T Nation

Vegan or Vegetarian Bodybuilders

Hey. I;m a vegan and have been for a couple of years now. I was a vegetarian for many years before that. I chose to become vegan for animal rights reasons. I am not posting to try and convert anyone or argue ethics (for some reason T-Nation forum doesn’t sound like the ideal place :wink: I am merely looking for some nutrition help. As you can imagine there’s not much nutrition info out there for veg bodybuilders (and athletes in general).

The main issue i have is that most if not all vegan foods that contain moderate amounts of protein also contain many other macronutrients. For example quinoa is a pretty good source of protein but is also high in carbs, nuts are a decent source of protein but are also high in fats… So does anyone have any suggestions on how to get my protein up while maintaining manageable amounts of other macronutrients? (apart from eating meat :wink:

thanks

Protein shakes are out of the question?

Veganism is not “bodybuilder friendly”. Yes, people may be able to post one or two anomalies who got huge by eating that way, but that is all they are, exceptions to the rule.

This article may be helpful. I remember reading about Berardi trying a vegetarian diet. I know its not the same as vegan but maybe you can find some useful info in there.

Prof x … whey, casein and egg protein shakes are not vegan but hemp, rice, wheat, and pea are. Personally I don’t find that getting huge on a vegan diet is all that crazy of a notion. Eat a lot. It’s the dieting down part that I find hardest.

Sam… Thanks for the link.

The article that Sam posted above has a link to Berardi’s Precision Nutrition site where you can see his meal plan. He ate a vegan diet, aside for breakfast where he ate eggs and a slice of cheese.

What’s wrong with being high in carbs and/or fats? Eat your nuts and beans.

Chris Colucci tried it for a month I think and he did a thread in the Supplements forum. I just tried to find it but without remembering the title of the thread it seems to be a no-go with the Search.

here is an older thread. I am still trying to find Chris Colucci’s thread

Wasn’t Bill Pearl a vegetarian? Maybe after he got big, perhaps. But still, might be worth seeing what he was eating.

Well here is Chris Colucci’s blog and he details what he ate and vegan/vegetarian bodybuilders

http://chriscolucci.blogspot.com/2009_04_01_archive.html

is there any information on how t-levels are effected by a vegan diet? assuming vegan’s are against aas use(which really i have no knowledge on) i would think that would be a limiting factor in vegan bodybuilding. im sure you could get your protein somewhere though… i just dont know where. mabey the hemp protein?

[quote]Bingbeast wrote:
Prof x … whey, casein and egg protein shakes are not vegan but hemp, rice, wheat, and pea are. Personally I don’t find that getting huge on a vegan diet is all that crazy of a notion. Eat a lot. It’s the dieting down part that I find hardest.

Sam… Thanks for the link.[/quote]

I hear the Pea Protein tastes like sweaty feet…

haha… sweaty feet?! No, I assure you it tastes pretty good. Vegan protein powders can taste a little ‘chalky’ though.

Deorum: I can’t see why t-levels would be affected by a vegan diet. AAS are indeed vegan

Rational: He claims that he won his last Mr Universe as a vegetarian and completely natural.

Thanks for the link October Girl.

[quote]Bingbeast wrote:

Deorum: I can’t see why t-levels would be affected by a vegan diet. AAS are indeed vegan
[/quote]

Saturated fat?

I don’t know though.

Yeah the Pea may eb fine, I haven’t had it. Just heard it sucks. So Now I have one Shit vote, and one Okay vote.

in all honesty, if your going the vegan route I would not worry to much about the carbs coming from nuts and quinoa… its the least of your worries. Get enough protein and callories to grow and youll do just fine.

[quote]Deorum wrote:
is there any information on how t-levels are effected by a vegan diet? assuming vegan’s are against aas use(which really i have no knowledge on) i would think that would be a limiting factor in vegan bodybuilding. im sure you could get your protein somewhere though… i just dont know where. mabey the hemp protein?[/quote]

tempeh, seitan, beans, legumes, and nuts are the primary sources of protein in a vegan diet. A baked potato w/ a cup of tempeh, a cup of chickpeas, and a cup of cooked broccoli would provide a meal with over 60 grams of protein ( http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.htm ), and in all likelihood, the meal would contain a complete amino acid profile.

The OP could also supplement with branch chain amino acids to improve the amino acid profile of a meal, if necessary, and if the source of the supplement were to appease the OP’s vegan standards.

To the OP, when you purchase a protein supplement (i.e. hemp, pea, rice, etc) make sure you review its amino acid profile. From some brief research it appears the amino acid profile for pea protein or rice protein is superior to that of hemp or soy protein or at least more closely resembles the amino acid profile found in whey protein. Although, the amino acid profile will certainly vary amongst different companies with the protein powders.

[quote]countingbeans wrote:
Bingbeast wrote:

Deorum: I can’t see why t-levels would be affected by a vegan diet. AAS are indeed vegan

Saturated fat?

I don’t know though.

Yeah the Pea may eb fine, I haven’t had it. Just heard it sucks. So Now I have one Shit vote, and one Okay vote.[/quote]

Coconut oil, shredded coconut, palm oil, peanuts, and peanut butter should take care of the saturated fat issue, if there even indeed is an issue in the first place.

And I second Ratchet’s last post.

OP, you could also consider cage-free eggs, raw milk, or organic grass feed beef where the living conditions of the animals are not against your beliefs. Obviously they aren’t vegan sources, though.

all the studies ive read on a vegetarian diet showed a decrease in testosterone.

I know you don’t want a discussion, but cmon…animal rights?

It really doesn’t make sense. Look around you. Most living organisms are in one way or another feeding of another organism. It is absolutely illogical that eating animal is cruel. If you mean the way animals are handled by big food companies before slaughter etc I can understand it, but you can always buy organic stuff from farms where they treat their livestock good.

And yes I’m fairly sure your T-levels are going to suffer from this.

I with X in that the typical bodybuilder diet is not in alignment with a vegan/vegitarian diet.

I too would look to protein powder supplementation.

You might want to do a Google search for Brendan Brazier. He’s a vegitarian/vegan triathlete that has produced his own protein powder called Vega.

That said, he’s far, far, FAR from a bodybuilder, but you could look to utilize that powder as a substitution, although I’m not familiar with it’s ingredients/costs/etc.

If you can lean more towards vegitarian and less towards vegan, your choices for protein increase, providing you can eat eggs, dairy, and fish. kylec72 mentioned the cage-free eggs, or free range. You should be able to get these locally through any local farmer/hobby farmer.

Yeah man I think that if you get some anadrol they told me you grow while on a vegan diet.