Protein is essential when you’re building muscle. Muscle tissue is made of protein, which means it is made of amino acids, and those amino acids have to come from somewhere. But how much does the source of protein matter?
Animal foods (like meat, dairy, and eggs) contain lots of protein, so they’re the traditional go-to foods for bodybuilders and other gym-goers. But plant foods can provide protein as well, and there are plenty of strong vegan athletes—so it’s definitely possible to build muscle on a plant-based diet.
There are two downsides of plant-based protein, so if you’re determined to stick to these sources, it’s important to account for both.