Believe it or not, contrary to popular belief, vegetarian bodybuilding supplement can offer excellent results. The reason why nutritionists might encourage you to incorporate bodybuilding supplements in your daily diet is that you require a wholesome and well-rounded diet plan. A sufficient dose of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B-12, iron, zinc, and protein is necessary to grow muscle mass in a health-benefitting way. Supplements can make a lot of difference in enhancing the nutritional aspect of your vegetarian diet.
How Supplementation Helps Vegan Bodybuilders?
For vegans and vegetarian bodybuilder, supplements offer an additional option to add those necessary amino acids and proteins in meals. After all, you have completely cut-off meat from your diet so you need to make up for the nutrients that meats are rich in. Vegetarian bodybuilding supplements like protein powders have an intrinsic beneficial value as these are derived from real and plant-based foods not synthetically produced in laboratories.
A well-planned, plant-based and wholesome diet is ideal to gain those essential muscle building supplements. When rightly incorporated into meals, supplements have the potential to boost your fitness level and encourage faster muscle growth while keeping you energized and vitalized after intense workout and training sessions.
Usually, vegan bodybuilders face the risk of developing protein, calories, omega-3 fatty acids, iodine, iron, vitamin D and B-12, calcium, and zinc deficiencies, which can be controlled through supplements.
In fact, the rate of the energy vitamin B12, Omega-3s, and iodine deficiency is pretty high among vegetarian bodybuilders and it occurs regardless of their age or the type of diet they consume (that is, vegan or vegetarian). Those who spend a lot of time in the gym will notice an alarmingly high decrement in motivation and energy levels. Supplements, hence, act as preventive measures that can help them boost physical energy, mental clarity, adrenal and thyroid hormone production, and optimal functioning of the immune system.
Best Vegetarian Bodybuilding Supplements for Superior Performance:
Let’s have a look at the most commonly used and safest vegan bodybuilding supplements that you can try without any doubts.
Vegan Branched Chain Amino Acid or BCAA:
Suggested Daily Intake:- No more than 15 grams.
BCAA helps to prevent your muscles from the catabolic effects of a low-calorie diet as well as aids muscle mass growth. You can drink it before, after or during workouts in order to prevent unnecessary protein breakdown and also reduce fatigue level by decreasing serotonin and tryptophan levels. BCAAs play a vital and productive role in the regulation of protein metabolism by promoting protein synthesis and curbing protein dilapidation. During workouts, BCAAs prove to be a key source of energy, especially when taken before exercise while also facilitates speedy recovery of damaged muscles.
Suggested Daily Intake:- No more than 5 grams for approx. 28 days.
Creatine is stored in muscles and usually, baseline muscle creatine stores are considerably low in vegan athletes in comparison to non-vegan athletes. In this regard, Creatine Monohydrate (CM) has proven to be a consistent and efficacious product for enhancing athletic performance and toning your body. Particularly, it is vital for vegan or vegetarian bodybuilders because it helps in increasing lean body mass. This is why CM supplementation is recommended to augment resistance to fatigue, an increment in muscle fiber and muscle strength, and rapid changes in lean muscle mass.
Suggested Daily Intake: No more than 400 mg; you can consume between 200 to 400 mg for best results.
Consuming Rhodiola Rosea about one hour prior to starting your workout session can wonderfully increase endurance level. You will feel much less fatigued even if you take only 50gm of the supplement but on average nutritionists suggest consuming no less than 200mg of rhodiola rosea.
Flaxseed Powder (Omega-3 Fatty Acids):
Flaxseed powder, also called ground flax is a rich source of essential nutrient for vegan bodybuilders, omega-3 fatty acids. These are important to curb oxidative stress and inflammation. A majority of plant-based food sources already offer sufficient levels of this necessary nutrient but sometimes our body doesn’t produce optimal levels of Omega-3s. It is, therefore, better to use ground flax, which offers a remarkably high fiber profile and improves the digestive system’s functioning. You can consume it anytime such as before going to bed, in the morning or after a workout session.
Suggested Daily Intake:- You can take approx. 400mg of Curcumin, which is equivalent to consuming 2,000gm of Tylenol.
Curcumin is effective in treating the pain, muscle strains, and soreness that occur after you take on a new fitness regime. Moreover, it is fat-soluble so if you take it with a heavy or fatty meal, the absorption level would be much higher. Remember that curcumin cannot be absorbed on its own and you would need to mix it up with black pepper extract or phytosomes with soy lecithin to fully benefit from it.
Supplements You Should Avoid:
Now that we have learned about the most useful vegan bodybuilding supplements, it is important to understand those that you can do without. Have a look at the top three supplements that you should avoid.
Although it is deemed to have nitric-oxide boosting capabilities and increasing muscle growth, it is most suitable for treating people who are at the risk of developing atherosclerosis symptoms like hypertension, kidney failure, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes mellitus, etc. It is used as a supplementation option to treat these kinds of health conditions primarily because these conditions lead to a reduction in NO biosynthesis. So, you should opt for Arginine only if you have any of these symptoms or if you smoke.
Despite being marketed as a muscle-building supplement, Glutamine is largely consumed by your liver and intestines so only a meager amount passes through your muscle tissues. Whether you take it as a short-term or long-term supplementation option, it doesn’t impose an ergogenic impact on your strength performance or muscle mass.
It is a pentose carbohydrate that is promoted as the next big thing or perhaps better than creatine. However, it has failed at improving training performance. It is basically an unreliable supplement that you can easily ignore.
It is a fact that vegans don’t get enough of taurine in their diet but when you have the mighty Hummus, you can easily pass on the taurine supplement.