Maintaining a lean physique is just as difficult for vegans as anyone else. The body needs fewer calories to maintain muscle, and having a reduced appetite after weightlifting doesn’t help matters either. Fortunately, there are several vegan supplements and whole foods that you can use to reach your dietary protein requirements without relying on animal products. This article will present you with six of them.
Reduce Cardio Exercise
Carbohydrates and fat are necessary for your body to maintain muscle mass and use protein for energy. Long cardio sessions can lead to burning too much of the latter. This depletion will negatively affect your strength and performance in the weight room. Therefore, keep your cardio exercise to a minimum or at least restricted to mornings on non-lifting days only. If you feel you must do some cardio first thing after waking up, be sure to take BCAAs before and during the session as they help reduce protein degradation during exercise.
Eat Vegetables Everyday
Many people don’t like veggies because they’re not filling enough fruit, but most veggies are way lower in sugar than most produce. That is why vegetables provide an excellent source of calories. A vegan diet has many benefits, including weight loss, increased energy, and a healthier heart. To ensure you get your required amount of vegetables every day, try having one salad with half a cup of chickpeas, broccoli, and corn before dinner.
Understand The Term “Complete Protein”
Protein quality is usually measured by how well it matches what the body needs its biological value or BV. This number depends on how efficiently the amino acids supplied by the source are used to build muscle tissue, absorbed and utilized in tissues other than those broken down during weightlifting. The amino profile itself matters little compared to how well the body uses it.
Unfortunately, many plant-based proteins lack the essential amino acids lysine and methionine. It makes them incomplete sources of protein. According to experts at veganfitguide.com, by combining different types of plant foods that complement each other’s nutrient profiles, one can create complete proteins that contain all nine essential amino acids. For example, beans complement corn tortillas very well since beans are low in lysine while corn is low in methionine.
Eat More Often
If you don’t get enough calories in your diet during the day, you’ll probably feel more hungry than usual, which may lead to overeating or binging at mealtimes. It’s a good idea to eat every 2-3 hours when your weight gains goal. Having three meals per day with snacks in between will keep blood sugar levels up even if you’re eating high-calorie foods that are easy to digest, like sweet potatoes, oatmeal, fruit smoothies with bananas, dates, and peanut butter.
Drink More Water
Water is an essential part of any diet plan. While protein, carbohydrates, and fat can all be stored in limited amounts for later use, water is constantly lost through sweat and urine. You must drink several liters (at least two gallons) of water every day to maintain your hydration status and process dietary nutrients effectively.
Another good idea is to keep a bottle of water with you throughout the day and drink from it every time you are thirsty, not just on workout days or in cold weather. This way, your body will learn that more water is always available and makes less of a distinction between workout and non-workout days.
Use Vegan Supplements
The most popular vegan protein powder is soy protein. It has the highest biological value of 80 and all nine amino acids, so it can be a complete source of protein for people who do not combine foods well. Alternatively, you could use pea protein, hemp protein, or rice protein which are incomplete sources but still relatively high in quality (biological value: 50-69). All three have an advantage over soy since they do not contain phytoestrogens, plant compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen and may interfere with muscle growth and other bodily functions if consumed in large quantities.
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are three amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) abundant in muscle tissue. They promote protein synthesis and enhance the growth of lean body mass by boosting the release of the anabolic hormones insulin and IGF-1. That’s why they’re available as supplements to help vegetarians and vegans reach their daily BCAA requirements without consuming animal products.
In summary, it’s essential to ensure your body gets enough protein, carbs, and fat. It will help you gain muscle mass while minimizing the amount of fat in your diet. And don’t forget to stay well hydrated throughout the day because it’ll also prevent hunger pangs that normally come with a low-carb diet.