Copyright – Zodiak Rights

Hey Wild One,

Maybe you’re wondering about how to keep that sexy-strong body you’ve got on a fully plant-based diet. Or is it your gym-junkie beau, surfer dude boyfriend or triathlete hubby who doesn’t want to drop the muscle with the meat?

Let me just clear up a bit of the confusion around bodybuilding and veganism.

The growth hormone IGF-1 is responsible for muscle growth in all kinds of animals—humans included. So, what if we want to be the muscular kind of animal, and we’ve heard that vegans tend to have lower levels of IGF-1?

True, those lower levels may be linked to lower cancer risk, but still, built is built, right? 😉

Keep in mind, though, that there are plenty of plant-based bodybuilders out there. My friend of six years, Crissy Carvalho, is a stunning fitness model—and she’s vegan! Even the world-famous Arnold Schwarzenegger is cutting meat out of his diet (he’s been dairy-free for decades!) and says he feels “fantastic.”

So, are they the exception? Do lower IGF-1 levels negatively impact muscle building in vegans?

Well mama (and papa!), consider what happens to people with giantism…they have too much IGF in their bodies, but they typically don’t have any more muscle than the rest of us. And if we inject regular people with IGF-1? Researchers have done that, too, and found no change whatsoever in women tested over the course of a year. Same goes for men, more or less.

In short, as far as current research goes, it doesn’t seem like IGF-1 levels in adults have any effect whatsoever on muscle-building.

And so, plant-based bodybuilding is 100% possible, if that’s what you’re into—and no, you won’t lose those sexy muscles if you switch to a plant-based lifestyle!

“If they tell you to eat more meat to be strong—don’t buy it.” — Arnold Schwarzenegger

Now that we’ve cleared that up…how about giving plant-based a go? Wild Nutrition: Your 30-Day Revolution to Plant-Based Vitality is designed to get you healthy, sexy and happy—in just one month. Try it today!



Friedlander AL, Butterfield GE, Moynihan S, Grillo J, Pollack M, Holloway L, Friedman L, Yesavage J, Matthias D, Lee S, Marcus R, Hoffman AR. One Year of Insulin-Like Growth Factor I Treatment Does Not Affect Bone Density, Body Composition, or Psychological Measures in Postmenopausal Women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Apr;86(4):1496-503.
Phillips SM. Comments on Point:Counterpoint: IGF is/is not the major physiological regulator of muscle mass. In search of the skeletal muscle growth potential of
West DW, Burd NA, Tang JE, Moore DR, Staples AW, Holwerda AM, Baker SK, Phillips SM. Elevations in ostensibly anabolic hormones with resistance exercise enhance neither training-induced muscle hypertrophy nor strength of the elbow flexors. J Appl Physiol. 2010 Jan;108(1):60-7.
Sutter NB, Bustamante CD, Chase K, Gray MM, Zhao K, Zhu L, Padhukasahasram B, Karlins E, Davis S, Jones PG, Quignon P, Johnson GS, Parker HG, Fretwell N, Mosher DS, Lawler DF, Satyaraj E, Nordborg M, Lark KG, Wayne RK, Ostrander EA. A Single IGF1 Allele Is a Major Determinant of Small Size in Dogs. Science. 2007 Apr 6;316(5821):112-5.
Freda PU, Shen W, Reyes-Vidal CM, Geer EB, Arias-Mendoza F, Gallagher D, Heymsfield SB. Skeletal Muscle Mass in Acromegaly Assessed by Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Dual-Photon X-Ray Absorptiometry. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Aug;94(8):2880-6.
Rowlands MA, Gunnell D, Harris R, Vatten LJ, Holly JM, Martin RM. Circulating insulin-like growth factor peptides and prostate cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Cancer. 2009 May 15;124(10):2416-29.
de Herder WW. Acromegaly and gigantism in the medical literature. Case descriptions in the era before and the early years after the initial publication of Pierre Marie (1886). Pituitary. 2009;12(3):236-44.
Yang SY, Miah A, Pabari A, Winslet M. Growth Factors and their receptors in cancer metastases. Front Biosci. 2011 Jan 1;16:531-8.
Zhang Y, Ma B, Fan Q. Mechanisms of breast cancer bone metastasis. Cancer Lett. 2010 Jun 1;292(1):1-7.
Kleinberg DL, Wood TL, Furth PA, Lee AV. Growth Hormone and Insulin-Like Growth Factor-I in the Transition from Normal Mammary Development to Preneoplastic Mammary Lesions. Endocr Rev. 2009 Feb;30(1):51-74.