As healthy lifestyles evolve, so does that of diet and nutrition. Fitness and bodybuilding plans follow in accordance with lifestyle choices. Many vegetarians, for example, are choosing to completely eliminate animal proteins and follow a vegan lifestyle.
It is not terribly uncommon for those who choose veganism to also commit to a healthy lifestyle of exercise; including bodybuilding. Initially, it may seem that vegan bodybuilding is a contradiction of lifestyles. So, the question becomes; is vegan bodybuilding possible?
The most basic goal of bodybuilding is to grow and shape lean muscle. For some, it is solely about building muscle mass and strength. For others, it is about creating muscle tone and flexibility. In any case, bodybuilding must be accompanied by exercise, diet and supplemental plans designed for individual goals.
A natural bodybuilder, for instance, will follow the philosophy of avoiding banned substances to achieve his goals. Vegetarian bodybuilding is, quite simply, bodybuilding while consuming a certain vegetarian diet. A vegan bodybuilding & fitness lifestyle is possible, but not without unique challenges that other bodybuilders do not face.
The essential needs for building muscle start with lifting weights and consuming the appropriate nutrition. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Protein is the foundation of any bodybuilding diet and the most important nutrient needed for building lean muscle.
It has been well studied that proteins found in beef, chicken, fish and eggs are ideal for a bodybuilding diet. Clearly, the challenge of vegan weight lifting and growing muscle is that vegan cooking is based on creating a diet entirely absent of animal products. Naturally, the key for a vegan bodybuilder is finding options to replace the animal proteins and fuel muscle growth.
Creating a sound vegan bodybuilding meal plan begins with developing an understanding of protein sources beyond that of animal foods. A variety of vegan protein choices exist and there are several creative ways to incorporate those options into a well-balanced vegan diet.
The foundation of a vegan diet begins with vegetables. Some of the best vegetable protein sources include broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower and artichokes. Essential amino acids are found in most types of beans such as soybeans and kidney beans. Legumes, lentils and peas are excellent sources of proteins as well.
Whole grains are a healthy option for any diet and quinoa is the best choice among whole grains for getting protein. Tasty nuts, nut butters and seeds are rich in healthy fats and proteins and are a must for a vegan diet.
In addition to vegan appropriate foods, supplements are ideal for providing additional nutrients to compliment a vegan bodybuilding program. Targeted amino acids, vegetable and soy proteins are just a few examples of different types of dietary supplements that can be used in conjunction with a vegan diet. For any diet and exercise program it is important to get the daily requirement of vitamins and minerals. Vegan vitamin supplements, in many instances, are needed to provide balance for extreme diet and exercise plans.
Vegan bodybuilding nutrition is not only possible, but can easily be achieved with a little creativity. There are numerous vegan lifestyle and diet resources available for learning and sharing. Bodybuilding is as popular as ever. Make bodybuilding a part of any healthy lifestyle and experience the benefits of muscle building fitness!
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