Body Building Nutrition for a Vegan Lifestyle
(Batavia, Illinois, USA)
I have been a vegan for almost 2 years, I have begun training as a bodybuilder with a goal to gain weight. My question is in regard to vegan supplements, what would be a good source to find the necessary supplements for a diet high in protein and requiring the nutritional values I hold so dear?
It's great to hear that you are deciding to add to your life with bodybuilding without taking away from your life by changing your diet. You are right that you can absolutely get all the nutrition and protein you need in order to build muscle. You will probably have to work harder to find ways to add protein and calories to your diet.
I read an interesting article in Men's Journal magazine* this week about vegan men, especially athletes. I would definitely recommend picking up a copy. One of the featured athletes was Scott Jurek, who is an ultramarathoner who has a special line of vegan supplements he endorses called Vega that you might want to check out for nutrients. In the article, he also mentions the other supplements he uses in order to eat about 5500 calories when he's training. Although I don't know how many additional calories you will need, I am guessing it is more than the average athlete.
There are numerous athletes who maintain a plant-based diet and perform at extremely high levels, so you need have no worries about being a healthy active vegan. You might want to check out Brandon Brazier, who is a professional triathlete and ultramarathoner and maintains a vegan diet. He has a great new book called The Thrive Diet: The Whole Food Way to Lose Weight, Reduce Stress, and Stay Healthy for Life, which explains how he eats to maintain his incredible exercise regimine. Tony Gonzalez, a long-time NFL pro-bowl tight end, has written The All-Pro Diet: Lose Fat, Build Muscle, and Live Like a Champion a book about his diet, which is plant-based, but not completely vegan.
You can also check out a few pages on Vegan Nutritionista that discuss proper vegan nutrition, which will help you to ensure you're eating a well-balanced diet. As long as you are eating plenty of vegetables, whole grains, beans, and fruits, as well as nuts and seeds for snacks, you will definitely get all the protein, carbs, calcium, and everything else to be a healthy bodybuilder.
We also had another reader write in and ask about how men can gain weight on a vegan diet, and here was my answer to that question.
*To look into getting a subscription to Men's Journal magazine for $9.95/year, follow this link.