The best muscle building vegan foods for skinny guys

The best muscle building vegan foods for skinny guys

Building muscle as a vegan might seem challenging, especially if you’re starting from a skinny frame. However, with the right nutrition and workout plan, gaining muscle on a plant-based diet is entirely achievable. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the best muscle-building foods for vegan skinny guys, designed to help you bulk up effectively and healthily.

1. Protein-Rich Legumes

Legumes are a staple in the vegan diet due to their high protein content, which is crucial for muscle repair and growth. Here are some top picks:

Lentils: Packing about 18 grams of protein per cooked cup, lentils are also rich in fiber and micronutrients like iron and folate.
Chickpeas and Beans: These versatile legumes can be used in a variety of dishes, providing around 15 grams of protein per cooked cup. They are also excellent sources of fiber, which helps in digestion and sustained energy.

2. Quinoa

Unlike many plant-based protein sources, quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. It offers about 8 grams of protein per cooked cup and is also a great source of complex carbohydrates and fiber, making it ideal for muscle recovery and growth.

3. Tofu and Tempeh

These soy-based proteins are fantastic for muscle building:

Tofu: Offering about 20 grams of protein per cup, tofu can be easily flavored and added to almost any dish.
Tempeh: With a higher protein content than tofu, tempeh provides about 30 grams per cup and has a firmer texture, making it a satisfying meat substitute.

4. Seitan

Known as wheat meat, seitan is an excellent high-protein option for vegans. It contains about 25 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces and can be seasoned and cooked in a variety of ways to mimic the texture and flavor of meat.

5. Nuts and Seeds

A great source of healthy fats, nuts, and seeds also offer essential proteins and calories, which are vital for those looking to gain muscle mass:

  • Almonds, Peanuts, and Walnuts: These are not only high in protein but also rich in essential fatty acids.
  • Chia Seeds and Flaxseeds: These seeds are not only good protein supplements but also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which aid in muscle recovery and inflammation reduction.

6. Nutritional Yeast

This is a must-have for vegan diets as it’s fortified with B-vitamins and contains about 14 grams of protein per ounce. It can be sprinkled over popcorn or mixed into sauces to add a cheesy flavor without any dairy.

7. Plant-Based Protein Powders

Sometimes meeting protein needs through whole foods alone can be challenging. Incorporating plant-based protein powders like pea, hemp, or rice protein can help boost your daily intake. These can be easily added to smoothies or baking recipes for an extra protein kick.

Training Tips

To complement your diet, focus on:

Strength Training: Engage in weightlifting or resistance training exercises 3-4 times a week to stimulate muscle growth.
Progressive Overload: Continuously challenge your muscles by increasing the weight or resistance in your exercises to ensure continuous growth.
Adequate Rest: Muscles need time to repair and grow, so ensure you get plenty of sleep and rest days.


For skinny guys on a vegan diet, building muscle is all about optimizing your intake of plant-based proteins and ensuring you’re consuming enough calories to support muscle growth. By incorporating these nutrient-rich foods into your diet and following a structured workout plan, you’ll be on your way to achieving your muscle-building goals. Remember, consistency is key both in your diet and your training regimen!



Saravavan Nadarajan (Vanan)

Vanan, fitness expert and leader at EzFit Singapore, specializes in holistic training—home-based, boot camps, and corporate fitness—with over a decade of industry experience.