This article is for fitness enthusiasts interested in pursuing a vegan diet. Once upon a time in 2020 something very weird happened; I decided to broaden my horizons and attempt something truly crazy…a plant-based diet.
I lasted all of two weeks before I felt incredibly sluggish and rundown, and switched back to my primal ways. This wasn’t a failure on the diet’s part. It simply came down to I’m a creature of habit, and also, trying to practice OMAD while doing vegan is challenging (and I hated eating throughout the day).
Since then, I’ve learned a few things…
Two of the more important ones being: what foods I should have been eating a lot more of, and how I could have more effectively hacked this whole vegan-for-athletes thing..
Passing Down Knowledge For Green-Fueled Muscle Gains
With this new knowledge, I’m certain I could still build as much (if not more) muscle using a plant-based diet than I am currently. It helps that I also have a powerful new tool in my arsenal, which I’ll share with you somewhere near the end of this article…
Now, I’m not saying that I’ll necessarily give up my meat proteins (they’re sourced from organic, grass-fed, humane certified local farmers though so I’m not totally evil), for various reasons we won’t get into, but it has given me a schemey idea: if you find yourself going green to save the planet, and this article helps you stay away from the dark side, then I figure it will all even out.
By the end of this article, you will learn:
- The ultimate myth about veganism and building muscle
- Top 6 Foods For Plant-Based Athletes
- My Top Secret Tool For Maximum Muscle Gains On a Plant Based Diet
The Myth of Meat In Muscle Building
Society tells us that to achieve our physical goals, we must eat meat. They claim you can’t build muscle without shoveling down dead cows, pigs, chicken. That you have to buy into the slaughterhouse industrial complex if you wanna get strong…
When I hear this, only one idiom comes to mind. “As strong as an ox.”
The thought percolates in my mind for a while. Now I’d like to pose a question to society’s misinformed, misguided meatheads…
What does an ox eat? The answer to that (in case you’re wondering): Musk ox are herbivores, eating grass, willows, seeds and berries.
Getting Enough Protein On A Plant-Based Diet
Admittedly, one of the most challenging aspects of going green has always been ensuring you’re getting enough quality nutrients, specifically protein. You see, protein is considered the building block for muscle. After we tear down muscles via training, they require protein to repair, and rebuild. The process is commonly referred to as hypertrophy.
What most of us have been led to believe is that we require 1-1.5g of protein per pound of lean body mass if we have any hope of gaining muscle. That, however, isn’t entirely true. Vegan athletes around the world have seen remarkable results with as little as 0.5-0.7g of protein per pound of lean body mass.
So, for example:
- 160lbs lean body mass (male): 80-100g of protein
- 120lbs lean body mass (female): 60-70g of protein
Top 6 Plant-Based Foods For Building Muscle
The fitness industry has become so indoctrinated with the belief that meat protein is the only way to go that oftentimes plant-based proteins get overlooked. Coaches frequently write cookie cutter meal plans with lean chicken for every meal, ignoring the second highest protein as nothing but a carb source.
I’m referring to beans. All bean varieties (black, pinto, navy, etc.) average about 15g of protein per ½ cup serving. Adding to their power, beans boast some seriously potent properties:
- low in fat
- high in fiber
- Stupid cheap
The only downside that’s admittedly worth mentioning is that beans aren’t considered complete protein. Although they have many of the necessary amino acids for muscle-building, they are missing a few. That being said, amino acids are easy to come by.
Making sure you’re getting enough of some of those amino acids, (like Leucine) is really easy when you factor in plant-based BCAA (branched chain amino acids) formulas like the tried-true Original BCAAs, from Bucked Up. This powerful supplement can delay muscle fatigue, promote hydration, increase protein synthesis, and accelerate muscle recovery.
The biggest difference between these guys and beans is that legumes typically grow in pods, so think: lentils, peas, chickpeas, soybeans (hummus is on the freaking menu!).
Boasting nearly 18g of protein, legumes are also low in fat, and have no cholesterol. This makes legumes hands down one of the most efficient sources of protein for vegetarians and vegans available.
One important factor for being strong and healthy is ensuring you get enough calcium. Peanuts, almonds, and pistachios are an effective way to fortify bones without indulging in dairy. Additionally, one serving (1oz) of each has about 160 high-quality calories. The reason they’re considered high-quality is because they have a well-balanced blend of protein, fiber, and fat.
Furthermore, although nuts might be higher in fat than protein, they’re extremely effective for on-the-go snacks, and they fill you up, providing long-lasting energy. Bonus: nuts such as almonds and walnuts are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which is an epic tool for soothing inflammation, boosting brain function, and even trimming down.
Leafy Greens & Cruciferous Vegetables
In order to build muscle (or burn fat), you want to have a diet that’s as nutrient-dense as possible. Peas, spinach, kale, and broccoli are the winners when it comes to veggies that pack protein.
Two cups of kale has about 4g of protein, and spinach has 2g. Sure, this doesn’t seem like a lot, but remember, you’re only shooting for between 60-80g a day, and if you’re adding leafy greens to smoothies, having some salad with lunch, then cooking some spinach in delicious avocado oil for dinner, that adds up.
