Many men have the misconception that becoming vegan is a bad idea for them due to fears that a plant-based diet will reduce their physical strength. The reason for this misconception is that protein is essential for building muscle. However, being vegan doesn’t mean that you will need to go without protein. In fact, there are many ways to ensure that you get enough protein as a vegan. For those guys who need more convincing, we present you the following motivation to become part of the plant-based movement.
There are vegan strongmen
Victor Silverio, a Jiu-Jitsu champion who most recently won IBJJF American Nationals in 2016, said that “the changes are more brutal in the beginning for whatever we do. I can’t say that I felt weaker, but I did lose some weight. I also feel that I have more energy during the day and when I wake up. No more snoozes in the morning.” Another example of a successful vegan athlete is boxer Cam F. Awesome, who has won titles during numerous national, world, and Olympic Championships. Other vegan athletes include NBA players Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Jahlil Okafor, Wilson Chandler, and JaVale McGee; Olympians Dotsie Bausch and Rebecca Soni; ultra-endurance runner Rich Roll; soccer star Hector Bellerin; MLB pitcher CC Sabathia; and race car drivers Lewis Hamilton and Leilani Münter.
You won’t lose muscle
Going vegan won’t result in muscle loss. In fact, all of the types of protein that you get from an animal-based diet can be found in a plant-based diet. If you actively seek multiple sources of plant-based protein, you shouldn’t have any problems. The average man needs roughly 56 grams of protein per day. Which leads us to …
Eat your beans …
Many types of beans contain large amounts of protein, and it’s a good idea to eat several different types of beans. For instance, soybeans come with 16 grams of protein per cup, while kidney, garbanzo, black, and red beans all offer 15 grams of protein per cup.
… and more
A cup of cooked spinach contains seven grams of protein. Kale and okra are also exceptionally rich in protein, as kale includes 2.5 grams of protein per cup, while okra has 2 grams. Lentils are also extremely rich in protein, containing as much as 18 grams per cup. In addition, tofu-based and veggie burgers can be great protein sources. Tofu is made from soybeans, and it can be a delicious way to get your protein. Also, many types of veggie burgers are rich in protein. Depending on the burger, you can get up to 12 grams of protein per patty. So start eating.
Go nuts for seeds
Nut butter can be just as good of a protein source as the nuts themselves. While peanut butter is one of the most well-known nut butters, it isn’t the only kind. If you’re allergic to peanuts, you can choose almond butter or hazelnut butter instead. Not every nut contains the same amount of protein, though. The highest source of protein can be found in chia seeds (12 grams), hemp seeds (10 grams), and sunflower seeds (eight grams). All nuts have protein, so whatever type of nut you enjoy, you should eat them. A lot.
The kind of hemp that people smoke won’t give you any protein, but eating hemp seeds is one of the best ways to get vegan protein. In fact, there are 11 grams of protein in 30 grams of hemp seeds. Putting hemp seeds in your smoothie can be a great way to benefit from this vegan-friendly protein source. Remember: hemp seeds do not contain THC or any other mind-altering substances.
Hi, I’m Buckwheat (flour)
Buckwheat flour has less than one gram of fat, so the calories come from the protein, not carbohydrates. One serving of buckwheat flour has 3.8 grams of protein, which is seven percent of an adult male’s recommended daily intake.
You can still have (non-dairy) milk
Soy milk contains approximately nine grams of protein per cup. Almond milk is also an excellent source of protein. Not only can you get protein from drinking soy and almond milk but you can also get up to 4.3 grams of protein from the milk alone when added to your cereal. Soy or almond milk will contain the most amount compared to other variations, such as oat or rice.
Tempeh might be the best source of protein for vegans, as it contains 30 grams of protein per cup! This is more than a hamburger patty! Even better? Tempeh also tastes great!
Elliot Caleira is a freelance writer in the self-mastery and health and wellness spaces. When he’s not writing you’ll find him cooking or teaching Portuguese classes.