A Simple Guide to the Vegan Bodybuilding Diet: The Best Foods to Build Muscle

Vegan bodybuilding diet

Lots of people mistakenly believe that it's not possible to build muscle on a vegan diet. This is absolutely not the case - vegans can add a range of protein-rich foods to their diet to build muscle.

Are you a vegan looking to adjust your wellness program to build muscle? Or are you a fitness enthusiast thinking about converting to a vegan diet?

Whatever your focus, this simple guide can help you. We are going to take a look at some of the best foods that vegans can eat to build muscle and take a look at some of the specifics around building muscle on a vegan diet.

Let's start our deeper dive into vegan bodybuilding with a look at some of the very best vegan protein sources for bodybuilding. 

The Best Vegan Bodybuilding Foods

If you want to pursue a plant-based diet bodybuilding isn't at all impossible. There are lots of amazing foods out there for vegans that are high in protein. Here's a look at just some of the very best options.


That's right - the humble pea is perfect for vegan bodybuilding protein intake. These small green balls pack a serious punch, offering an impressive nine grams of protein per cup.

To make them even more attractive to vegans, these peas also contain great amounts of vitamins A and C. Phosphorous and iron are also covered, too, helping you to stay healthy while enjoying a delicious treat.

A serving of peas will also provide you with around 6 grams of fiber - this is essential for a healthy diet and it helps you to avoid a host of issues related to digestion.


Edamame looks a lot like the pea but these are actually immature soybeans that are cooked while they are still in the pod. These delicious treats are very popular in Japanese food and 22 grams of protein are up for grabs in each cup.

Edamame is very popular among vegans, given that it is so delicious and nutritious at the same time. If you want to dine out and eat some great Japanese food, you will find that this is a very popular starter.


Soybeans are a vegan bodybuilder's best friend. This bean variety offers vegan bodybuilders an impressive 28 grams per cup. This makes it very easy for vegan bodybuilders to achieve their protein goals.

Perhaps best of all, soybeans are absolutely delicious and you can easily incorporate them into your favorite dish. The nutritional value keeps on giving, too, with soybeans offering healthy doses of essential fatty acids and insoluble fiber.

Those two factors give you the ability to keep your digestive health in check so that you can focus on training and being as healthy as you can possibly be. 

What to eat as a vegan bodybuilder


Another pea! Lentils offer a lot of protein with just a low amount number of calories. This makes it the perfect option if you are already approaching your calorie limit but you need to squeeze more protein into your mix.

You will find that lentils give you around 18 grams of protein per cup and they also provide a healthy blend of micronutrients to keep you in great shape. Those micronutrients help your organs to operate as effectively as possible.

Lots of vegan bodybuilders appreciate the power of lentils because of their versatility, too. It's very easy to prepare lentils and put them into a variety of your dishes to up the protein count of your meal.


Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans and it's a great alternative to tofu. It doesn't quite have the same reputation as tofu, but it can offer a significant protein boost to your dishes!

This ingredient is particularly important in Southeast Asia and it is enjoyed for its ability to soak up the flavors that surround it. This makes it a versatile ingredient that you can incorporate into your vegan dishes.

It's easy to cut tempeh into a range of shapes so you can use it in a range of dishes and enjoy its versatility.


Tofu is perhaps the most famous vegetarian/vegan product out there. The product has a reputation as being plain but we know that isn't the case - tofu can be very versatile and elevate the quality of any dish... As well as its protein offering.

Spices and sauces can help you to massage the flavor of the tofu and achieve the flavors that you're going for. Tofu is very high in protein, too, making it the perfect meat substitute if you're hoping to give yourself a big dose of protein before or after a workout.


Quinoa is a seed that's a much better alternative to rice. This powerful seed has been a staple in parts of South American for thousands of years and it's adored for a range of reasons.

First and foremost, it offers a significant amount of plant-based protein. This helps vegans to boost their protein intake and best of all, quinoa is very simple to cook and incorporate into your recipes.

If you are wondering what to eat as a vegan bodybuilder, you can't go wrong with quinoa. It's no surprise that quinoa is enjoying a strong reputation as one of the key superfoods of our time!


There's nothing quite like starting the day with some oats for breakfast. Oats are rich in protein and they give you a cozy start to the day, providing you with the energy to tackle whatever lies ahead in your day.

Oats are just one of the many whole-grain foods that are popular among vegans. These foods offer a healthy level of fiber that can make your body more resilient and healthy.

Oats can also be enjoyed alongside a wide range of other ingredients - they really are incredibly versatile and they open up a world of opportunity for the vegan bodybuilder.

Best vegan bodybuilding foods


Nuts are a great source of protein and you should be sure to incorporate them into your diet. Walnuts and pistachios are particularly impressive in this regard but you could also experiment with cashews, pecans, almonds, peanuts, and more.

There are lots of ways that you can incorporate those nuts into your diet and you could think about experimenting with nuts and pastes.

Vegan-Friendly Protein Powder

If you feel like you're still lacking in terms of protein, you could always think about turning to vegan-friendly protein powder and incorporating it into your drinks or meals.

There are lots of natural and nutritious options out there that are based on different vegan staples like soy, pumpkin seeds, peas, and more.

Protein powders make it simple for you to boost your protein intake and really push to achieve your vegan bodybuilding objectives. Best of all, there are lots of options out there on the market to fit with your particular tastes and preferences.

How Much Protein Do I Need On a Vegan Bodybuilding Diet?

Vegan bodybuilding protein intake

The more you workout, the higher your protein needs will become. There is a lot of research in this area and it's still ongoing - the human body still holds a lot of mysteries that we are trying to uncover.

Current scientific consensus dictates, though, that vegans pursuing a wellness regime should aim for between 1.6 - 2.2 grams of protein per kg of bodyweight. This makes it simple to multiply that figure by your bodyweight to arrive at the appropriate figure.

It is absolutely possible to achieve this figure, too, on a strict vegan diet. As we have seen from the items above, there are lots of ways to incorporate protein into your vegan diet.

Closing Thoughts

We hope that this article has been inspiring for you. As you can see, there is a huge range of potential protein sources for vegan bodybuilders.

Those diverse sources give you the ability to create stunning recipes that never become stale. Your vegan lifestyle means that you can pursue some truly incredible meals while still fulfilling your wellness goals.

There are lots of inspiring vegan athletes out there who manage to reconcile a pursuit of peak physical performance with living an ethical life. In times where you are wondering whether it's possible, you should look toward those figures for inspiration.

We know that you can do it.