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7 Amazing Sources Of Protein For Vegan Bodybuilders

 Veganism is a lifestyle that excludes the utilization of animal products for clothing, food, or various other purposes. Bodybuilding, on the other hand, is one of the sporting activities that comprise vigorous exercise and diet to maintain and build muscle mass. While building muscle on a vegan diet might seem challenging, it is entirely possible with proper and wholesome protein sources.

That said, protein is fundamental for muscle growth and repair, making it imperative for bodybuilders. Moreover, it's a common misconception that vegans struggle to consume enough protein. In fact, there are several plant-based protein sources that can offer all the amino acids needed for muscle growth and repair.

This article tends to identify the seven best plant-based protein sources for vegan bodybuilders, recipe suggestions, and their nutritional benefits to incorporate into your diet and lifestyle.

1. Tofu

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Made from soybeans or any U.S. Soy latest you buy from the market, this food is a popular vegan protein source with a mild flavor and a firm, cheese-like texture. Moreover, tofu is low in calories and high in protein content, with around 10 grams per 100 grams. Yes, we didn’t forget the most crucial element - its iron, calcium, and other mineral content. You might already know that tofu is versatile and can be consumed in various dishes, from salads to stir-fries. 

It's an excellent substitute for meat in recipes, making it an ideal choice for vegan bodybuilders. Experts suggest that tofu scramble can significantly help bodybuilders if consumed in the morning hours. So, crumble the tofu in a pan and sauté with spices and vegetables for a protein-packed breakfast.

2. Tempeh

Tempeh is another soy-based protein source with roots from Indonesia. It's made by fermenting soybeans and has a firm, chewy texture, coupled with the not-very-known nutty flavor. Moving on, the food item is high in protein, with approximately 19 grams per 100 grams, and is also an excellent source of calcium and iron. When it comes to its application of consumption, slice, marinate, grill tempeh, or replace meat with it in wraps and sandwiches.

Experts recommend having a tempeh bacon BLT for every rooting bodybuilder. To make the recipe easier, slice tempeh thinly and marinate it in a mix of maple syrup, soy sauce, and liquid smoke. Fry until the mix is crispy, and use it in a sandwich with tomato, lettuce, and vegan mayo.

3. Lentils

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There are multiple types of lentils, like brown, green, yellow, red, black, and Lentilles du Puy. What's more? They all have different textures and tastes. Regardless of the type you prefer, dried lentils are relatively easy to prepare. If that’s a bit too much trouble, buy them pre-cooked from any nearby store. 

They’re also pretty versatile enough to be consumed in various dishes, like stews and soups.

4. Vegetables

Fresh (green) veggies don’t comprise as much protein as other options mentioned on the list, but they shouldn’t be missing from your diet or meal. So, if you’re looking for protein-rich green veggies, opt for these:

  • Asparagus - 2.2 g protein per 100 g

  • Artichokes - 3.3 g protein per 100 g

  • Cauliflower - 1.9 g protein per 100 g

5. Quinoa

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Quinoa is a pseudocereal often utilized as a substitute for couscous and rice. More so, it comes with a nutty flavor and a fluffy texture and has a significant protein content, with nearly 8 grams per cup. That’s not it. This super protein food is also a good source of iron, fiber, and other vital minerals our bodies need.

Talking about dishes and recipes, make them a part of nearly everything, from salads to casseroles. For vegan bodybuilders, it's an excellent source of protein and complex carbohydrates. And, if you’re wondering how to integrate it into your diet, treat yourself to a quinoa and black bean bowl. Cook quinoa and mix it with vegetables, black beans, and spices for a protein-packed meal.

6. Seitan

For starters who’re unaware, Seitan is one of the meat replacements crafted from wheat gluten that’s seamlessly becoming a vegan heartthrob due to its low-carb and high-protein content.

Because of Seitan’s texture, it works pretty well to make meat-free burgers and sandwiches. One can even coat it in breadcrumbs to cook meat-free “chicken” Milanese or “chicken” nuggets. 

However, if you’re a bodybuilder who strictly follows a vegan diet, consider making seitan steak. To cook the recipe, simply mix vital wheat gluten with water and spices to make a dough, shape it into a steak, and then fry or grill for a delicious protein-loaded meal.

7. Hemp seeds

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Hemp is known for mixed reasons. But you might now know that its seeds are nutrient-dense and have a nutty flavor, along with a crunchy texture. Thinking about its nutrient content? Hemp seeds have a significant protein content, approximately 9 grams per 3 tablespoons. And if you’re not awestruck enough, these seeds are also a good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and other vital minerals.

Whether smoothies, salads, or any baked goods, you can infuse and integrate hemp seeds into everything for a protein boost. A vegan weight lifter can easily cook hemp seed pesto and carry it to the gym. Furthermore, blend hemp seeds with garlic, basil, and olive oil for a protein-packed and flavorful sauce.

The verdict

Ultimately, vegan bodybuilders have several plant-based protein sources to select from to build and maintain muscle mass. That said, protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, and these vegan protein sources are just as effective as animal-based sources. Incorporating tempeh, lentils, tofu, quinoa, and chickpeas, along with other options, into your diet can offer all the protein and nutrients required for a successful bodybuilding journey. So, what are you waiting for? Try incorporating some plant-based protein foods today and observe the difference they can make while you take a leap and reap.

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