Best Vegan Protein Powder for Building Muscle
If you’ve seen the 2016 blockbuster movie Suicide Squad, you would know that Jared Leto is now on the list of tremendously talented A-list actors who have brought the Joker to life. From dropping a whopping 116lbs for a transsexual woman character battling AIDS in Dallas Buyers Club (2015), Leto had to gain all the weight back in time for his role in the supervillain DC film. He modelled his Joker frame after that of a typical MMA fighter, doing strict bodybuilding and weighted calisthenics to achieve his desired result.
To the surprise of many, Jared Leto is actually vegan (sometimes, vegetarian) and has been for around two decades. He lives off a high carbohydrate, low fat diet and gets all his protein from plant-based sources instead of meat and dairy. Leto is living proof that going vegan doesn’t mean compromising a strong physique.
Bulking Up the Vegan Way
Ryan Andrews, a health coach from Precision Nutrition, believes in the power of a plant-based diet for bulking up. He shares five essentials to vegan muscle-building:
- Swap your water with a protein drink.
If you’re working on your muscles, you should already know by now that you’ll need lots and lots and lots of protein. A scoop of protein powder for every meal is an extra 20 grams of protein with minimal effort.
- Add more nuts and seeds to your diet.
Oils don’t have protein but nuts and seeds do. Instead of consuming lentils with coconut oil, try eating them together with pumpkin seeds instead. If you’re having a salad, skip the olive oil and eat your greens with almonds. Ditch the margarine for your oatmeal and opt for cashew butter instead. These little switches give you the protein you need, even if it’s just in small doses.
- Supplement when necessary.
If there are days you run out of protein-filled food options, don’t be afraid to take supplements. Supplements help vegans get both the protein and nutrients they need to stay fit.
- Scale back a bit on vegetables.
Vegetables can be filling, but eating raw veggies can be counterproductive when you’re trying to gain muscle. Reduce your vegetable intake and replace them with food that has more calories, including seeds, beans, nuts and grains.
- Have cooked beans ready to eat.
Beans = protein. Prepare a big batch of beans two times a week so you can just get a portion from your fridge and heat it when you’re feeling extra hungry that day.
- A Supplement You Need
At StrongDuck, we have a vegan supplement specifically designed for dairy-free lean muscle mass building and post workout recovery. Our NATURAL LEAN MUSCLE FUEL is an all-natural formula that contains premium proteins, high-quality carbohydrates and a special blend of active ingredients with every serving. All these work together to enhance your training performance, improve recovery and boost your muscular power.
NATURAL LEAN MUSCLE FUEL has a smooth, milkshake-like consistency and a rich flavour – it’s almost unbelievable that it’s a drink for building muscle. The secret lies in its two main ingredients: soy and pea protein isolates.
What’s So Great about Soy Protein?
Whey is the more popular supplement ingredient amongst vegans, while soy is an often overlooked substitute for getting shredded. What most people don’t know is that not only is soy dairy-free, it also contains all the essential amino acids that our bodies need for general health. And if you consume the right amino acids, you can build and maintain healthy muscles.
In a study done by Douglas S. Kalman, Ph.D., R.D., trained male lifters who drank soy protein powder supplements twice daily all increased muscle mass within a 12-week training period. A month-long Ohio State project also reported that the men in the study who consumed around 40 grams of soy protein prior to lifting weights had better antioxidant protection compared to those who only stuck with whey protein. The latest research confirms that soy protein does not lower t-levels necessary for bulking up but, instead, enhances muscle formation and hypertrophy due to the generous amount of arginine amino acids found in it.
The recommended amount of soy protein consumption is one gram per pound of bodyweight each day. If you want to build muscle, you should increase your intake to around 1.5 to 2 gram. This gives you faster results with both size and strength.
The Power of Pea Protein
Do not buy into the myth that all plant-based proteins are incomplete proteins. While some plants cannot give you the nutrients you need, pea protein is definitely a preferred supplement for growing muscle.
Peas are legumes that can be eaten in many ways, from freshly steamed dishes to dehydrated snack packets. They are a great source of fibre and protein for all types of diets and are also used to address a few health conditions, such as an upset stomach or high blood sugar levels. When processed into protein powder, they make an excellent addition to your post-workout meal.
A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, a group of researchers discovered that pea protein improved muscle thickness amongst athletes just as effectively as dairy-based proteins. Doctors also found that the men partook in their 12-week pea protein experiment had a 20.2 per cent increase in muscle size compared to only a 15.6 and 8.6 per cent increase for whey and placebo respectively. The people who continued to consume pea protein beyond the study experienced continuous growth with time.
Pea protein is excellent for those who want to achieve their ideal muscle-to-fat ratio. It gives you a quick, high-nutrition, protein-filled boost in a pinch, even when you’re on a plant-based diet.
Not Just for Vegans
At StrongDuck, we carry a wide range of supplements that suit any diet, whether you’re vegan or non-vegan. We support bodybuilding and fitness community members who want to build muscle, ensuring they have an option that matches their needs.
We are passionate about health as much as we are about fitness. Talk to one of our representatives today and we’ll recommend a supplement that works best for you.