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Nobody can deny the fact that humans need protein to survive and thrive. But that that protein should come from the flesh of dead animals is the biggest food myth out there. Even vegetarians and vegans can build sharp and chiselled muscles by following an adequate diet and sweating it out at the gym.
Kolkata-based Fitness Expert Arnav Sarkar advocates the policy of not harming animals in getting those ideal muscles. Weight training and adequate protein intake all throughout the day can get you those perfect no-meat muscles. Here s how:
Getting into the right mindset is more important whether you are vegan or hard core non-vegetarian: Building muscle is one of the toughest things to do, especially if you seek quality muscle gain and not fat gain. It takes a lot of hard work which is followed by a very slow addition of muscle gain over a period of many months and even years, even with the best diet plans. If one is looking to gain muscle rapidly then they are setting up themselves to be disappointed and frustrated. So first of all, it is important to mentally get charged up to work hard and be patient in the attempt to gain muscle size.
Obsession with protein isn't an ideal way to get muscles: The importance of protein has been greatly highlighted by many media and internet sources. However, to gain muscle size one also needs to up their carb and dietary fat intake. When looking to gain muscle size calories matter and also maintaining a balance. Carbs help to spare protein from being used for fuel and instead be used for muscle building. Dietary fat helps to keep testosterone levels high to create a muscle building environment in the body. Thus, muscle building will never be optimal if only protein is increased while ignoring the other macronutrients. Read here Want to build muscles and lose weight? Here are some essential muscle building nutrients
True vegans who do not consume even dairy products will need to plan their diet around getting optimal protein and fats since getting carbs will generally not be an issue on a vegan diet.
Well-rounded whole food plant-based diet can promote muscle gain: From a theoretical point of view, building muscle on a plant based diet is possible. And even in the real world, athletes have shown considerable muscle gains while following a plant based diet.
However, the first concern for muscle building on a vegan diet is how to get first class protein, and in sufficient quantities? While some foods like soy and quinoa are complete proteins, most vegan sources of protein are not first-class sources. Mixing them with other vegan foods help to make it a complete protein meal. Some examples include, combining rice with beans, lentils and barley, peanut butter with whole wheat bread, etc. Besides this for those who are on the skinny side it might be essential to consume protein shakes to get adequate protein for muscle gains.
How good is nuts, seeds and soya for vegans for building muscle: The oil (good fat) content in nuts and seeds is extremely beneficial for getting that extra energy to pump weights. Read here theses only 3 vegan foods you need to build muscles and tone up
While one may think that since soy is one of the few complete protein sources for vegans and should be the top go to food for muscle building, there are also some claims that soy might not be too healthy and can also lower testosterone and muscle gains. To be honest most of the anti-soy claims are a bit exaggerated and not really true. A simple test would be to consume it and see how your body reacts to it and plan how much soy to consume in your diet. In any case if you are eating healthy then you should not overeat any particular food including soy and consume a variety of foods. For most vegans consuming soy a few times a week should not cause any problems and will help in muscle building.
Watching your deficiencies is essential for gaining muscle: Along with the macronutrients, one also needs to watch their micronutrient intake for health and muscle gains. One must understand how iron, calcium, zinc and B12 deficiency affects muscle gain. Micronutrients help in synthesis and repair of muscle tissue during recovery from exercise. Thus, any deficiency will slow down or even halt the muscle building process.
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