If you are interested in strength training and building muscle, there is no reason why following a plant-based diet should hold you back. In fact, there is plenty of evidence indicating that a vegan diet can improve performance in strength-based exercises [1, 2]. The high healthy nitrate content of many vegetables, including beetroot, spinach, kale, celery, leeks, and carrots, facilitates more efficient muscle functioning, and the anti-inflammatory properties of plant foods can help prevent muscle damage. If you follow a strength and muscle-building training routine, it’s particularly important to ensure that you get sufficient good quality protein in your diet. Fortunately, there are many excellent sources of plant-based protein available.

Some of the world’s strongest people are committed vegans. They include:

  • Kendrick Ferris – Weightlifter who competed in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Olympics. He has been vegan since 2014.
  • Jehina Malik – Bodybuilder who has won several national championships in the US. She has been vegan since birth.
  • Patrik Baboumian – Strongman, bodybuilder, and lifter who has won the Germany’s Strongest Man title as well as several lifting competitions. He has been vegan since 2011.

[1] The Impact of Vegan and Vegetarian Diets on Physical Performance and Molecular Signaling in Skeletal Muscle by A. Pohl et al., Nutrients 13, 3884 (2021)


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