We all know that gaining muscle requires a few things, one of which being protein.
When you think of protein sources, the chances are the first thing that comes to mind is meat – chicken and rice being a bodybuilding staple.
However, what if you’re not getting your protein intake from animal sources?
Can you still gain muscle if you’re following a vegan diet?
Put simply, yes.
A 2017 study revealed that plant proteins are just as good as animal proteins.
Opting for tofu over chicken, therefore, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re at a disadvantage when it comes to gaining muscle.
However, there are some things you need to think about!
How much are you eating?
While plant protein is just as good as animal protein, you’re going to need to eat more of it.
To gain muscle you need to be giving your body enough protein to help aid recovery and enough calories to allow yourself to grow.
As whole foods tend to be lower in calories and protein, this is going to mean eating more food to get what you need.
We know, it really is a hardship…
What are you eating?
While you want to be in a calorie surplus, you want to make sure you’re gaining fat-free mass and not fat mass.
To do this, we would recommend basing your diet predominantly around whole foods.
While meat-free alternatives might seem like an easy way to up your protein, they can also be full of hidden sugars and fats.
You’ve been warned.
Do you need supplements?
Do your research and find what’s best for you.
Are you training hard enough?
Ultimately, if you’re not gaining muscle, it might not be to do with your diet. To gain muscle mass, your training should be based around big, compound movements using heavy weights.
If everything in your diet is right, it might be down to your training.
Check out ways you can break out of a plateau here.