Whoever said vegans can’t do deadlifts was utterly mistaken. Some of the world’s most famous strongmen such as Kendrick Farris, Torre Washington, and Joe Coleman are herbivores by carte du jour, and the vegan dietary deal seems to be working for them like a charm. Still, if you want to max out muscle gain and reduce the risk of post-workout soreness and fatigue, you’ll need to plan your diet carefully, starting with breakfast as the most important meal of the day. Short on ideas as to how a vegan gym-friendly brekkie should look like? No worries: everything you need to know to whip up a mouth-watering first meal of the day is right here.
Food for muscle: Key components of a vegan breakfast
To kick-start a long day, vegan gym goers should first have a glass of water streaked with lemon, lime, grapefruit, or a similar fruit infusion to top up mineral and vitamin stock and curb morning inflammation. With morning refreshments rolling in your belly, you should then follow up on the gulp with a wholesome breakfast centered on complex carbs, protein, and healthy fat. There are no strict guidelines as to the number of calories the breakfast of a vegan gym goer should pack, but it’s safest to go with 400-600 calories depending on weight, workout intensity, and training objective.
Balance is key: A quick breakfast nutrient breakdown
Ideally, your breakfast should pack 50 percent carbohydrates, 30-40 percent protein, and 10-20 percent fat, but the figures may vary depending on multiple factors, such as weight loss goals, training duration and intensity, and nutrient intake distribution throughout the rest of the day. To get a better idea as to your optimal daily micronutrient intake, you can use an online calculator: it’ll provide a rough estimate for each critical nutrient group, and you’ll then be able to break the figures down into separate meals.
Bite it: Quick and delectable vegan breakfast recipes
If you want to cut out the hassle from the dietary mix, feel free to help yourself to these simple yet delectable breakfast ideas and get the biggest muscle and flavor bang for your nutrient buck.
Smoothie bowl a la chef
To make a healthy smoothie bowl, you’ll need two ripe frozen bananas, a cup of non-dairy milk and fruit, seeds, and toppings of your preference. Place all non-topping ingredients in the blender and mix until the blend turns thick and creamy. To make the mix thinner, add more non-dairy milk, or throw in half a handful of rolled oats or chia seeds if the smoothie is too watery for your taste. When the blend is just the right thickness, transfer it to a bowl and decorate with your favorite topping.
Fruity chia pudding cup
To make the fruity chia pudding, you’ll need a cup of coconut milk, 1/4 cup of chia seeds, 2-4 soaked and pitted Medjool dates and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Put all the ingredients in the blender and mix until smooth, then pour into a bowl and let sit for a few minutes so that the chia seeds can absorb the liquid. You can also refrigerate the blend if you prefer your breakfasts chilled: once cooled, chia pudding will have an ice-creamy texture. Finally, top the blend with fresh fruit and vegan whipped cream.
Baked potato a la veggie
For a slightly saltier vegan breakfast, grab a couple of large sweet potatoes and bake them in the oven with a cup of kale chops, salsa and tahini. For bonus flavor points, you can sprinkle the mix with spices such as oregano, basil or thyme and round it off with a pinch of salt, chili and curry. The baked potatoes will taste delectable if served with plain soy yogurt, and you can also serve a handful of cooked chia seeds on the side to enrich your diet and take your protein-powered gym game to the top.
Vegan berried porridge
If you prefer your breakfast more on the fiber-y side, you can make yourself a delicious porridge with your favorite berries. Cook wild rice or quinoa with ground flax and unsweetened coconut, almond or soy milk. When the blend’s come to a boil, toss a handful of berries and almonds on top of it for added protein and flavor. Of course, you can trade berries for another fruit of your preference, and you can top your morning treat with whipped cream made from coconut milk and vegan powdered sugar.
It’s a brand new day vegan gym goers, and you’re ready to head out for the next workout? Ready, steady, go and beat your own gym record – but make sure you treat your belly to a nourishing vegan breakfast first. Your post-workout self will be grateful for the quick energy fix. Bon appétit!