If you are one of the millions of folks who now call themselves vegan (or plant-based or whatever) and you have divulged this fact to anybody, you have probably been asked about your protein intake. People may have wondered about your muscle mass, or your strength. And it’s not a totally unreasonable concern. Generous protein intake is essential for maintaining and building muscle. Eggs, meat, and dairy make up roughly 62 percent of the protein consumed by U.S. adults—and that number may actually be greater when you consider that 8 percent of the protein consumed “could not be classified” (hot dogs??). The remaining 30 percent is plant protein, the largest dietary source of which is bread, which doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being protein-rich.
When I transitioned out of animal products a year ago—there are many science-backed reasons to reduce your animal product intake—the move seemed to run counter to my goals for athleticism and overall beefcakiness (pun intended). I’ve drained hours researching what humans need to build muscle optimally. When I tried to find research on how people who don’t eat egg whites, whey protein powder, or 93-percent-lean ground beef can optimize their gains, the Google Scholar well ran dry.
Papers - Buff - Plants - Fact - Bodybuilders
But even without recent or replicated peer-reviews papers, we have proof enough that getting buff with plants is, in fact, possible. There are enough vegan bodybuilders and Olympic athletes to show us it...