The top 3 tips for building muscle on a plant-based diet

Dec 19 2017, 9:27 pm

This article was written by certified professional trainer Samantha Shorkey


Not to go down the annoying, “where do vegans get their protein from” path, but vegan or not, I can’t stress the importance of getting enough protein in your diet.  Truth is, if your body can’t find enough to sustain itself, it takes it from your muscles, not your body fat.  And if you don’t give your body enough protein, it will actually cannibalize its own tissue to get what it needs.


Don’t consider nuts a main source of your protein. Yes, there is some protein in nuts, seeds, and nut butter.  And yes, they’re good for the heart and nutritious.  But nuts are also very high in calories, and a caloric surplus = fat storage. So consume nuts sparingly unless you want a layer of flab covering your hard-earned, plant-built muscles.


Just because you subsists off a plant-based diet doesn’t mean you can eat as much fruit as you want, either. Fruits are still carbs, which get used as your body’s main source of fuel.  And yes, carbs are essential for providing energy and mental clarity.  But ALL carbs get broken down into glucose (sugar) and is either used immediately for energy, stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles (for easy access), or turned into fat for longer-term storage.  Eating too much fruit (like any carb source) will overload your system with energy it cannot use, and in turn, make you fat.  So make sure to eat fruit earlier in the day or before your workouts to ensure you can burn them off.


Samantha Shorkey is a two-time winning vegan bikini athlete, certified personal trainer, WNBF bikini pro and author of “Jacked on the Beanstalk: Plant-Based Fuel for Vegan Athletes.”  Don’t miss her talk at this year’s Veg Expo where she debunks the biggest diet myths and lies in the fitness industry.

Samantha Shorkey at this year’s Veg Expo

Image: Veg Expo

Image: Veg Expo

When: 999 Canada Place, Vancouver Convention Centre

Where: April 24, 3:25 p.m.

Price: Prices vary, click here to buy online

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