There’s also more to nutrient-density than just the macronutrient profile. You gotta take into account micronutrients as well, and when it comes to foods like leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables, you can’t go wrong. Even lettuce, the least nutrient dense of the group, is loaded with way more antioxidants than meat. And as far as kale, broccoli, and spinach go, well…all three are considered superfoods for a reason (or rather, several vitamin related reasons).
I want you to take a brief moment to pause and reflect on something. Aside from muscle recovery, what’s the most important part of building muscle?
Now, I think it’s safe to assume that you all would answer: the most important part of building muscle is the first step in the (simplified) two-step process. Tearing down the muscle fibers. In order to effectively tear muscles down, requirements must be met. Specifically, training with the necessary intensity.
As much as I love pre-workout (especially focus-enhancing nootropic pre-workouts like BAMF and savagery-inducing pre-workouts like WOKE AF), a person can’t rely solely on supplements alone to attack workouts hard enough. Our muscles need fuel, and the body’s preferred source of fuel is glycogen. To get glycogen the body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose which can then be utilized by either the liver or muscles depending on the task. Complex carbohydrates are ideal because they’re more sustainable sources of fuel than simple carbs (like candy). Luckily, some of the best sources of complex carbs are already vegan friendly.
- Beans and legumes (duh)
- Brown rice
- Sweet potatoes
Someday I’ll write a food-related article that doesn’t include avocados. Today isn’t that day though. Avocados are as close to diamonds as a food can be; both in the awe they inspire and the sacrifices made to acquire them. Having recently earned the moniker “blood avocados,’ there’s a reason westerners allow the negative impacts of avocado farming (e.g. pesticide use, monoculture, deforestation, human rights violations, and farmers getting killed by the drug cartel) to continue. No, it’s not just for Instagram.
The reason we turn a blind eye is because avocados are one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. They act as a nutrient booster, enabling the body to absorb more fat soluble foods. They have more than 25 essential nutrients, including potassium and magnesium. They’re full of healthy fats, which can boost blood flow. And let’s not forget…guacamole.
In other words, avocados are a staple part of any diet. As long as you’re able to accept that you’re being environmentally, ethically flexible in this department, that is.
Up until about a year ago whenever I thought of seeds I automatically imagined the good old days on my grandpa’s farm, trying to be cool and eat as many sunflower seeds as him, yet secretly hating having to be patient with them to enjoy. That all changed when I actually started integrating (pumpkin and chia) seeds into my diet.
Chia seeds are loaded with protein, good fat, and omega-3’s, making them one of the greatest foods to snack on. Pumpkin seeds boast similar nutritional benefits, and they taste better in my humble opinion.
My not-so-secret but still totally Top Secret Tool For Maximum Muscle Gains On a Plant-Based Diet: BUCK FEAST VEGAN MEAL REPLACEMENT
Now, for the moment you’ve all been reading for….
Buck Feast Vegan Meal Replacement is here to set the bar in the meal replacement category, and prove to the naysayers that you can have your dream physique without meat proteins.
No animal needs to die for us to live our best lives. After all, we’re not barbarians (except when working out, of course). Using 4 plant-based protein sources: pea, lupine, organic rice, and organic pumpkin, Buck Feast Vegan Meal Replacement delivers a generous 38g of highly available protein to go with an industry leading amino panel.
Buck Feast Vegan Meal Replacement is also loaded with clean carb sources, only one gram of sugar (zero added sugar), and over ⅓ of your daily fiber intake, making this revolutionary staple the first of its kind…
Low net carb, easy to digest, bioavailable, and macro-friendly. It just also happens to be vegan (and did we mention all natural?).
Vegan Meal Replacement Macros, one more time:
- Calories: 350
- Protein: 38g
- Carb: 31g (11g fiber)
- Fat: 10g
In other words, when it comes to quickly adding high-quality protein into your plant-based diet, there’s really nothing better than Buck Feast Vegan Meal Replacement. Comes in vanilla and chocolate.
Throw it in with 12-20oz of water or your favorite dairy-free beverage, and enjoy it as a meal or post-workout shake.
The choice is yours.
However you incorporate Buck Feast Vegan Meal Replacement into your healthy plant-based diet doesn’t really matter.
What matters is that now you can save the animals, and be a beautiful beast all at the same time.
Bonus: these new releases have just arrived, so you don’t have to wait to stock up!
In fact, not only do you not have to, you shouldn’t. Because the world needs saving, and it starts with small steps. The power of consumerism — vote for animal-friendly products with the all-powerful dollar.
And, hey, even if adding Vegan Buck Feast isn’t the ultimate solution to saving the world, at least we know it will save you money, meal prep time, loss-of-gains, and help you reach your fitness goals (while validating what you already know; you’re better than the meat eaters).
Be epic. Go with Buck Feast — on the site now. Read about flexible dieting here if you’re interesting in getting even more out of your body! Check out our top 15 foods to build muscle.