Both vegan and carnivorous diets can be effective for bodybuilding, as the key to building muscle is to consume enough protein and calories to support muscle growth and repair. In fact, studies have shown that plant-based foods, like those eaten on a vegan diet, can build just as much muscle, as animal-based foods. Strength was also not affected, and similar strength has been shown in both groups as well.
Basically, as long as the protein amounts are the same, it doesn’t matter the source of the protein. The protein can come from either plant-based or animal-based sources and have the same effect.
Because of this, it’s important for bodybuilders on either type of diet to carefully plan their meals and ensure that they are getting all of the nutrients they need to support their training.
Protein is an essential nutrient for bodybuilding, as it is necessary for muscle growth and repair. Animal-based protein sources, such as meat, poultry, fish, and dairy, are typically high in protein and can be convenient and efficient sources of protein for bodybuilders on a carnivorous diet. However, vegans can also meet their protein needs through plant-based protein sources, such as beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, nuts, and seeds.
But, because plant-based protein sources are not always as high in protein as their animal counterparts, it can be more difficult for vegans to get a higher amount of protein. So it’s important for vegans to consume a variety of protein-rich plant-based foods and possibly use protein supplements to ensure that they are getting enough protein. (See High Protein Plant-Based Foods for Vegetarians & Vegans)
But, we have seen vegan bodybuilders and athletes who are performing at optimal levels, and building just as much muscle as their carnivore counterparts, so it is definitely possible to do so.
And, vegan bodybuilding carries more benefits, not only for the environment, but also for your own health. (See the vegan benefits for athletes. This holds especially true in the long run. (See Do Vegans Live Longer?)
We have seen professional bodybuilders suffering from health issues after years and years of high protein intake. One, even switched over to a vegan diet with tremendous health improvements, while still bodybuilding.
We’ve also seen Arnold Schwarzenegger do a complete 180 from meat eating, and huge support of plant-based eating, as seen in the newer vegan documentary, Game Changers.
In addition to protein, bodybuilders need to consume enough calories to support muscle growth and repair. Both vegan and carnivorous diets can provide adequate calories, as long as they are well-planned and balanced. It is important for bodybuilders to track their intake of macronutrients, including protein, carbohydrates, and fats, and ensure that they are consuming enough of each to support their training.
It is also important for bodybuilders on either type of diet to pay attention to their intake of other essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for overall health and muscle function. Bodybuilders on a vegan diet may need to use supplements or fortified foods to ensure that they are getting enough of these nutrients.
In conclusion, both vegan and carnivorous diets can be effective for bodybuilding, as long as they are well-planned and balanced to meet the increased protein and calorie needs of bodybuilders. It is important for bodybuilders on either type of diet to pay attention to their intake of essential nutrients and possibly use supplements or fortified foods to ensure that they are getting enough of these nutrients.
Lance has been passionate about the plant-based diet and we have been following a whole food plant-based diet for over 5 years. We focus on health, natural healing, weight management, animal rights, and the health of the planet and environment by focusing on whole plant-based foods and sustainable practices.
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