Bodybuilding is no longer a carnivore’s-only club. A paradigm shift is underway inside the professional and amateur sports and athletics world…vegan supplements are on the rise…and the muscle building world is no exception…
According to a poll sponsored by the Vegetarian Resource Group in 2004, vegetarianism is slowly but steadily on the increase. Another poll, this time sponsored by Vegetarianism in America, suggests 3.2% (7.3 million) of adults living in the US have already made the switch to a meat-free lifestyle.
A survey conducted in India revealed 40% of the population India is vegetarian; so the vegetarians of this world are far from being a minority group. Vegetarian bodybuilders are also in good company because Billy Simmonds, who won Mr. Natural Universe in 2009, is a vegan, as are numerous other successful bodybuilders including former Mr. New Zealand, Dusan Dudas.
Many bodybuilders gain a large amount of their protein from meat so there still appears to be a prevalent belief that vegetarian bodybuilders have placed themselves at a disadvantage by opting to forego helpings of chicken, turkey, and stake etc.
Maybe there may have been some truth to this in years gone by, but modern-day bodybuilders tend to be better educated about which foods can help them attain their goals.
They also have an advantage over vegetarian bodybuilders of yesteryear because many supplement manufacturers have noticed a gaping gap in the market and have started filling it with vegetarian-friendly bodybuilding supplements that can ensure vegan bodybuilders have all the tools they need to chisel out a perfect physique.
Vegan-Friendly can also be Muscle-Friendly
Although the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle offers undeniable health benefits a typical vegetarian diet usually provides less zinc, iron, and creatine than the diet of a typical meat-munching bodybuilder.
This is in itself presents an obstacle that needs to be overcome if adequate muscle growth is to be achieved, but the lack of such nutrients also has a knock-on effect that can rob the body of much-needed calcium and vitamin B12.
The biological value of many meat-free proteins can also be much lower than proteins that come courtesy of the slaughter house and butcher’s block. Meat free proteins often lack essential amino acids and can fail to fulfil the body’s requirements.
A diet that is lacking in amino acids is not conducive to muscle growth. A lack of zinc can lead to a poor immune system and severely hamper the body’s ability to heal itself.
Iron deficiency can result in feelings of fatigue and an overall lack of nutritional balance can result in lackluster training sessions and inferior muscle growth.
Fortunately for vegan bodybuilders the world over, many modern-day supplement manufacturers possess a good understanding of the human body’s requirements and have developed formulations that can satisfy its needs without the need for a compromise in (vegan) principles.
Uncompromised Muscle Growth
Many of today’s best vegan friendly bodybuilding supplements help ensure optimum health and maximum muscle growth by providing:
- Protein: Typical vegan-friendly protein sources include soya, hemp, brown rice protein, and pea protein. Non-vegan vegetarians can also enjoy the advantages presented by whey, casein, and egg-based protein powders and formulations.
- Vitamins & Minerals: Many quality vegan-friendly bodybuilding supplements have also been blended to ensure the body receives a sufficient quantity of all the vitamins and minerals it requires to endure rigorous training sessions, while also ensuring un-hindered healing abilities and optimum muscle growth.
- Creatine: The muscle building, training-enhancing prowess of creatine has been well documented, but very few vegan-friendly foods provide this important ingredient that is so vital to bodybuilding success. Fortunately for vegans, not all creatine is derived from animal tissue. Acceptable alternatives are available and can be purchased in powdered form. Some of the better supplement brands also utilize creatine as an ingredient in their bodybuilding products.
There has never been a better time for on-the-fence bodybuilders to make the switch and make their stomachs meat-free zones.
A little due diligence is still required in choosing the right brand or brands of supplement, but many formulations have been specifically designed to ensure bodybuilders who are sticking to their principles and saying “no” to meat are not left sitting in the shade of their carnivorous counterparts.
Vegan bodybuilders are unlikely to have any significant advantages over the competition, other than the benefits a vegetarian lifestyle can provide to one and all, but they can at least enjoy a level playing field. The nutrition is certainly available, so if the determination and dedication is there the sky’s the limit.