Bodybuilding may not be everyone’s cup of tea (or protein shake), but for many it is considered a bodily art form, which tests a person’s capacity to tone, build and define their body.
When most people think of this competitive sport, they usually don’t think of a plant-based diet, or veganism for that matter. Although many herbivores in the animal kingdom are noted for their size and strength (buffalo, horse, elephant, and so on,) somehow we humans didn’t seem to get the memo… until now.
At the end of July, The PlantBuilt Vegan Muscle Team* “dominated” the Naturally Fit Super Show, with four impressive overall champions. From Robert Cheeke, veganbodybuilding.com:
“The team of 15 vegan athletes ran the table in many categories of the International Natural Bodybuilding Federation (INBF) sanctioned event, producing five individual champions, four overall champions, two professional qualifications, and numerous top three finishes, including a 2nd and 3rd place finish in a class of 24. The results from the PlantBuilt athletes sent an unmistakable message to the crowd, the other competitors, and to the large online following who received live updates throughout the 2-day bodybuilding and fitness competition…”
It’s not just a plant-based diet, but a plant-powered diet!
“The tone set by the founders of the team they named PlantBuilt was one of teamwork in a collective effort to stand up for animals and make a loud statement for veganism in athletics” wrote Robert Cheeke.
Although it is unclear whether all members of the team are ethical vegans or simply enjoying the benefits of a plant-based diet, this new athletic showing could pique interest in plant-based living and the vegan philosophy in general.
Note: The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for protein, in relation to overall calorie intake, is 8 to 10 percent.** You can build strong, lean muscle at this level and a number of studies have shown that going over these levels may not be beneficial for long term health (whatever the source of protein). I personally advocate for a WHOLE Foods Plant Based diet, which is adequate (many would argue superior) for maintaining and improving athletic performance and health.
* Founded in 2012 by Giacomo Marchese and Dani Taylor
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** On Protein Requirements: T Colin Campbell
Basil: Health Benefits