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Building MUSCLE on a vegan diet

A vegan diet can be great for bodybuilding – SamanthaShorkey shows you how

Few would argue with a vegan diet being the clear and correct ethical choice when it comes to animal welfare. Meanwhile, the health benefits of ‘going vegan’ are increasingly known around the world, with more and more studies linking vegan lifestyles to a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.


Protein has forever been hailed as the king of all nutrients for building muscle, and for good reason. But the belief that we need to eat an abundance of dead animals in order to get enough protein is simply not true. Does meat offer a greater amount of protein than, say, lentils? Yes, it does.

However, the comparison doesn’t hold when you factor in the number of calories or the amount of fat or fibre per gram. Beef and chicken, for example, contain approximately 40g of protein per 170g serving, whereas 170g of lentils contains only 15g of protein. But that chicken and beef also contain approximately 150mg of artery-clogging cholesterol plus a ton of saturated fat and zero fibre. Beans, on the other hand, contain no cholesterol, tons of fibre, and virtually no fat.

Generally speaking, we consider foods high in essential amino acids to be higher-quality protein. “Essential” means that your body cannot make them, whereas “non-essential” amino acids can be produced by the body. A “complete” protein contains all nine essential amino acids. Plant proteins are not missing or completely lacking in amino acids; they simply have more or less of one kind or another. However, nutritional powerhouses quinoa, soy, and chia seeds are considered “complete” proteins.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Vegan Food & Living Magazine - Easter - April 2020
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About Vegan Food & Living Magazine

In this issue you will find 75 plant-based recipes including fun and delicious Easter recipes. You will also find easy 5 ingredient recipes for quick midweek meals and 3 easy ways to cook jackfruit. This months nutrition SOS will help you thrive on a gluten-free vegan diet, guide you on how to stimulate muscle growth and answer your important questions about taking supplements. Philip Mansbridge tackles the subjects of how veganism impacts climate change, learn how to make snacks count by boosting your nutrition, and create your own herbal first aid kit!