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Vegan Body Builders Start Filling A New Niche: Will A Vegan Diet Fail Your Training Efforts?
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Vegan Body Builders Start Filling a New Niche: Will a Vegan Diet Fail Your Training Efforts?

According to Denny Kakos, the president of the International Natural Bodybuilding Association, there were zero vegans involved in competition in either the eighties or nineties. But, early in the next decade, a small shift had occurred with more than a few vegetarians and vegans joining the bodybuilding ranks. Today, there are at least five thousand people who are members on a website dedicated to both veganism and to bodybuilding and how the two can work well together.

There are three main reasons that a person becomes a vegan including their desire to have a healthier diet, for their personal beliefs in support of animal life of all kinds and third, as a way to thumb their nose at the super sized, steroid culture that is usually the first thought of people discussing body building.

All bodybuilders, whether they eat meat or not put long hours in at the gym to hone and tone their muscles. They eat diets that are strictly regimented and timed to give them optimal muscle growth and to spur their bodies to expel as much fat as possible. The usual body builder's diet is high in protein and may be higher in calories than one would assume but low in carbohydrates. For the vegan, the diet is even more restrictive. Some health experts have expressed concerns that vegans and to a lesser extent, vegetarians will not be getting all of the amino acids that they need, however others, including top nutrition experts around the world, have said that with some planning and some research, even the non-athlete vegan can get all the nutrition that they need, including the amino acids. For instance, the average vegan diet is often high in protein such as hemp based protein supplements and all natural nut butters.

Competitors who are also vegans are reportedly growing in numbers, citing the health benefits of an animal free diet. Some of the traditional body builders may have health risks from their high animal content diets, including high cholesterol or problems with their blood pressure, especially when they are working hard to get to size for a competition. Many of them go through the cycling process where they rapidly gain weight and then strip it back off, a technique that is said to create the bulging, ripped physique that plays well on stage. In contrast, many of the vegan body builders have slightly smaller frames but still maintain the well defined muscles that allows them to win.

Street Talk

Wow. I never thought that vegans could be bodybuilders. It's great how everyone finds his own place in the world despite the common belief that you have to follow the status quo. Thanks!!

  about 1 decade ago
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