Most of us probably know that protein is essential for building muscles. However, as a vegetarian, lean meat may not be an option at all. So, how do you gain muscle without eating an animal-based diet? Find out the tips to build muscles for vegetarians in this article.
Is Vegetarian Protein Good for Building Muscles?
Obviously, lean meat comes to mind when we talk about protein and muscle building. But as a vegetarian, your sources of protein may differ from people who eat meat. You can get proteins from a variety of vegetables and other non-meat food.
What is Plant-Based Protein Food?
Here are food options that can provide you with proteins to build your muscles:
- Whole grains such as farro, brown rice, and quinoa
- Soy products
10 Tips to Build Muscles for Vegetarians
While protein source options may differ between vegetable consumers and meat-eaters, most tips, and recommendations to achieve a lean body are the same. Here are our ten tips to help you build your muscles in no time!
1. Assess your protein needs
Setting a fitness goal is impossible without some assessments. How can you say you need to lose weight if you do not know how to measure your personal fitness level? Sounds reasonable, right? Well, assessment is always a part of many processes and goal setting.
In the same way, you need to know how much protein you need to build your muscles. There are different methods in finding out your protein needs, so be sure to calculate yours before eating too much protein and hitting the gym.
2. Do not forget iron-rich foods
Iron plays a very significant role in muscle building. How? When you stretch and keep your muscles working, you use oxygen. Iron in the blood cells carry the oxygen molecules in the body to maintain a healthy body. In short, no iron means no oxygen, and no oxygen means it is not possible to perform workout exercises properly.
3. Eat protein-rich foods throughout the day
Be sure to eat twenty to thirty grams (20-30 gm) of protein during breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Add lentils and beans to your main meals as much as possible because they can provide up to fifteen grams (15 gm) of protein when cooked.
4. Figure out if you are getting enough protein
It might sound too much to monitor your protein intake but it is vital to muscle building. Tracking the amount of protein will tell you to get more or shave off some grams of protein in your diet to achieve your goal.
5. Work your muscles out
Regardless of how many high-protein foods you consume or how much protein intake you get, you will struggle to increase your muscle mass if you do not train them. You can lift some weight, perform the best workout under five minutes, find a personal trainer, and watch our videos on how to build your muscles to get started.
6. Take in some carbohydrates
Do not be afraid to eat foods with carbohydrates. This major food source is essential in keeping your body energized and in good shape. If you omit carbs, you may not be able to build lean body mass and perform at your best during exercise or body workouts. So, aim to keep carbs as a part of your diet plan!
7.Remember that variety is the key
Adding protein-rich plant foods coming from a variety of sources can help you receive a range of nutrients. Do not focus on a specific food, but try consuming foods that have protein every day. For example, almonds can only offer around six grams of proteins per ounce, but if taken in addition to salad or smoothies, you can get a good amount of protein in one sitting.
8. Consume foods that contain amino acids
You might have heard about amino acids before, but what are they exactly? Well, amino acids are also proteins. In fact, they are the smaller unit or building blocks (called monomers) of proteins. Amino acids are vital in maintaining the structure and function of the tissues in our body, which includes muscles and other organs.
Our body can produce amino acids on its own, but only if you eat foods that can provide other types of amino acids. These essential amino acids are available from food sources that have ‘complete protein’ — meaning, they contain all nine essential amino acids.
Since most plant-based protein sources such as lentils and beans are ‘incomplete,’ you should find foods that can complete your essential proteins. For example, you can pair oats with almonds, beans plus rice, and nut butter to whole grain bread for a holistic, high protein diet.
9. Take supplements such as Lean Body Hacks Detox Tea
If you are a busy bee or someone who prefers to drink tea or protein shake bottles than eating high protein vegetables, you can take some supplements. You can buy a lean body detox tea, mix a spoonful into a cup of water, and voila!—no more buying and researching about which vegetables, nuts, herbs, and spices to achieve a lean body! With supplements like LBH Detox tea, weight management and muscle building can be easier and faster.
10. Choose protein-rich snacks
Snacking may not be your option when you are trying to achieve a lean body figure. But, if you are someone who can’t live without having a snack during your office break at work or when watching the television, worry not. Not all snacks are rich in carbs. If you can’t find a high protein, low carb snack, then, make one! You can eat a half-cup of yogurt or cottage cheese and get ten to twelve grams (10-12 gm) of protein per cup. You can also drink high protein coffee shakes or munch some roasted chickpeas at snack time to get enough protein.
About the Authors:
Mike Zhang is the founder of the MZF Group. He graduated from the University of Toronto on the dean's list with a Masters Degree in science. Mike was a two time National Muay Thai Champion, and a strength and conditioning coach to several learned athletes. He has over 14 years of experience as a Muay Thai Coach.
Marijune Tiamzon, RN, MHPNP
With nearly 5 years of experience in the medical field, Marijune holds a registered nurse license and a certificate as a mental health nurse practitioner. She is an adventurous young professional, and her hobbies include diving, windsurfing, and saber fencing.
As an avid writer, she is most passionate about sharing acquired knowledge in the medical field and how to apply it to improve the quality of life of our readers.