More people than ever are adopting plant-based diets. Indeed, it’s never been easier to go vegan either. However, many athletes are still put off from adopting plant based eating habits because they don’t want to compromise their nutritional intake. To dispel some myths, we’ll be talking about vegan bodybuilding supplements. The first and central myth is that you can’t get enough protein in your diet without animal-based products. This just isn’t true. A well-planned vegan meal plan can provide more than enough protein for any athlete. Second, there’s the idea that consuming as much protein as possible is the be-all and end-all of muscle gain and performance. Again, this couldn’t be further from the truth. With that in mind, let’s look at how to get the best possible nutrition as a vegan without compromising your nutrients intake.
5 Vegan Supplements Your Body Will Find Useful
Many of the most useful vegan supplements achieve the same benefits as conventional foodstuffs, but with a far more efficient method of delivery. In fact, in many cases, conventional wisdom about nutrient-packing as a vegan is somewhat misguided. As such, be sure to pay particular attention to how these supplements can replace or complement other aspects of your diet plan.
- Omega 3: Essential Fatty Acids
Since most traditional omega 3 supplements are derived from fish oils, vegans often attempt to make up for this by adding seeds like chia, hemp and flax to their diets. Luckily though, vegan-friendly supplements can be made which offer the same health benefits as fish oil. They work by deriving DHA and EPA from the same source as fish by using algae and seaweed.
Higher levels of creatine improve muscle power, especially during short bursts of intense activity, as well as reducing the time needed to recover between efforts. As such, creatine supplements can help bodybuilders perform at a higher level more often. Creatine is typically sourced from red meat and isn’t actually found in plants at all. These days though, it can be made synthetically to make vegan bodybuilding supplements.
3. Branched Chain Amino Acids
Branched chain amino acids (BCAA) comprise three of the nine essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. vegan BCAA supplements are mostly made by fermenting plant matter. The best supplements contain all three BCAAs, and should be taken about one hour before and after workouts.
4. Vegan Protein Powder
We can’t talk about vegan bodybuilding supplements without touching on protein powder. Of course, adding protein to your diet is central to any diet plan for the purposes of bodybuilding. While it’s true that vegans can get plenty of protein from plant-based sources, they need to be a little bit more proactive in doing so than meat eaters.
5. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is one of the most important micronutrients for general health. But it’s basically impossible to get naturally from non-animal based sources. You can, however, get your fix of B12 synthetically through vegan bodybuilding supplements. As the body cannot store vitamin B12, it’s important to get just the right amount. Around 100mcg of B12 per day should be sufficient.
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Can you build muscle on a vegan diet?
Filling up on high protein vegan foods, such as seitan, tofu, legumes, and quinoa, can help you meet your protein needs to maximize muscle gain. Vegan protein powders can also help you meet your protein needs by providing concentrated sources of protein surrounding workouts and throughout the day.
Q&A: What is the main source for creatine in food and is there any plant source of it?
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