How to Build Muscle on a Vegetarian Diet
April 22, 2019

How to Build Muscle on a Vegetarian Diet

You must be wondering why bodybuilders are into muscle building? There could be several reasons. It's not just the thrill that they get out of it or they intend to sport their muscled body as a fashion statement.

Building muscles have enormous benefits to your body and mind. It makes you energized, enhances core body strength, and keeps you fit. But what about a suitable diet for proper muscle growth?

The Veg. and Non-Veg. Debate

Generally, the non-vegetarian diet has been preferred by bodybuilders since ages. It is mainly because of most non-veg. food items contain complete protein which means all 22 amino acids including 9 essential amino acids are present in them (and that are needed for your body.

How to Build Muscle on a Vegetarian Diet

However, in recent years, it is evident that more and more people are turning vegan for various reasons. Secondly, people are realizing that when they eat a good mix of different veg.

Food items their diet then they can get all the amino acids from vegetables only. But are you convinced that a vegetarian diet can build muscles that you dream for your body? Don't worry!

You are at the right place! Let's explore the efficacy of vegetarian food in muscle building. You can easily understand like meat-eaters, how vegans can also able to gain muscle.

How to Build Muscle on a Vegetarian Diet

Benefits of Building Muscle

Building muscles by weight training are not exactly meant for winning bodybuilding competitions or participating in wrestling or shaping your body to look ‘good'. It has several positive impacts on your overall health.

Considering this more and more people who are fitness freak are all building muscle nowadays. After all, who doesn't want to be stay healthy, energized, and look smart? Muscles that people like you build have the following benefits.

  • It increases your metabolic rate that in turn causes your body to burn excess fat.
  • Muscle strengthens the bones, ligaments, and tendons
  • Muscle keeps you energized and on your toe throughout the day. So you perform activities effectively.
  • You can easily enhance your physical appearance by building your muscles.
  • When you build muscles with weight training the risk of disease will be reduced.

How to Build Muscle on a Vegetarian Diet

How to Build Muscle on a Vegetarian Diet

It is a stylized fact that protein is essential for building muscle. But what could you do if you are on a vegetarian diet? A number of studies show that by following a carefully chosen plant-based diet and still get all the nutrients including proteins and vitamins required for your body.

Precisely, building muscle is possible on any diet that contains sufficient calories coupled with an appropriate exercise routine. 

How to Build Muscle on a Vegetarian Diet

You might be surprised to learn that plan for building muscle is nearly similar for people who are in vegetarian or a meat-filled diet. Your body doesn't recognize or bothered about what and how you eat.

Depending upon your body type and lifestyle, your body needs specific calorie intake for existence. If you eat more calories than you burn in a day then you can build muscle. Of course, a strict gym regime is required without which the surplus protein, instead of building muscle would be deposited as fat in your body.

Steps to Gain Vegetarian Diet Muscle

  • Count on Your Calories: Your first step is to find out your “maintenance level” or the number of calories you require keeping your weight steady. Using trial and error method you can increase or decrease your food intake and figure out the quantum of food (read the number of calories) required to keep your weight consistent. Once you know your threshold level, you can then try to increase your diet to create a ‘calorie surplus’ in your body.

How to Build Muscle on a Vegetarian Diet

  • Sufficient Protein, Not Excess: Protein is the most essential requirement for muscle building. You should consume protein in surplus but there should be an upper limit to it. Too much protein intake can have a negative effect on your body. It is undesirable for you to consume more than 10-15% of your daily calories. Plant-based foods are full of all the protein you require. Simply consume more to obtain more protein.
  • Focus on healthy food: “Whole grains, beans, and tons of vegetables, particularly leafy greens, practically, plant-based diets could be helpful for you as they’re rich in antioxidants that may facilitate in speeding up recovery.
  • Carbohydrates: Carbs are very vital as they help fuel you to grow the muscles. They are our main source of fuel, so sans adequate carbs, you won’t have the energy to work on your muscles. Carbs also facilitate in recovering from weight-training and help your muscles suck up the protein and develop. You can go for legumes, brown rice, quinoa, seeds, beans, avocado, lentils, nuts, and.
  • Care about Calcium: Calcium has a great role in keeping our bones strong and healthy. Vegans can get sufficient amount of calcium from calcium-rich foods like almonds, bok choy, kale, navel oranges, and figs. Calcium gets absorbed by Vitamin D so make it sure that you’re consuming foods like orange juice and expose yourself to sunlight for some time in a day
  • Exercise Adequately: To grow your muscle you need resistance training (usually weight training) along with proper diet and cool mindset. The food intake, exercise regime, and adequate rest are three pillars of muscle building. Without sufficient exercise, your excess calorie intake would result in the deposition of fat in your body.


It is quite evident that the vegan diet is equally effective in building muscle as it is done by non-veg. foods. Although most vegetarian foods contain a lesser amount of protein than from non-veg. counterpart, still you can get an adequate amount of proteins by mixing different vegan foods throughout your meals.

A balanced diet with sufficient proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, roughage, and water is necessary. But remember, a stringent workout schedule is really vital along with your food. So go for it....and shape up your body with vegan muscles.

Author’s Bio

Chetan works at Diet Chart, which is a leading Diet & Nutrition blog. His passion and love for the subject encouraged him to start writing the articles for various topics related to Health, diet, and beauty such as home remedies for fair skin, how to get fair skin naturally, how to get rid of pimple marks etc..

Through his writing, he wishes to help people gain more knowledge about the relationship between food, nutrition, lifestyle, and health.

How to Build Muscle on a Vegetarian Diet

How to Build Muscle on a Vegetarian Diet