Fuel Your Fitness: Maximizing Muscle Growth with Plant Protein

  Mar 20, 2024

When your goal is to maximize muscle growth, animal protein is the first thing that comes to mind. But what about the fad of plant protein supplements?

According to NCBI, having plant-based meals reduces the risks of heart blockages caused by higher consumption of red meat protein.

Therefore, rich sources of plant protein like chickpeas, tofu, wheat, peas, edamame, chia seeds, etc provide a safe nutritional balance.

In fact, plant protein supplements are also widely used by individuals looking to support muscle growth and recovery. These supplements come in various forms, including powders, bars, and shakes, making them convenient for consumption pre- or post-workout.

By providing a concentrated source of protein from plants ,these supplements help to meet daily protein requirements and support muscle protein synthesis. Many athletes and fitness enthusiasts incorporate vegan protein supplements into their diet to optimize muscle gains, enhance performance, and promote overall health and well-being.

As we all know, protein is an essential macronutrient that improves stamina, builds muscle, balances mood, and helps in quick recovery.

A plant protein provides all the above benefits and is also safe for people who are lactose intolerant or those who are looking for easy-to-digest alternatives.

In this article, we will break the myths and reveal the facts about plant protein, explore the types of proteins for muscle building, and learn how to balance the right amount of nutrition in your diet.

What is Plant Protein?

Benefits of Plant-Based Proteins

Do you know that the Formula 1 car race champ Lewis Hamilton and 7-time Wimbledon tennis champion Serena Williams are the two celebrities who consume plant proteins?

Don’t be surprised that athletes like them are debunking many myths about plants lacking in essential amino acids.

Protein is necessary for growth, maintenance, and repair of the muscles. Many coaches recommend eggs, milk, and meat as the primary source of protein because in small quantities they provide the maximum benefits.

However, plant proteins also fulfill the same benefits from sources found in nature like pulses, soybeans, peas, quinoa, nuts, seeds, etc.

There are two major concerns with plant proteins:

  • Most of them lack all 9 amino acids and require a careful combination of other food sources to become a complete nutrition.
  • They are high in carbohydrates which is not suitable for people trying to lose weight.

So, how can people who are vegans, diabetic, and lactose intolerant, consume protein without its side effects?

There are methods to combine plant proteins and recipes to get complete nutrition for your muscles. Besides plant-based protein supplements fulfill the requirements of the body easily. 

DO YOU KNOW?   Quinoa is one of the most nutritious grains available today. In addition to being a good source of fiber, it contains all nine essential amino acids that your body needs from food.

Difference Between Plant and Animal Protein

Selective Plant and Animal Based Protein Sources

A robust goal of muscle growth also needs branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), which are leucine, isoleucine, and valine.

It means that the more protein a body can store in the body through protein synthesis the better the muscle growth; and BCAA aids in that process.

The body cannot make these essential components thus they must be supplied by supplements or diet.

Consider the differences between plant and animal-based proteins for building muscles.

Plant ProteinAnimal Protein
Need wider variety to achieve the same ratio of amino acidsComplete amino acids
High in carbsHigh in fat, may cause heart diseases
Rich in fiber and antioxidantsRich in vitamin B12, vitamin D, and Zinc
Natural foods require less waterNot good for the environment
Rich in phytochemicalsLack phytochemical
85% digestible95 – 100% digestible

As you can see from the table above, plant protein provides as much nutrition to the body as animal protein.

However, it is always recommended to consult a nutritionist and a coach before changing your diet plan for muscle growth.

Plant Protein For Muscle Building

Top Vegan Foods for Muscle Building

A combination of strength and resistance training programs not only helps with healthy weight loss but also creates a sculpted body.

As you work with lifting weights, small tears are created in the muscles which become stronger as you recover.

This is where protein is most required which has building blocks to repair and maximize muscle growth.

For an adult to build muscles, age, and activity level matter to assess protein intake. On average, 1.6g of protein/kg body weight is recommended for people training 3 to 5 times a week.

This means that if you are a 70 kg athlete you would require 70 x 1.6 = 112g of protein.

It is significant to always combine essential minerals and nutrients to create a protein-dense meal for a plant-based muscle-building goal.

How to Combine Plant Protein Needs?

Combining Protein Sources for Maximum Benefits

Maintaining balance is key for receiving complete nutrition from your plant protein diet plan. Here are some things to consider to get more out of your workout and meals.

  • After a full body check-up, consult an experienced nutritionist and coach to align your daily protein intake and training needs.
  • Keep a journal to ensure that you understand which plant-based food combines well to provide all essential amino acids for maximum protein synthesis.
  • Eat larger quantities and a wide variety of plant proteins throughout the day at fixed intervals.
  • Consider the benefits of pre and post-workout shakes and supplements.

The graph below shows the global plant-based protein market size by source from 2022 which is forecasted to grow consistently till 2032.

Global Plant-Based Proteins Market Size from 2022-2032.


Animal-based or plant-based proteins both have their advantages and disadvantages.

However, considering the environmental damage and consumption, nature always provides the best and safest protein alternatives.

You may be a vegan or not, but in your muscle growth goals, plant proteins will assist you in the long term.

So, always consider a nutritious combination of plant protein-based supplements to create a perfect sculpted body.