Written by Alex Simpson
4 Common Myths Associated With Vegan Bodybuilding That Are Not True!
Whether you have recently converted to veganism, or if you’ve been a vegan for many years now, you will probably have had plenty of fairly ignorant people making false assumptions about you and your diet, that were obviously not true at all. Veganism is becoming more popular every single year, all across the globe, and there are now countless vegan individuals from all walks of life, that are involved in a whole variety of different disciplines and pastimes.
Vegan bodybuilding is really taking off lately, which is why the demand for quality vegan-friendly sport and bodybuilding supplements, is higher now than ever before. Not too long ago, if you wanted a dairy-free alternative to whey, other than soy protein, you really had little else to choose from. Nowadays, however, there are more plant-based supplements aimed specifically at vegan bodybuilders, than ever before. If you’re thinking of looking into becoming a vegan bodybuilder, or if you simply want to discover whether veganism and bodybuilding really are compatible with one another, here’s a look at 4 common myths associated with vegan bodybuilding, that is simply not true.
Vegans don’t get enough protein – This is perhaps the most common misconception and myth associated with vegan bodybuilding, and it is usually an assumption made by an ignorant individual who truthfully has little idea of what they’re talking about. Protein is one of three essential macronutrients, with the other two being fat and carbohydrates, and there are plenty of protein sources out there, that are meat-free and which do not come from animal-based sources at all.
In terms of whole foods, there are beans, legumes, quinoa, nuts, seeds, brown rice, tofu, hemp, spirulina, and much more besides, all of which are packed full of proteins and amino acids. Quinoa and tofu are also complete protein source, meaning they contain all amino acids required by the body. Just to ensure that daily protein requirements are met, however, there are also quality vegan-friendly supplements to choose from, including brown rice protein, vegan protein blends, soy protein, pea protein, and hemp protein.
Vegans don’t get enough calcium – We all know that calcium is commonly found in milk and dairy products, but vegans don’t consume dairy products, so surely their bones and teeth will be brittle and weak, as calcium is vital for bone and teeth health and density? Well, shock horror, calcium is not exclusively found in milk, as it is also found in many green leafy vegetables, especially kale and other cruciferous vegetables. In actual fact, pound for pound, kale contains more calcium per serving, than milk.
Kale and other green leafy veggies are also packed full of other essential minerals, including zinc, copper, iron, magnesium, and manganese, to name but a few. The body also requires vitamin D to absorb this calcium into the bones, and contrary to popular belief, other than the sun, there are other vegan-friendly sources of vitamin D, including vegan-friendly vitamin D supplements, fortified grains, orange juice, and soy milk.
Vegans can’t build muscle – Again, this myth is linked to the myth that vegans don’t get enough protein, and it is simply not true at all. There are many, many vegan bodybuilders, strongmen, and athletes out there that are incredibly heavily muscled, and who find it relatively easy to build muscle by following a vegan-friendly bodybuilding lifestyle.
What’s more, many vegans, due to their nutrient-rich diets, tend to have more energy than regular bodybuilders, so their time in the gym becomes even more productive as a result. There are plenty of vegan-friendly foods and supplements out there that are packed full of proteins and amino acids, that, when combined with an effective training regime, will yield hugely impressive muscle gains.
All vegan bodybuilders are healthy – Again, this is not necessarily true. When we think of vegan diets, we tend to envision raw superfoods, green vegetables, colourful fruits, nuts, seeds, and juices that are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. There are many vegans who eat like this, but there are some who are not the healthiest of individuals, and who do not eat too healthily at all.
Remember, snacks such as potato crisps and chips fried in sunflower oil, are vegan-friendly, but they aren’t healthy at all. You can also find many baked goods aimed at vegans, which, whilst tasty, may not be very healthy, so remember, just because a person is a vegan, that does not mean they eat fresh vegetables for every meal, and wash it down with a fresh fruit and vegetable juice.