Physical Fitness on a Vegan Diet

By Phil Capone

Private fitness trainer Phil Capone.

Private fitness trainer Phil Capone.

Lately, a number of my clients and social media followers have been asking me about achieving fitness with a vegan diet. Veganism is the idea that nothing you consume will come from an animal. There are some perils in adhering to this diet and as rewarding as it is, a protein deficiency can be disastrous. The good news is that a vegan diet can support a fitness routine, and I am going to explain how to achieve one’s goals without illness or injury.

My vegan clients often turn to legumes and vegetables for protein, yet still come up short. The body needs a lot of protein to repair muscle after a workout. Insufficient protein will just lead to a broken-down body. So how much protein should you be getting? Without any sort of weight training program, one needs about 25 grams of protein for every 100 pounds of body weight. This is just to have a functioning nervous and immune system. Double the number if you lift weights 2-3 times a week. While I am typically not too big on supplements, one of the few exceptions I make is in consuming protein.

Protein supplements are a great means of getting all the essential amino acids the body needs to function. We often hear that rice and beans create a “complete” protein. What this actually means is that the combination will provide the full array of essential amino acids that are typically found in meat. The problem is that you will eat a lot of calories before you get the protein needed to support your workout. Supplements provide high doses of protein, often with minimal carbs. Look for pea, hemp, or balanced blends, and read your labels. Sun Warrior is a popular one to mix into smoothies and Vega Sport Performance Protein is a rising star in the field, free of GMO products and gluten. A good protein should run $40-$60 for about 2 pounds, deliver 17-25 grams of protein, and contain under 200 calories. Always consult your physician or dietician when making changes to your diet and have a safe workout

Phil Capone is a private fitness trainer and partner in He has trained in NYC and worked at the Sunset Strip Equinox before settling into the Universal-Toluca area.

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