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How to be a vegetarian bodybuilder


Vegetarian and bodybuilding does not really go together like bread and butter, but vegetarian bodybuilding is nothing new and it is not so hard to be a vegetarian bodybuilder with today’s knowledge. You can definitely do bodybuilding as a vegetarian you just need to know how to eat correctly.

How do vegetarian bodybuilders get enough protein?


There are various types of vegetarians and each of them has their own challenges. You get vegan vegetarians which are the strictest as they do not eat any animal products at all. Then you get lacto-ovo vegetarians who consume eggs and milk but not meat. Then we also get pesco-vegetarians who consume dairy and well as fish.

How to be a vegetarian bodybuilder

Vegans will find it the hardest to get in enough protein to do bodybuilding as they do not eat good protein sources such as fish and eggs. However they can turn to foods such as Soy and whey. Soy has a score of 1 according to the PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score) where meat such as beef only has a score of 0.92. This means soy actually contain a bit more protein.

Kenneth Williams Vegan Bodybuilder Soy also has high levels of glutamin, 10.5g per every 100g. Glutamin has anti-catabolism properties, which means is that it decreases the breakdown of muscle tissue. Glutamin also hydrates your muscle tissue and plays a big role in protein metabolism. Futher more soy has mostly all the amino acids needed for muscle recovery and growth. A great source of soy is Tofu which is rich in protein, iron, and calcium. It does contain a fair amount of fat, however sticking to a balanced diet it won’t be a problem.

Other great sources of protein are foods such as dark greens, beans, legumes heavy foods, tempeh, seitan and chickpeas.

You can also swap your rice for something like Quinoa , which is a more complete source of protein, even more than brown rice. You should also eat a lot of nuts especially for energy.

If you are a pesco-vegetarian – you should try and get in as much fish such as salmon as possible to maximize your protein intake.

What supplements should I take as a vegetarian?


Because you won’t get absolutely everything from vegetables and nuts alone, you might consider taking vitamin supplements as needed. It is also a good idea to make use of soy protein shakes as well as egg white protein powders. These will help you get in the needed amount of protein per day.

How to be a vegetarian bodybuilder

As always supplements are meant to be taken in as a secondary. Do not live only on supplements.

What about training as a vegetarian?


Training is pretty much the same as any bodybuilder but because you need to reserve your protein levels it is better to keep your workout sessions short and intense. You won’t get by on long sessions as you will start to burn away all your protein energy sources and thus your body will start by breaking down muscle tissue for energy.

Being a vegetarian makes it harder as you will have to experience a bit more what works for you, but you can have the same results as a bodybuilders that lives on meat.

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