Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to eat red meat to build muscles. You can build muscles even if you are on a plant-based diet.
And no matter what diet you are on, building muscles takes time and hard work. It can be challenging, we will give you that, but it is not impossible. And if you put your mind to it, you can definitely achieve this target. And it is not just the food that contributes to muscles, but other habits like exercises and strategies as well.
Today, we will tell you how you can build muscles while following a plant-based lifestyle.
Calorie Needs – What are They?
The road towards building muscles starts with understanding your calorie needs. And by understand we don’t mean guessing, but finding the real data based on your lifestyle.
Your next question must be – how do you do that?
Well, we are here to answer that. You do this by finding what your BMR or Basal Metabolic Rates is. You can find that out by using the Harris-Benedict equation. Before you can find that out, lets us tell you what BMR is.
Well, it the number of calories that you spend. The BMR rate is different for everyone, based on their weight, height, age, and gender.
Once you have found that number, add it to the score of activates that you perform on a daily basis like walking, going to the gym, climbing the stairs, or running errands. The total number you get is the number of calories you spend in a single day.
For instance, if you get 3000 calories per day, you will have to match that number to maintain your weight right now. And to build muscle, you will have to consume more than 3000 calories per day.
Sounds easy, right? It isn’t. It will take a lot of hard work to implement this method. But we are confident you can do it.
You just have to consume food that contains sufficient calories. But it is not just the calories you are after, but nutrients as well.
The nutrients are basically fuel for your body. They are what give you energy and allow muscle growth. If you keep bulking up on calories and ignore the nutrients, you will reach nowhere in your fitness goals.
If you look at the comparison, a plate of French fries will provide you with 1400 calories, but just 12 nutrients. See what we mean?
There are some foods that will provide you with sufficient amounts of both nutrients and calories – whole plant foods.
The nutrient-rich foods that will help you build muscles are:
- Bananas or other fruits
- Beans/ lentils
- Brown rice
What is the Right Amount of Protein?
You must be wondering how much protein you should take. Well, there is no one answer to that question. It solely depends on a few things, including your lifestyle, weight, and goals.
According to the National Institute of Health, a person with a sedentary job needs to consume around 0.36 grams per pound of protein every day. But since bodybuilders have a more demanding lifestyle and are involved in intense workout sessions, they should consume 1.3 to 1.8 grams of protein per pound of lean body weight.
Plant-based eaters have a wealth of options, from core cooking ingredients to popular food imitators. Here’s a guide to high protein plant-based sources.
Plant-Based Protein Supplements
Plant-based protein supplements are just as effective as animal based proteins in building muscle. You read that right: Just as effective. There are several types of plant-based proteins on the market, but not all of them are created equal. The most popular of these are brown rice, pea, hemp and soy protein – and of those, brown rice and pea are the best in terms of muscle growth and recovery. In general, though, plant-based protein shares these common features:
- Allergen-Free – Plants are much easier to digest than dairy products and as such cut down on possible allergies.
- Healthier – Most brands add little or no artificial sweeteners.
- Tastier – While they might not be as flavor-rich as your double chocolate whey, plant proteins tend to exude a neutral taste, as we stated, and mix well with water; when you consider the sweeteners that were necessary to concoct that double chocolate whey, this is a very positive thing.
Once you utilize these foods in your daily life, your journey towards building muscles will begin.
Written By: Elevate Nutrition Founders, Jillian Salomone and Paul Salomone