Three Keys To Building Muscle Tissue On A Plant Based Diet

People have been asking me if it is possible to build muscle on a plant based diet.

The truth is that muscle building is natural and it is definitely worth going about it the natural way without the risky use of steroids or eating too much meat.

Steroid use has been linked to acne, baldness, depression, infertility, and impotence, and too much meat consumption has been linked to prostate cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke, all the major killers that reduce lifespan dramatically. 

So how can you build muscle on a plant based diet? Here are a three simple suggestions:

1. Eat sufficient protein (no need for “high quality protein”)

Protein is everyone’s go-to muscle-building macronutrient for good reason. It repairs the tiny tears in the muscle tissue which occur during weight training — helping muscles grow bigger faster. Protein allows for faster muscle rejuvenation.

So, how much protein do you need to build muscle? This depends on your individual needs and your training program. In general, for body builders in need of muscle building, 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is ideally recommended by the British Journal of Sports Medicine. So, if you’re a 165 pound adult, that’s 120 grams of protein per day.

As for your protein sources, aim for high-quality whole foods. These are better than “high-quality proteins that come from animal products because any protein ingested is broken down into individual amino acids and then put back together again as new protein in a process called protein biosynthesis. The entire amino acid pool changes three to four times a day. 

It is through slow and steady synthesis of new proteins from “low quality” plant proteins that has proven to be healthier for humans.

Organic soy is a great choice — soybeans have 36 grams of protein per 100 grams! Most beans average 21 grams of protein per 100 grams. Lentils are also great and average 10 grams of protein per 100 grams. Nuts and seeds also pack a big protein punch with 20 grams/100 grams on average. You may add them to your snacks, soups and salads. Whole grains are also rich in protein with about 14 grams of protein on average. Quinoa has just over 15 grams of protein per 100 grams.

The superfood spirulina is an excellent supplement providing you with 57 grams of protein per 100 grams a day! Spirulina also provides a wealth of nutrients and iodine to keep your performance up.

By consuming 3 meals a day with each meal having a whole grain and a legume, and two daily snacks of nuts or seeds, you’ve already passed the daily protein requirements for muscle building and if you also consume some spirulina, even in the form of tablets, you’ve surpassed all protein requirements.

Nutrient dense diet

Your diet should also be nutrient-dense for optimal muscle growth, so you want to include plenty of vegetables. Broccoli, and kale are also particularly rich in protein. Add kale to your sandwiches and add broccoli to your lunchtime salad, or as a cooked side dish for dinner. Every food you choose to consume should help give your overall daily nutrient intake a boost. Here is a list of nutrient dense vegetables:


Artichoke bottoms


Bamia (Lady fingers)









Red peppers

Parsley and parsley root


Red beets


Sweet potatoes

Swiss chard


Any other local in-season vegetables are great as are fruits

Get sufficient rest 

Weight training stimulates muscle growth, but resting is just as important for building strength, endurance, and building muscle tissue. This means taking a rest day at least once a week and getting enough sleep is vital. Sleep is when your body is in its most anabolic state — essential for muscle growth. During REM sleep, growth hormone production is stimulated, which in turn burns fat, builds muscle, and repairs injuries.

Interval weight lifting

Finally, aim for a mix of lifting lighter and heavier weights. When you lift heavier weights, your nervous system needs time to adjust to new fiber activation in the muscles. Using lighter weights with more repetitions lets your nervous system recover, while still challenging your muscles. The combination of lifting both light and heavy weights will work to strengthen and build muscle tissue without exhausting your body.

To conclude

I recommend eating sufficient “low-quality” protein foods rich in protein, consuming high nutrient density foods, getting sufficient rest to support new muscle growth, and using both lighter and heavy weights in intervals in your routine to build muscle without burning out.

You may also find an interest in this article on the 5 critical guidelines for athletes here.


Feel free to comment below and let me know what you liked best about this article.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I’d be honored if you would share it with your family, friends, and followers by clicking the Like, Tweet, and Share buttons. If you are serious about improving your health no matter what your age or circumstances, and are ready to finally achieve optimal health and lose the weight you’ve been struggling with, then click HERE to check out my online Guerrilla Diet Bootcamp for Healthy and Lasting Weight Loss.

If you are not already on my mailing list where you will receive my weekly articles packed with scientifically based health, and nutrition content, as well as many FREE bonuses and special offers, and much more, then  click HERE to subscribe.

Thank You 🙂

Galit Goldfarb


Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field