Can a Vegetarian or Vegan Diet Work in Bodybuilding?

There is a growing trend in the world of bodybuilding and fitness towards vegan and vegetarian diets. With so many sport athletes using meat and fish as a primary food group, is it possible to swap these for alternative protein sources and to still get the same games? As we shall discover it seems that the answer is an almost definite yes, but it is not something that comes easily.

Meat-Free Beasts

You only need to look at vegan body builders like Billy Simmonds to see that it is possible to follow a vegan diet and still get big. Billy is also a marital arts expert, as strong and as fit as they come. This guy is huge, yet there is no meat, no fish, no whey, no eggs and no cheese in his diet. What’s more, he’s not the only one. There are scores of body builders just like him, ones that stick to strict meat-free diets and yet don’t seem to be suffering as a result.

So How Does he do it?

Many body builders will tell you that it’s 90% eating and 10% weight lifting. This makes vegan bodybuilding sound even harder, but the truth is that theres usually a direct replacement for meat. Instead of whey protein, pea protein is very popular for vegans. Instead of fish and meat, vegans eat nuts and seeds that are rich in healthy oils, along with copious amounts of vegetables, soy and grains such as quinoa.

Once you look at the typical diet of a vegan bodybuilder you begin to realize just how lazy meat-eating body builders seem. Whereas eggs, meat and fish are the way to go for them, for vegans there is a huge mix of protein-rich foods out there. not only does this offer a richer and more enjoyable diet, but it’s also much better for the body, with essential amino acids, fats and enzymes all coming from the protein and carb sources, and not from supplements.

Of course, there are those who say that supplements are vital, that it’s not possible to be a vegan or vegetarian body builder without them, but the truth is that if you pay close attention to your diet, you don’t need any supplements.

Can I Get As Big on A Vegan Diet?

Of course. The only issue is that it will take you a lot more planning. You can’t reach for simple foods and will need to think these things through even more so than you do now. If you begin to get lazy and starve your body of what it needs, then you may need supplementation, otherwise you could be harming your body.

Many vegan bodybuilders also began as vegetarians, and it’s very easy to be a vegetarian bodybuilder. Think about how big a part of your diet eggs, whey, milk and cheese are, and then remember that vegetarians are okay with all of these. Pescatarians have it even better, as they can eat fish, which means they can give themselves a complete diet without much issue.

Of course, if you want to become a vegetarian or vegan then you’ll no doubt have a moral reason behind it, so spending that time to plan your meals could be worth it for you. Just remember that whilst it is possible, it does take more effort and it needs to be done right.

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