How to Build Mass as a Plant-Based Athlete

Athletes are under a lot of scrutiny. They need to have great form, body mass, and muscles to be able to do what they do best. And to make sure you get all three of these, you need proteins. So, bring on the steaks, right? Wrong! That is a common misconception. Red meat is not the only form of protein there is. You can build mass on a plant-based diet as well. Surprised? We knew you would be.

There are a lot of vegetarian and vegan athletes who have a great build. You can easily build muscles while following a plant-based diet.

But the problem here is that there are a lot of sneaky tricks that you need to keep an eye on. There are a number of products that can sneak in an ounce of animal products in your diet. Vegetarians have to be very vigilant about these things.

But don’t worry; we are here to help you out on your quest to become build mass as a plant-based athlete.

How to Gain Muscle Mass Using Plant-Based Diet?

You must be wondering, how can some build mass while being on a plant-based diet? Well, we are here with the answer. When you are an athlete working towards gaining muscle mass, the rules are the same as with meat eaters – you need to watch out for your caloric numbers and macros. To make sure you gain muscle, you need to consume more calories than you burn. But we are not talking about bad calories here, but healthy ones. Being a vegetarian, you get your calories and proteins from sources like nuts, legumes, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.

Plant-Based Bodybuilding Tips - Elevate Nutrition

Know Thy Plant Protein

There are a few reasons why someone could choose to become a vegan. It could be religious, health-related, or just personal preference. Whatever the reason may be, you need to have plant-based protein in your diet. And one of the best ways to get an extra dose of that protein is through supplements. There are several great sources where you can get 100% vegan plant-based protein supplements that can help you gain the muscle mass.

Eating Healthy and Well

Plant-based supplements can’t take you all the way; you need to invest in some healthy eating as well. You need a healthy diet that will help you gain that muscle mass and give you a build of an athlete. And a healthy diet includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Following are some of the protein sources that help you build muscle mass:

  • Tofu
  • Seitan
  • Soybeans
  • Tempeh
  • Seeds and nuts
  • Legumes and beans

You can’t build body mass while eating salads, fruits, or stir-fry veggies. You need to pair these with a protein-rich and healthy fat item. That way, your macros needs will be complete and you will build muscles faster. Some of the things you can pair these with are avocados, nut butter, seeds, nuts, lentils, potatoes, quinoa, and brown rice. That way, your body will have plenty of nutrients and macros.

Keep an Eye out for Deficiencies

One of the biggest issues you face as a vegan are deficiencies. If your body is deficient of vitamins and minerals, you will have trouble building mass. And no, that is in no way invitation to chug down a cheeseburger. Here are a few deficiencies that can prevent you from gaining body mass:


If your body does not have enough iron, you are likely to fall into the traps if anemia. There are two categories in which iron is divided – non-heme and heme. The non-heme iron is found in lentils and beans, dried peas, artichokes, collard greens, kale, spinach, dried fruits like black currants, prunes, and raisins

Heme iron is usually found in red meat. Though, you can always take supplements to make sure your body gets the required amount of iron.


Calcium is one of the most important minerals in your body as it helps you maintain strong bones. It also plays a significant role in building mass.

You can get your calcium quota from almonds, broccoli, kale, collard greens, and spinach.


Zinc is another mineral that you should prioritize in your diet as it can help with motor skills, cognitive power, appetite, and testosterone levels. Natural sources for this mineral include fortified cereals or oatmeal, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, and almonds.


Having low levels of B12 in the body has been known to cause serious health issues, including anemia and damage to the nervous system. B12 supplementation for vegans is crucial to avoid these severe problems. The vitamin B12 mostly comes from animal-based foods, such as dairy, eggs, and meat. B12 supplementation for vegans is extremely important. These supplements are affordable, easy to fine, and safe to use. Choosing to take a high-quality supplement is a proactive health choice that will improve your nutrient. Elevate Nutrition plant-based vegan BCAA contains Vitamin B12 for improved performance before a workout.

Now that you know how to build mass as a plant-based athlete, are you ready to start? Following this method religiously will definitely help you build muscle mass and you will be a buff athlete in no time.

Written By: Elevate Nutrition Founders, Jillian Salomone and Paul Salomone 

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