Veganism has spread in popularity over the recent years. As more people become exposed to the dangers of a ‘traditional’ diet filled with processed foods, the level of awareness has increased. With that awareness and knowledge comes the understanding that a healthy diet is often one that is more natural in its basics. While you can create a healthy diet that includes eating meat, some chose to go without it.
Some people might not think that being a vegan would work in a bodybuilding lifestyle, but many people have proved that it can be done. You can in fact be a vegan bodybuilder and win competitions as quite a few people have proven in the last few years.
It’s All in What You Eat
Bodybuilders have always followed very strict and restrictive diets. So you would think that vegan bodybuilding should not be that much of a stretch. People might go the vegan route for health or personal beliefs, but really is it that much more restrictive than following a normal bodybuilder diet?
While any diet can be undertaken with the proper research, quite a few nutritionists have noted that vegan bodybuilding is not an ideal choice because of the difficulty in obtaining the proper amount of quality protein.
The main issue is getting enough of the amino acids you need. While nuts and vegetables do contain some you generally need to consume twice as much compared to what you get in a single serving of red meat or chicken. Luckily vegans have been trying different methods over the years and have slowly created a variety of eating plans that can and do work to pack on muscle and keep body fat low.
With the advances in supplements, amino acids and protein powders provide a nice boost to both regular and vegan bodybuilding. Additionally people have begun to understand how great kale, avocados, beans, and spinach can be for all bodybuilders. Those super foods combined with soy (tofu) and other options have made it a lot easier for vegans to easily get serious about building their bodies.
The Learning Curve
Of course vegan bodybuilding has a different rules compared to the conventional style. Because of the restrictions on eating meat and consuming dairy, all phases of dieting are different; that means offseason and when getting ready for a show.
Luckily there are quite a few vegan-specific resources now available such as the website, veganbodybuilding.com. That site, and other sources of information, provides the useful programs and options that are needed to be successful in the competitive world of bodybuilding. With over 5000 registered users on VeganBodybuilding, it certainly seems that many people are realistically pursuing both that dietary type and athletic sport effectively.
The Bottom Line
From an outside-looking-in perspective it does not seem that vegan bodybuilding would be that much more difficult that being a non-vegan bodybuilder. You are still going to do the same amount of work at the gym building your muscles. The biggest difference is in the specifics of food intake, but even that should not be a huge issue.
When you consider that most competitive bodybuilders are very specific and meticulous in tracking calories and proper rations of food along with the best supplementation methods, adjusting to a meatless/dairy-less diet really seems to be a small part of the overall amount of work being put in to being a bodybuilder.
While some might look at it as just another obstacle, others look at it as a challenge to be conquered while moving towards a healthier and even more successful bodybuilding lifestyle.