Vegan Bodybuilding Isn’t A Myth, It’s A Reality

Even if you’re not particularly interested in bodybuilding, you know that, as a vegan, people will often ask you where you get your protein from. It can be tiring to go through the same old answers all the time. But one of the best ways to dispel the myth that vegans are weak and scrawny is to point to the many vegan bodybuilders out there. Despite the fact that they’re not eating any animal foods at all, they still look pretty buff. 

Why Vegan Bodybuilding Is Possible

gut health bowl from This Is Life, Elwood, Australia.

Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

Thanks to marketing and early medical investigations, most people associate protein with meat and eggs. And granted, these foods are high in certain types of protein associated with building muscle. But it turns out that all foods, including things like apples and broccoli, contain all of the essential amino acids that the body requires for life. In fact, the only food that doesn’t is gelatin, and that’s a processed animal food. 

When it comes to building muscles, plant-eating animals are star performers. Gorillas, for instance, hardly eat any animal foods and yet they have some of the most impressive musculature of any species. The same goes for rhinos. These quiet herbivores can be incredibly powerful when they want to be. 

Creating A Muscle-Building Environment

The secret to building muscle isn’t eating meat, per se. It’s changing the body’s internal chemistry to put it into muscle-formation mode. 

Bodybuilders often talk about the importance of changing their hormones to encourage muscle growth. They know that they need lots of insulin, growth factors, and testosterone in their body to enable more muscle to form on their skeleton. So what matters isn’t the protein itself so much as the environment that the body builder is creating inside their body. When they have the right environment, it signals to muscle cells that now is the time to divide and multiply. 

The actual protein requirements of the body are incredibly small, even for people building muscle. The reason that eating a lot of it is important isn’t because it goes directly into muscle tissue - it doesn’t. Instead, it sends signals to the body that now’s a good time to build muscle because protein is abundant. And that’s why vegans can get amazing results on vegan protein

The Future

a spread of healthy breakfast foods.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Going vegan and being a bodybuilder at the same time offers all kinds of benefits for the body. For one, because eating plant foods is so much better for people long-term, it means that bodybuilders can keep exercising for much longer in their lives. There are examples of vegans training until they’re eighty years of age and beyond which is just unthinkable for people on other kinds of diet plans. 

Furthermore, the number of vegans is increasing. And so that will increase the probability that a plant-eater will win a major bodybuilding tournament. When that happens, eating plants and being a bodybuilder will seem feasible. And the whole conversation around protein will almost certainly have to change. Suddenly, plants will become the go-to choice.


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