The Truth About Vegan Bodybuilding Supplements 2019 (Comprehensive List Inclusive Links + Dollar Amounts!)
One of the trainers that worked for the fitness centers that I managed was a literal bodybuilding supplement fanatic. Let’s call him John.
I loved John. He was a good worker, a loyal and a honest guy. Yet he pushed his supplement consumption to the absolute extreme.
He saw drinking water as a waste of ‘protein consumption opportunities’. Instead he only drank BCAAs.
His private locker wasn’t really used as such. There was only one t-shirt inside – but countless of bodybuilding supplements. It looked more like a chemical cupboard.
After his training, fueled by citrulline and two overdosed pre-workout shakes, he rushed to the back of the gym to inhale his protein shake.
Did it work? It apparently did. I mean that guy looked massive!
But is this guy the person that we should truly take advice from? And which kind of vegan bodybuilding supplements do we need to take in 2019 to guarantee our muscle growth?
First of all we have to make a distinct difference between supplementation for health and supplementation for performance.
Dr. Michael Greger is probably healthy as f*ck, yet this doesn’t mean that he’s able to bench press 250lbs!
Health and performance are usually not the same thing. That’s why point numero uno is so crucial:
1. Only take advice from people that are where you want to be
Again: This is crucial.
Here’s what I mean: Would you take advice on getting your dream partner from an incel? Would you take advice on climbing Mt. Everest from a bed-ridden paraplegic?
Okay, I think I’ve went over the top with those two examples. But you get the point.
Why would we then take advice from coaches with no track record? That struggle with overweight themselves (and haven’t found a solution)? Or the worst: Coaches that are full of steroids?
While I loved John – remember, he was one of the trainers in the gym – he had made mistakes in the past. He took steroids. A sh*t load of it.
See, John was still a cool guy, he was open about his steroid abuse with anyone that ever asked him about it. And most importantly: He was the guy, that would tell people to NOT use it.
On top of his consumption of anabolic steroids: John also lived in the gym.
While I think John is a great trainer, the combination of steroid use and using the gym as a residence is just not a replicable method for most people that are trying to get in shape.
He’s therefore not where we want to be – and therefore we shouldn’t take advice from John.
Want to learn which vegan bodybuilding supplements you need to take? Listen to the right people first.
They will explain you that there are two types of supplements. The most important is the first category of pills and powders though:
2. Supplements for health and recovery
Every wise person knows that our health is the fundament for everything that we do. If we don’t have health, everything else becomes futile. Everything else becomes shallow.
Our health is the fundament for our entire existence, so here’s the supplements that I recommend to guarantee good recovery and health (patience buddy, the vegan bodybuilding supplements follow right after in point 3!):
2.1 Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 used to be found in our water supply. And so did a disease called ‘cholera’.
In the 1890s the germ theory of disease became widespread and our government introduced sterile tap water in the US.
Since then the disease prevalence of cholera dropped. And so, unfortunately, did our B12 intake – and the Vitamin B12 intake of our farm animals.
Fun fact: The farm animals that we farm for ‘food’ are actually getting supplemented with Vit. B12.
Contrary to popular belief Vitamin B12 doesn’t get produced by animals. It gets produced by microorganism that originally were found in the soil.
QualityGains prescription: Supplement B12 on a regular basis to prevent neurological problems.
I recommend this spray on Amazon. Total of $23 for a 60-day supply. Or $0.38 per day.
2.2 Vegan Omega 3
Here’s something that might shock you: Our brain shrinks after we reach the age of 30.
The most important controlling organ of our organism simply shrinks. Can you believe that?
Accept it or not – yearly brain shrinkage after 30 is a fact. One way to prevent this is by eating enough Omega 3 fatty acids on a daily basis.
They’re the protective shield for your brain.
Instead of eating fish or supplementing with fish oil, I recommend getting the omega 3 from where fish do get the fatty acids from: Algae.
QualityGains prescription: Take one tab of algae-based omega 3 on a daily basis. I recommend this badboy found on Amazon. $18.44 for a 90-day supply. Or $0.20 per day.
2.3 Vitamin D3
All human life used to originate from Africa, close to the equator. Hate to deliver this to you, but chances are low that there was such a thing as a Garden of Eden.
Science shows us, that we share a recent ancestor with chimpanzees and bonobos. And homo sapiens, our current state of evolution, hung out with those fellows in Africa.
Why does this matter?
Because right now our species inhabits the entire planet. From freezing Alaska to sunny Indonesia. Yet our genetic blueprint was made for one single climate: The equator one.
One thing that is different in Africa is the sun rays that our species used to get. If you live in the northern hemisphere you don’t get enough sun (which is good for skin cancer, but bad for Vitamin D3).
Vitamin D3 is the sunlight vitamin.
QualityGains prescription: Supplement with one tablet of this badboy on Amazon on a daily basis. Total of $7.73 for a 60-day supply. Or $0,12 per day.
2.4 Optional: Vitamin C
I don’t remember the last time I got sick. My big brother unfortunately, remembers it quite vividly (as the occurrence is usually only 2 weeks in the past).
We crack jokes together about our different immune system and how he probably took the shorter stick in the genetic lottery when it comes to his protection against possible diseases (he got the bigger stick when it comes to intelligence, this guy is smart AF).
So anyway, what really helped my brother Alex was a daily supplementation practice of Vitamin C. He takes 1 gram of Vitamin C a day.
While this sounded way of the top in the beginning, I know got into the habit of supplementing with that amount too.
This especially works if I’m sleep deprived or overworked.
So try this out, it helped improve our recovery and even: Our performance.
