For years some athletes believed that consuming meat was the only way to build muscle, but today, we know a well-balanced vegetarian diet that includes non-meat protein can assist with muscular development.
Well-planned vegetarian diets that meet energy needs and contain a variety of plant-based protein foods such as soy products, other legumes (beans), grains, nuts and seeds can provide adequate protein for athletes without the use of special foods or supplements.
Vegetarian males looking to build muscle should eat good quality protein at every meal and aim for a daily intake of 1.4 – 1.8 grams of protein per approximately 1 kg of body weight. For example, an 82kg male would consume between 114 and 147 grams of dietary protein daily.
Other tips for building muscle without meat
- Eat five or six small meals per day that not only include protein, but also fruits, vegetable, whole grains, nuts, healthy vegetable oils (such as olive oil) and plenty of water.
- At least half of your calories each day should come from carbohydrates, which fuel your muscles. For example, someone on a 2,000 calorie per day diet would need about 250 grams of carbohydrates.
- Fats are necessary for building muscle and supplying energy to muscles during workouts. Good sources of fat include olive oil, almonds, walnuts, avacados and canola oil.
In addition to being able to build muscle without large quantities of meat there are several other great benefits to vegetarian diets. Vegetarians have lower rates of heart disease and so
me forms of cancer, than non-vegetarians, plus vegetarian diets can be simple and easy to prepare. According to the American Diabetes Association vegetarians are at lower risk of developing heart disease, colorectal, ovarian and breast cancers, diabetes, obesity and hypertension (high blood pressure). This is because a vegetarian diet is typically low in fat and high in fibre. However, eve
Vegetarian or not, you could change the way you think about food, experiment and try new ‘meat free’ dishes in your diet. Abandon the idea that you have to eat meat every day and try a couple of meat-free days each week. You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy vegetarian dishes.n a vegetarian diet can be high in fat if it includes excessive amounts of fatty snack foods, fried foods, whole dairy products and eggs.
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