5 Keys to an Effective Plant-Based Workout Diet Plan

It’s estimated that 3.2 percent of the population are vegetarian, with another 10 percent

of Americans choosing to consume a “vegetarian-inclined diet.”

These numbers will likely grow as more and more research continues to reveal the benefits

of eating a plant-based diet—advantages that range from lower risk of disease to an easier

time losing weight.

But what happens when you’re an avid exerciser?

Even meat eaters need to modify their diets when they’re working out, and the same is true

for those who choose to eat primarily plants.

So if this is you and you’re wondering what kind of plant-based diet plan can help you keep up

with your fitness routine, there are a few key points to remember.

1. Eat Before Your Workouts

5 Keys to an Effective Plant-Based Workout Diet Plan

Eating before your workouts is the equivalent of filling up your gas tank or charging your electric

car before heading out for the day.

If you don’t, you’re not going to get very far.

You don’t want to eat a lot, but you do want to have some energy available to your body to help

it make it through your program.

Some good pre-workout food options include a slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter

and bananas or some trail mix.

And you want to consume this mini-meal 1-2 hours before you hit the gym.

2. Eat After You Exercise Too

5 Keys to an Effective Plant-Based Workout Diet Plan

Just as your body needs fuel in order to get going, it also needs it to recover.

Experts recommend that you get some nutrients (protein and carbs) back in your body

within two hours post-exercise to replenish what you used while training.

A couple food options to consider, which are plant and not meat-based, are veggies and

hummus, a salad with nuts and seeds, or a pea or rice protein drink.

3. Increase Your Protein Intake Overall

5 Keys to an Effective Plant-Based Workout Diet Plan

Health experts like Breaking Muscle explain that protein is one of the key components to

building muscle.

Thus, you want to increase your intake of this one macronutrient (they recommend one gram

for every pound you way) if your goal is to have more muscle mass.

Some plant-based food sources that are loaded in protein:

*Nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews)

*Seeds (pumpkin, chia, hemp, sunflower, and flax)

*Beans and legumes (black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, red lentils)

*Whole grains (whole wheat, oatmeal, bulgar, brown rice)

Incorporate these food items into your diet all throughout the day and you’ll give your muscles

what they need to succeed.

4. Choose Natural Over Processed

5 Keys to an Effective Plant-Based Workout Diet Plan

Some people believe that adhering to a plant-based diet means they can live on chips, crackers,

and sugary desserts and still be healthy.

However, research shows that eating a high amount of processed foods weakens your body,

making it more susceptible to diseases like diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

For this reason, you want to always choose natural plant-based foods over those that have

been stripped of their nutrients in order to change their form and make them more palatable.

Keep in mind also that processed foods tend to be higher in sugar, salt, and fat—three things

you don’t need more of in your diet.

5. Don’t Forget to Rehydrate

5 Keys to an Effective Plant-Based Workout Diet Plan

Part of keeping your body healthy and ready for exercise means keeping it hydrated; this is

especially important when you’re working out and sweating a lot.

To make sure you get enough water, drink before, during, and after your workout sessions.

Additionally, keep a bottle next to you all day, making it easier to sip on it every time you

get thirsty.

And if you get tired of drinking plain old water, remember that other beverages can help you

replenish your body’s water supply too.

For instance, if you , then the water that drink contains counts toward

your daily intake.

5 Keys to an Effective Plant-Based Workout Diet Plan

The only drinks you don’t really want to count toward your intake are coffees or any other

beverages that contains caffeine as that is one substance that’s more de-hydrating than


Follow these five basic guidelines and your plant-based diet will help support your workout

program versus making it harder.

That’s a nice thought, isn’t it?

5 Keys to an Effective Plant-Based Workout Diet Plan

And if you want to see a sample plant-based diet that can help support a grueling workout

regimen, Muscle & Fitness has one that supplies all of the nutrients you need in a meat-free way.

Check it out!

It makes eating primarily plants while exercising an easy thing to do!


About the Author
Shelly Stinson is freelance writer based out of Denver, CO. Her interests include healthy living, being active outdoors and trying new restaurants. Find her on twitter: https://twitter.com/shellystins


What are your favorite tips for supporting your workout regime on a plant-based diet?

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Shared at Sunday Fitness & Food Link-Up