February 11, 2013
Vegan Bodybuilding Diet
Some bodybuilders and figure competitors are vegan, meaning they eat no animal products including meat, eggs, dairy or honey, but must adhere to a strict set of rules when planning meals and buying foods for a vegan bodybuilding diet. They abstain from all meat and meat products, and dairy products, which are a dense source of dietary protein and amino acids that help to build and maintain muscle tissue. However a competition diet can be modified to accommodate these vegan choices.
There are many vegan alternatives when shopping for dairy products. Items such as cheese, yogurt, milk and sour cream all are available in tasty vegan versions that contain plant-based ingredients. Vegan cheese is available in sliced or shredded styles, these can be added to salads or sandwiches for extra protein. There are many alternatives to yogurt for vegans, including soy yogurt, coconut milk yogurt, almond milk yogurt and rice milk yogurt. A plethora of milk alternatives are available for vegans, including soy, coconut, rice, almond, oat, and hemp milk. Hemp and soymilk contain the most protein per serving, an important factor when deciding which vegan milk to buy. There are also many varieties that contain less sugar or use natural low-calorie sweeteners.
Many frozen entrees are available without animal products. Gardenburgers and soy-based burger patties are packed with protein. There are also many soy-based meat alternatives such as hot dogs, sausage, bacon, ground meat, corn dogs, chicken strips, chicken wings, buffalo wings and even pizza. These products are made with texturized vegetable protein, a plant-based meat alternative designed for vegans. They also contain no cholesterol.
Whey protein shakes are derived from cow’s milk and considered a staple in a bodybuilder or figure competitors diet. Many alternatives are available for protein shakes that do not contain animal products. Soy-based protein shakes are the most popular and available in the widest variety of flavors. Others include hemp, rice, pea, and chia seed protein shakes. Blend one scoop of a vegan protein powder with some ice, frozen berries and vegan milk for a tasty after workout shake. Many vegan protein shakes also contain a large amount of sugar and carbohydrates. When preparing for a figure competition diet, sugar intake should be closely monitored, and those protein powders that are low in sugar or use low-calorie sweeteners should be favored.
Nuts are a rich source of protein, however they are also high in calories. Many bodybuilders and figure competitors indulge in a tablespoon of natural peanut butter each day for protein and a little unsaturated fat. Try some natural peanut butter with a half of an apple, a slice of vegan cheese, or on top of a bowl of oatmeal.
There are many high protein alternatives for vegan bodybuilders and vegan figure competitors preparing for a competition diet.