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The Best Plant-Based Protein Sources for Building Muscle

Building muscle is pretty much impossible without an abundance of proteins and amino acids in your diet. However, if you’re vegan, or you’re considering switching to a vegan diet, you might be a bit worried about getting enough protein on a daily basis. Thankfully, it’s a complete myth that there aren’t great plant-based protein sources to build muscles. Here are just some of our favorite examples.


Plant-based proteins can be found in abundance in legumes like lentils, black beans, and chickpeas. They contain a lot of fiber too, which helps your digestion and increases fullness. One cup of cooked lentils has around 18 grams of protein, one cup of cooked chickpeas has about 14.5 grams, and one cup of cooked black beans has about 15 grams. Other beans that are a great source of protein include pinto beans, split peas, kidney beans, and navy beans.

Tofu and Tempeh

Since they are made from soybeans, tofu and tempeh are excellent sources of plant-based protein. One cup of firm tofu has about 20 grams of protein and is produced by coagulating soy milk and pressing the resulting curds into blocks. One cup of tempeh has about 31 grams of protein and is created by fermenting cooked soybeans. Both tofu and tempeh are excellent meat alternatives and can be used in a number of dishes. 

Nuts and Nut Butter

Other excellent sources of plant-based protein include nuts and nut butter like almond and peanut butter. Two tablespoons of peanut butter have about 8 grams of protein. Compared to about 6 grams in an ounce of almonds. Whether a snack, an ingredient in salads or oatmeal, or the base of homemade protein bars, nuts, and nut butter are a wonderful addition to your diet.


We’ve already talked about quinoa and how amazing it is. But it’s especially great for anyone who is trying to build muscle. This versatile grain is a fantastic source of plant-based protein. 8 grams of protein are found in just one cup of cooked quinoa, along with other essential nutrients such as iron and magnesium. You can prepare foods such as salads, stir-fries, and morning porridge. Consider amaranth, bulgur, farro, and millet as additional grains that are high in protein.

Chia Seeds and Hemp Seeds

In addition to other vital elements like omega-3 fatty acids, hemp, and chia seeds are both excellent sources of vegan protein. Three tablespoons of hemp seeds have about 10 grams of protein, compared to two teaspoons of chia seeds, which have about 4 grams. Chia seeds can be used as an egg substitute in baking or as a garnish for smoothies and cereal. When it comes to hemp seeds, you can sprinkle them on top of avocado toast or add them to salads and smoothies. 

Don’t Forget About Carbs and Fats

While protein is important for building muscle, don’t forget that carbs and healthy fats are important too. Carbs provide energy to your muscles to complete your workouts. Fats help your body absorb important vitamins and minerals. Balance is key when it comes to our diets, so make sure you listen to your body and provide it with all of the nutrients that it needs. 


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