QualityGains prescription: Take one Vitamin C tablet if you had a stressful day and/or are sleep deprived. Find Vitamin C on Amazon. $15 for a 10 month supply! Or $0.05 per day. If you use it sporadically, as I do, these $15 take you more than two years to empty!
3. Vegan Bodybuilding Supplements
I didn’t always make good choices in my life. And I didn’t always make good choices when it comes to lifting weights.
This is natural. If you’ve been doing something for more than half a decade, obviously you will make errors.
Over the years I’ve easily spent a couple thousand dollars on gym supplements. I know what works – and what doesn’t. Not only from my anecdotal experience – but from reading dozens of studies and books.
What I’m extremely proud of is that the first year I’ve started out in the gym I only took one. single. supplement.
Nothing more, nothing less.
While even that one supplement that I took was rubbish, I appreciate how I didn’t flush all my money down the toilets as most of my friends did.
Why? Because while the right vegan bodybuilding supplements can increase your performance by let’s say 5%, the right diet, sleep and workout routine can increase your performance by 95%!
In cases such as creatine, as we’ve seen in different articles, supplementation of bodybuilding pills can even counteract your achievements in the gym.
So make sure that you sort your workout, health and sleep routine out first – before devouring all the following 5 optional supplements.
One of the most successful videos I ever published on Youtube was the one titled ‘Stop Taking Creatine’.
So why would I implement creatine now as the first item of this list of vegan bodybuilding supplements? Am I out of my mind?
No, my friend. I still got my brain cells. I shall disappoint.
Protein is one of the best supplements to consume for vegans if you’re already following a good diet. It can improve your strength, power and therefore your muscle gains.
It’s also artificially synthesized which makes it 100% vegan friendly (as all supplements in this blog post).
QualityGains prescription: Take 5g creatine daily for 1 month and see if there’s a difference. If yes, pause for 1 week then take it again for 1 month. If you see no effect: Stop using it.
The time of ingestion is irrelevant, I personally take it after waking up.
Capsules might be better than raw powder, but somehow I’ve always taken this badboy from Amazon. Total cost of $14.33 per 114 servings. Or $0.125 per day.
3.2 Beta Alanine
I once attended a workshop solely about supplementation in bodybuilding (yes, there are such things in Switzerland!).
The teacher stated that Beta Alanine will probably be one of the supplements that will soon be classified as ‘steroids’.
While I don’t think this will be likely, I mean he claimed that now nearly 2 years ago, I still think that Beta Alanine is an effective supplement to take before your workout.
It decreases the carnosine content of your muscles and help you push yourself to new levels.
QualityGains prescription: Take a scoop of beta alanine before working out. The tingling sensation is not correlated with it’s effectiveness, so don’t increase the dosage after time.
Total cost of $20 for 75 days. Or $0.26 per day.
Take this supplement on Amazon for 1 month prior to your workout and then see if it’s effective. If not: You know the deal. Trash it.
“Ok QG, I could understand creatine – but why the f** is there now protein in this recommendation of vegan bodybuilding supplements?”
Patience my vegan friend, patience.
I do indeed recommend most of my clients to supplement with protein. The reason is simple:
Especially die-hard meat eaters would be devastated if they’d suddenly be halving their protein intake when starting a vegan diet. Not from a biological evidence based statepoint, but from a mental standpoint.
Somehow the protein shake after the training is calming and increases the dopamine during the training. It’s a reward mechanism.
QualityGains prescription: The reward of a protein shake can indeed help you push longer and harder in the gym. Therefore a shake a day, even if it is not backed by tons of evidence, can be helpful in increasing your results in the gym.
This badboy on Amazon seems to be quite good (vanilla taste!), although I’ve never tried it. $25 for 40 servings (you only need one scoop – not two as said on the package). Or $0.625 per day.
3.4 Weight Gainer
I never used to be a big fan of weight gainers.
I’ve seen it as a trivial vegan bodybuilding supplement. Until – I started getting more responsibilities in my daily job. Sometimes I’d skip lunch altogether to finish additional tasks.
This is not healthy – for your results in the gym and your health.
QualityGains prescription: If you can’t manage to hit your daily calorie intake (Use Cronometer.com or start your free 7-day trial). I’d recommend taking one scoop of this weight gainer on Amazon a day.
I may or may not have choosen this one solely because of the vanilla taste. Total cost of $56 for 30 servings (again, take 1 scoop). Or 1.86$ per day.
3.5 Caffeine Pills
Now why should caffeine be classified as a vegan bodybuilding supplement, you might ask? Because it helps you increase your energy during your workout.
Plus remember, previously I stated that most of these supplements are optional. And so is caffeine.
Arguably you can get all your caffeine that you need easily from antioxidant rich coffee beans. But sometimes, this is simply not feasible.
Caffeine pills shoot over 200mg of caffeine in your system without giving you bad breath.
QualityGains prescription: If interested take one of these capsules on Amazon when you’re really sleep deprived or looking for that extra boost. Total cost of $15 per 100 servings. Or $0.15 per day.
Vegan bodybuilding supplements are a good additional help to increase your performance.
But remember, these supplements only help by 5%. In actuality 95% of your performance is made up by your diet, workout and sleep.
Once you’ve reached a level where you can’t seem to make additional progress: Use the supplements that might be beneficial for you and disregard all the rest.
Don’t become a bodybuilding supplement fanatic like my previous employee and friend John. It just costs tons of money and makes your friends (and former bosses) write blog articles about you.
Germ theory: https://science.jrank.org/pages/3035/Germ-Theory.html
Creatine supplementation: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3407788/
Beta alanine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3374095/
Vitamin C and immune function: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29099763