Building muscle requires a lot of protein but also healthy carbohydrates to fuel your performance. Without carbs your body doesn’t use protein as well as it could. Antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables are also a must because they support an efficient recovery.
You need plenty of complex carbs for energy, a lot of protein to build and repair muscles and some healthy fats – during your bulking phase you can be quite liberal with those but when cutting, keep fats to a minimum.
1. You need to eat a lot! Make sure to distribute your meals evenly throughout the day – three main meals and snacks in between – so your body can absorb maximum nutrients.
2. At every main meal, you might need 30-40 grams of protein and then more from snacks. Check out our Food and Nutrient Cheatsheets for guidance.
3. During your workout, all you need is water but have a protein shake or smoothie afterwards for a protein and carb boost.
4. Pulses – lentils, beans, chickpeas and soya/tofu are your best bet for protein and good carbs. Try not to rely on processed foods too much.
5. Always carry some nuts and dried fruit in your bag – it keeps and is a great snack for anytime, supporting your goals.
Sample Meal Plan: Strength Athlete all the way!
Inspiration: Torre Washington, Nimai Delgado, Patrik Baboumian, Frank Medrano, Zack Belknap, Jehina Malik, Maayan Eliasi, SuzAnne Llano, Karl Bruder, Derek Tresize, Ivan Blazquez, Joe ‘Monk’ Coleman, Greg Moormann, Brian Turner, Fraser Bayley, Robert Cheeke, Patrick Reiser, Derek Simmnett, Bianca Taylor, Hench Herbivore, Rob Walker, Anna Hulda Ólafsdóttir, Zanna Van Dijk and many more!
Nimai Delgado, on how he feels about his lifestyle: “I decided that I wanted to not only live the vegan lifestyle, but I also wanted to help spread awareness on how to become the best version of yourself while living this lifestyle. I am taking a stand against the violence, suffering, and death of innocent living beings. I am helping people understand, realize, and learn that it is possible to push your body to its physical peak and compete against elite athletes while living a vegan lifestyle!”