by Robert Cheeke, Vegan Bodybuilder, February 28th, 2004
A vegan diet is not too much unlike a non-vegan diet; they both come down to proteins, carbohydrates, fats, non-essential amino acids, essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and total Calories. Like any diet, you need to decide how much of each one to consume. Meal frequency is also something that has to be discussed. So many people eat only a few times per day. I even know people who eat one meal a day, and that is it. Luckily, they are not bodybuilders. You will find greater results if you consume 6-10 meals per day, with each meal containing a smaller quantity of food. I know 10 sounds extreme but that is what I was doing when I had some of my best results. I think 6-8 is probably the most realistic and most beneficial. When you eat the smaller meals, make sure they all consist of proteins, carbohydrates and water. Fats are important but you will probably get enough fat just as a by-product of the proteins and carbs. For extra fats and essential fatty acids, you can consume flaxseed or primrose oil, nuts, or sources of good fats. Drinking water frequently is important, even a gallon a day if possible. Supplementation is another way to cover all the amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. They are important to any diet, not just specific to a vegan diet. You may be thinking that many people you know do not use supplements. Ask yourself if they have a pleasing looking physique, if they seem healthy, or if they are following a fitness regimen (which requires greater nutrients, than a sedentary person does). I use "protein" powders that do not just contain protein, but carbs, fats, and near 100% RDA of many vitamins, minerals, and contains all essential amino acids and many non-essential amino acids. Multivitamins, Glutamine, Glucosamine, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C are also good bodybuilding supplements. You do not have to take them all individually by any means; many products will contain multiple vitamins or minerals in them. A good balance of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and supplementation should set you on your way. Try to break up your food intake to 40% protein, 30% carbohydrates, and 30% fats. I will break down the specific importance of each element and the quantity and frequency of use in my book coming out in 2003.