The Best Sources Of Protein For Vegans And Vegetarians

Most bodybuilders get a large part of their protein from animal sources, if only because the biological value is very high. Therefore, the protein can be used very well to build muscle, in contrast to many proteins from plant sources. However, this article wants to show that it is not an avoidable fate for vegans and vegetarians to avoid animal foods.

The Problem With Biological Value

The biological value describes how well a supplied protein can be converted into the body’s protein. The measured value was set to 100, which applies to an entire hen egg. The biological value is calculated primarily from the amino acid combination. If a protein can be used better by the body than a hen’s egg, then the physical matter is given higher in this case. If the protein is not utilized well, then the value is lower. The biological significance can be increased through clever combinations (eg potatoes and eggs = BW 136). 

Vegans and vegetarians, in particular, can benefit from this by combining the foods in a targeted manner. The more food protein with high biological value is consumed, the less has to be added. Conversely, this does not mean that even the most inferior protein is well suited for building up with the appropriate amount. Most proteins with a low biological value lack the essential amino acids required to construct new tissue. One protein that all essential amino acids (EAA’s) are also called a complete protein source. 

However, by combining the foods, the amino acid profiles can, as stated above, combine sensibly! The body cannot manufacture the essential amino acids. It is therefore dependent on an external supply. Vegans have to be most careful in this case, as most plant-based protein sources are not of exceptionally high quality. However, if you rely on our combinations, the biological value (and thus the build-up of new muscle mass) increases many times over. Of course, it is much easier for vegetarians, as they can usually also use milk, eggs, cheese, and fish.

The Vegan And The Proper Diet

First, we would like to devote ourselves to the vegan diet, as this can also be used for vegetarians and supplemented if necessary. Eating vegan means avoiding all animal foods and foods produced by animals. Only plant-based foods are considered. It used to be thought that it was almost impossible for a vegan to stay healthy or even gain muscle mass. 

Today we know that a targeted and planned diet with possible supplementation of food supplements is sufficient for a comprehensive supply. There are now some athletes who are exclusively vegan and achieve great success. In the following, we would like to introduce you to some foods and combinations that are essential for vegans to get enough food.



With a very high biological value of 85 and rapid absorption, the soy protein isolate is one of the top muscle cells! Of course, the tofu made from soybeans is also suitable for the vegan, which provides a great variety in the kitchen. Another option is soy milk, which is becoming increasingly popular not only with vegans! Soy protein is one of the complete proteins.

Amounts of protein in food: 

Soy milk per 100ml – approx. 3-4g

tofu per 100g – approx. 15-16g 

soy protein isolate per 100g (body attack) – 78-83g


The quinoa plant comes from the foxtail family. Quinoa is also often referred to as Inca rice, although it is not a grain at all. Quinoa has a biological value of 83. Quinoa can be considered a staple food for vegans, as it has a high-calorie content of around 365 per 100g. Furthermore, the carbohydrate content is very high at approx —62 g, which ensures the necessary power and vitality in everyday life and during training. 

Quinoa is also a perfect all-rounder because the mineral content is very balanced and high. Quinoa also contains many saponins (plant steroid alkaloids), which can positively affect health (e.g., the cholesterol level)! The main disadvantage of quinoa is that it is relatively expensive and can only be bought locally in health food stores or drugstores. Amount of protein:  Per 100g of quinoa – approx. 12g

Hemp Seeds

The hemp seeds belong to the group of nuts. This is a considerable food that tastes great and provides a lot of protein and natural omega-3 fatty acids. It must be said that the protein profile is complete here too! The hemp seeds are also very suitable, with around 560 calories to increase the calorie intake. The hemp seeds can be used, for example, in combination with a delicious salad. Amount of protein:  Per 100g of hemp seeds – Approx. 33g


Like every past food, Buckwheat likewise contains the essential amino acids, making it a total wellspring of protein. Buckwheat is typically sprinkled over servings of mixed greens, mueslis, or in soups or nibbled as an afterthought. In certain circles, Buckwheat is considered a genuine “power food” since it contains a ton of catalysts, minerals, and so forth. Buckwheat is additionally said to have a significantly beneficial impact on wellbeing. A measure of protein: Per 100g – approx. 10g 

The protein sources that empower veggie lovers to burn through a total wellspring of protein. These protein sources should be regularly remembered for your eating regimen to guarantee a sufficient stockpile of essential amino acids. Other “second rate” proteins from vegetables can also be combined with wholesome protein sources to create an accurate power meal. 

It is only essential that the vegan always keeps in mind that it is not just the amount of protein that matters, but especially the protein quality and the amino acid profile. In summary, this means for the everyday vegan diet that, on the one hand, of course, enough protein must be supplied and, on the other hand, you also have to look at it, that this is combined with high-quality protein sources. 

In the following, we would, of course, like to list several well-known foods and indicate their biological value: Potatoes – BW 98 , Rye flour – BW 80 (depending on the degree of grinding), Beans and corn, BW 72 , Rice – BW 66 , Spinach – BW 64 , Oats – BW 60 , Wheat flour – BW 60 (depending on the degree of grinding) , Peas – BW 56.

The biological value is only given roughly and can differ significantly, especially with processed products. Furthermore, the content can, of course, vary slightly depending on the variety. In general, it can be said that vegetables often have a medium-high protein content (e.g., peas), but the biological value is relatively low.

The Diet Of The Vegetarian

It is much easier for vegetarians to plan their diet because they can use animal products and fish. Most of the products from this division are very suitable for nutrition in bodybuilding anyway. One can say that the vegetarian can eat a wholesome diet, except that he does not eat meat. The perfect protein sources for vegetarians are the complete hen’s egg with a biological value of 100. 

In addition, of course, there are also all low-fat dairy products, which also have a very high biological value. Most types of fish are, of course, also wonderfully suitable for bodybuilders. The tuna, for example, has a biological value of 83. A large number of foods even achieve a higher biological value than meat.

Further Information For Vegans And Vegetarians

In the vegan and vegetarian diet, some substances can be deficient. The most important here would be vitamin B12, iron, and creatine. All 3 occur in large and also highly usable quantities, for example, in red meat! Of course, vegetable foods also contain vitamin B12 and iron, but the form is much more difficult to absorb from the body than from beef. This can sometimes lead to deficiency symptoms, especially if the body’s absorption is not 100% guaranteed. 

Vegetable iron is absorbed much better with a good dose of vitamin C (e. g fruit juice). Creatine is not found in plant foods at all. Although the body produces its creatine, it should still ensure that its production volume is sufficient, as athletes can quickly develop a deficit. In all cases, we would advise you to talk to your doctor and possibly take a measurement. This can give you precise information about your blood values ​​and how well you can absorb these important substances from food. In case of doubt, the doctor can also recommend using high-quality creatine supplements to ensure the supply for the body.


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