Saying no to meat doesn’t mean you have to say no to your fitness and bodybuilding goals! In contrast, vegetarians have many ways to build muscle mass despite not eating meat or fish. Take a look at the 3 golden rules you need to follow to adapt your vegetarian diet to bodybuilding.
Vegetarian friends, get enough calories
Adequate calorie intake is essential for building muscle. Fruits and vegetables are generally quite generous but low in calories. It can therefore be difficult for some to fill. If you don’t get enough calories on a regular basis, your body is much more likely to turn to protein for fuel. Calories and protein can be depleted. Any idea? Add healthy snacks in your diet. Eating more often throughout the day allows you to always have a constant flow of amino acids into the muscle. It will also help increase your total calorie intake, which is essential when you want to build muscle.
Which snack to choose? Switch to high-calorie foods nuts and bananas. Snacks, smoothies or white cheese, treat yourself! But be healthy … Don’t choose too heavy or processed foods. Choose nuts (cashews, almonds, hazelnuts) that will provide you with a healthy source of fat and energy. A good handful will significantly increase your calorie intake. Another easy way to increase your fat and calories is to eat peanut butter (peanuts, cashews, almonds) in whatever foods you want. Besides … It’s very good! Spread it on toast, bananas, apples, celery, add it to your shakes and enjoy!
Watch your protein intake
To build muscle you need protein and contrary to popular belief, it is very likely that you have enough nutrition for vegetarians or vegans. Legumes such as chickpeas, beans, lentils and soy foods are excellent sources of protein. These are also good low fat carbs. Tempeh is also high in protein. It is often overlooked because it is less well known than tofu, but very good and nutritious.
Vegetarian steaks or pancakes, now sold everywhere, often contain even more protein than a traditional beef burger. Hard to believe, right? Eating eggs and dairy products also significantly increases your protein choices. This will allow you to include eggs and egg whites, cheese, yogurt and milk in your diet. Also, alternative consumption of brown rice and quinoa. Why; Both are rich in protein and quinoa is a complete source!
It’s not enough; Consider choosing supplements. Whey, soy, pea, hemp or rice proteins will significantly increase protein intake. Quickly and practically, these protein supplements consumed as part of a balanced diet are undoubtedly a “must-have” for your daily diet.
Bodybuilding and vegetarianism: Avoid vitamin and metal deficiencies
Everyone needs to take care of their body and eat a healthy diet. This is even more true for athletes who are looking to build muscle! It is important to consume all the necessary nutrients for the proper functioning of the body and to avoid deficiencies.
One of the most common deficiencies in people with a vegetarian diet is vitamin B12. To eat enough, be sure to eat fortified foods such as cereals, yeast, vegetable milks, dairy products (cheese, milk, yogurt) and eggs. If necessary, you can take a regular vegetarian supplement. Another deficiency that needs to be considered is vitamin D, the vitamin of the sun! Make sure you take a herbal supplement or eat fortified foods (mushrooms, avocados) and get your daily dose of sun!
Iron is a nutrient that you may also be missing. If you are planning to follow a long-term vegetarian diet, include an iron supplement in your diet. Broccoli and spinach are two super-vegetables that include good doses of calcium (which you can lose if you don’t eat dairy products). For your essential fatty acids, eat flaxseed and nuts. Make sure you eat lots of fruits and vegetables. They are full of nutrients and antioxidants. You can also choose all in one by investing in a multivitamin complex specifically designed for bodybuilding and fitness.
Check out our selection of multivitamins for bodybuilding here
Any last tips? It diversifies, diversifies and diversifies your diet to have different sources of protein and avoids nutrient deficiencies.