Insta Fitness: Building muscle with vegan foods

Sport360 staff 16:40 08/02/2017
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  • Muscle growth requires a constant supply of essential nutrients that support the process of building muscle, the protein synthesis.

    Without the right food, training can’t and won’t produce the desired results.

    But eating the same ‘muscle foods’ (chicken, eggs…) is not only boring,  it is also unhealthy. Switch up your diet for all round better results.

    Our guest author, vegan athlete Stephen Hughes-Landers, shares some essentials for us.

    His strength is similar to other plant eating beasts (gorillas, rhinos, elephants) so give this awesome foods a try and boost your muscle building. And, the ‘complete protein’ argument can be settled with some simple research. Plant power is more than enough and it’s sustainable.

    Here’s what Stephen recommends:

    Protein: 20 – 30g per one cup
    Tofu is probably the most associated foods with veganism (usually to joke about!). You can find it anywhere, and it is full of protein. Firm tofu is usually more protein dense. If I eat tofu, I aim for a quality organic brand as a lot of soy products are full of gmo’s (avoid foods from USA if possible).

    Protein: up to 65g per 100g
    A perfect meat substitute as it can be made to look, taste and even have the texture of steak or other meats. Great for people changing their diets and looking for something to replace meats. Not so great for people gluten intolerant people though as it’s made primarily of wheat protein.

    Protein: 24g per 100g (uncooked)
    High in fibre, cost effective and versatile. The best way to prepare? I soak 1.5 kg of different beans and legumes (lentils, chick pea…) over night, rinse them thoroughly then add a lot of chopped leeks, grated carrots and some veg stock. It makes 15 good size portions (ok, massive) and each has 40g protein, 130g carbs (starchy) and 4g fat. Lentils amino acid profiles surpass red meat also in almost all areas!

    HEMP SEEDS (or protein powder)
    Protein: 22g per 100g
    The only food known to have a perfect harmony of the essential fatty acids the Omega 3, 6 & 9. I carry hemp protein when I’m travelling to ensure I’m never missing out on my protein intake. It’s perfect for making shakes (1-2 tablespoons of hemp powder with a milk alternative).

    Protein: 8g per 100g
    Some say this is a grain, some say a seed. Either way its well known for being a complete protein, meaning it’s got all 9 essential amino acids your body needs and a vast amount too.This is the most important quality for any protein source, even if the amount of protein per 100g is not huge. It can be placed in just about any meal. Mix in your oats or even try making porridge with JUST quinoa and a little dried fruit. Works as a nutritious alternative to rice and pasta, too.

    Spirulina and/or Chlorella. The names sound like a disease but actually it’s the pure essence of health. Add a teaspoon to any meal of your choice and get a ton of vitamins and a perfect supply of healthy fatty acids. Known for it’s rapid tissue repair properties, I add mine to shakes or juices to help speed up recovery times.

    Protein: 21g per 100g
    High in vitamin E, almost as much calcium as a glass of milk and more magnesium than most nuts. It’s really simple to make your own almond milk at home (a good alternative because most of the pre-packed almond milk has added sugar in it).

    Protein: 12g per 100g
    The low glycemic index makes it a carb source that won’t spike you blood sugar levels and will provide long lasting energy. It is a great source of fiber, too. Tastes great and provides even more protein when combined with any milk alternative (rice, soy, almond milk). I add a teaspoon of ‘super energy’ (lacuma, baobab, maca and guarana) and a chopped banana. Sets me up for the whole day.

    If you guys like this article, tell Sport360 in the comments below and I’ll be happy to share some recipes regularly.

    About the author

    Stephen Hughes Landers is a pro athlete based in Dubai with @fr360 – a squad of health and movement professionals  teach urban workouts and eating arts. between presenting, instructing, performing and competing globally. Full details on Stephens 2017 movements and plans are on his Instagram page @shl145 Check out for so much more!