When you begin following a vegan diet, you don’t want to put too much pressure on changing all the habits in your life. This may mean taking a short break from your fitness goals until you adjust to the diet itself. However, when you do feel ready to get back to exercising, it is a good idea to make slight changes to your vegan diet to accommodate those workouts.
Here are some simple ways you might want to adjust your vegan diet when you are working out more.
Add in More Protein
If your purpose for working out more is to gain muscle, then protein is going to be your best friend. It is not only an essential nutrient everyone needs, but it is important for muscle growth. Protein can not only help you to build muscle but also to maintain the muscle you have when you are losing weight. Otherwise, you would burn muscle and fat together, not helping at all with muscle growth.
Some plant-based foods that contain protein include rice and oats, quinoa, most nuts, black beans, edamame, tempeh, soy, tofu, and seeds like hemp seeds and chia seeds.
Make Sure You Are Getting Enough Calories
A mistake many people make when they are exercising and eating a vegan diet is not eating enough. If you are not trying to lose weight, then the more you exercise, the more you want to eat to fuel your body. Even if you are not someone who regularly counts calories, it might be a good idea just to see where you are at if you are planning on starting a new fitness routine.
Just track a few days of typical eating days on your vegan diet, then see what your calories are. Compare those numbers to your TDEE, which is your total daily energy expenditure. This will give you a good idea of where you are at, and whether you need to increase your calories or not.
How is Your Energy Level?
Pay attention to how you feel when you start exercising more. Are you low on energy, having trouble getting through your workouts, or exhausted for the rest of the day? This might be a sign that it is time to tweak the nutrients you consume.
If you are feeling okay when you start working out, your current vegan diet is probably nutrient-dense and should be just fine.
Pre and Post-Workout Snack Ideas
For vegan-friendly pre-workout and post-workout snacks, here are some options:
- Multigrain bread with nut butter
- Fruit smoothie
- Coconut or almond milk yogurt
- Oatmeal or overnight oats
- A handful of nuts with a piece of fruit
- Veggie wrap
- Veggie burger