The 9 Best Protein Sources for Vegan Bodybuilders - 5 minutes read
Many people are shifting to a vegan diet due to health, religious or animal welfare issues. So, they are limiting their intake of animal-based foods. But have you ever wondered where vegan bodybuilders get their protein from?
In reality, people who cut on their animal-based food consumption, like eggs, milk, meat, etc., are less likely to get the needed amount of proteins. But for bodybuilders, protein is one of the primary nutrients that their body needs. So, they must ensure to get sufficient quantities of this nutrient.
Therefore, if you are a bodybuilder and don't consume animal-based food products, do not worry, as more nutritious and fortified plant-based protein sources are now available to help you reach your bodybuilding goals efficiently. Your body needs the nine essential amino acids, which are protein's building blocks. Since plant-based vegan foods already contain these amino acids in ratios that closely meet your body's requirements, it's great to switch to the following best protein sources for your bodybuilding journey.
For bodybuilders, a high-protein-rich diet is necessary; hence, sustainable soy foods can fulfill their protein requirements. Soy-based foods like tofu, edamame, tempeh, soy milk, etc., are the richest protein sources you can get from plants. It is one of the best plant sources, abundant in all nine essential amino acids for muscle recovery. Also, these proteinaceous foods have a high biological value that's pretty much comparable to animal-based protein foods.
Moreover, when you consume soy foods, you may rest assured that you're consuming mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats that would only increase the good cholesterol level in the body. Therefore, if you plan to include plant-based protein sources into your diet, you may choose tofu, edamame, tempeh, soya chunks, etc., to prepare your meals.
Quinoa is also among the best vegan protein sources that have become a significant part of the latest superfood trends, and for a good reason. However, these tiny seeds contain approximately 8 grams of protein per serving and are among the few complete vegan protein sources. Consuming quinoa will help ensure that your body gets all the nine essential amino acids for optimum muscle recovery. So, you can substitute pasta or rice with quinoa for your meals to get extra proteins, healthy fats, and fiber.
If you think vegan protein powders do not exist, perhaps you aren't aware of the latest food trends. Yes, vegan protein powders exist and have become a great source of protein among vegan bodybuilders. You can consume it as a protein shake or smoothie, add them to your breakfast meals, make post-workout snacks, etc. These protein powders contain pea, soy, or hemp instead of whey protein.
Beans and Legumes
Legumes and beans are great protein substitutes for vegans. Kidney beans, mung beans, split peas, chickpeas, and lentils are the best ones to choose from which you can get 20 g to 25 grams of protein. Besides being a vegan protein source, it can be a good source of visceral fat for bodybuilders. You may consume it by making homemade bean burgers or steamed edamame, which can also be a great post-workout snack.
Cooked chickpeas are abundant in protein, containing about 7.25 grams per half cup. You can eat chickpeas hot and cold, as they are pretty versatile, enabling you to prepare different recipes. You can add them to curries and stews as a post-workout meal. Also, you may roast them and spice them up with paprika. Moreover, you can make hummus with chickpea paste and have it with a sandwich. It is a healthy, vegan, and protein-rich alternative to butter.
There are different kinds of lentils, like green, brown, red, black, yellow, and Lentilles du Puy, and each has different textures and tastes. No matter what variety of lentils you choose, it is easy to prepare dried lentils. This vegan protein source is also available as a pre-cooked item. It is also a versatile food that you can use for preparing various dishes like stews and soups.
Buckwheat is related to rhubarb and is not a form of wheat at all. Most cultures consume the seeds by grinding them into flour or heating the hulled kernels, or "groats," similar to oatmeal. The Japanese have transformed the plant into quirky noodles called soba. Buckwheat is incredibly nutritious; some research suggests it may increase circulation, reduce blood cholesterol, and regulate blood sugar.
Chia seeds are the most significant plant source of omega-3 fatty acids and have more fiber than flax seeds or almonds. Chia seeds come packed with calcium, iron, zinc, and antioxidants, but their best quality is their ability to turn milk or water into a gooey gel. They are, therefore, excellent for thickening smoothies, preparing nutritious puddings, and substituting eggs in vegan cuisine.
For breakfast or as a post-workout meal, oatmeal is an excellent source of protein. It is simple to mix with other vegan proteins and has roughly 13 grams of protein per 100 grams. You may make your protein booster by combining soy milk (7 g of protein), peanut butter, a handful of almonds, and some blueberries.
You must consider other factors besides protein content per serving when choosing the best protein meals for bodybuilding. For improved health and muscular growth, protein quality is just as important as other micronutrients, and convenience is another crucial element. After all, vegans may not be able to consume high-protein non-vegetarian foods for bodybuilding. Therefore, this list of vegan protein sources can be your best bet.