- Desiccated coconut: ⅓ cup
- Prepare a 20cm square baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing basin, then transfer to a pan and press down.
- Place this mixture in the baking tray, cover it with parchment paper, and smooth it out with a flat item to produce a uniform layer.
- Allow the melted dark chocolate to sit in the refrigerator overnight!
- Place them in the freezer for 15 minutes before removing them and cutting them into desired sizes.
If you eat the correct foods, getting enough protein to develop muscle on a vegan diet doesn't have to be tough or complicated.
To make this work, start including some of these high-protein vegan foods in your regular meals and snacks. Eating a higher-protein diet makes it much easier to sustain this manner.
You might also want to read my article about The Vegan Bodybuilding Diet.
I trust you enjoyed this article on the 11 Best Muscle-Building Vegan Foods Ideas With Recipes. Please stay tuned for more blog posts to come shortly. Take care!
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