Protein plays an important role in muscle development, leaving many to believe that bodybuilders must consume meat. Even so, vegetarian bodybuilding is entirely possible, provided you keep a few basic practices in mind.
Enjoy Plenty of Meatless Proteins
Vegetarian bodybuilding requires adding as many meatless proteins to your diet as possible. Chickpeas, legumes, and egg whites are all alternative sources that will provide you with adequate nutrition for muscle building. Tempah, a soy product that originates from Indonesia, is found in cake form and may be fried, used in casseroles, or eaten in place of bread on sandwiches. You may also want to enjoy soy protein powders from time to time, particularly just before or during a workout.
Consume Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Ensuring you get adequate protein is only one aspect of vegetarian bodybuilding-you must also take in the right amount of vitamins by adding plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. For best results, add low-sugar fruits such as avocado, rhubarb, raspberries, and cranberries as snacks throughout the day, and be sure to include lots of leafy green vegetables to your plate during mealtime.
Perform Shorter Workouts
To achieve success through vegetarian bodybuilding, you should plan very short, intense workouts instead of longer ones. That’s because during longer workout sessions, your body’s protein needs become greater, causing you to rely on stored protein in order to get through them. In the long run, this could actually result in a decrease in muscle mass. Some ways to increase the intensity of your workout include lifting heavier weights, decreasing rest periods, and increasing the amount of time your muscles are under tension. You may also opt for two or three shorter workouts each day rather than a single long session.
Ensure Proper Iron Intake
Foregoing red meat could leave your body low in iron. Since this nutrient is responsible for red blood cell development, your bodybuilding efforts could be hampered unless you take an additional supplement. Women of childbearing years are especially susceptible to becoming anemic, and may therefore wish to take a multi-vitamin containing iron as a measure. In addition, you should also ensure you eat plenty of foods that are high in iron such as sunflower seeds, spinach, tofu, and dark chocoprecautionary late.
Eating smaller, more frequent meals can ensure you have a steady stream of amino acids going into your body. It will also help you avoid taking in too few calories, something that can cause vegetarian bodybuilders to notice a loss in muscle mass. If you are unable to eat several small meals each day, enjoy a snack containing walnuts, flaxseed, or a supplemental protein bar or shake in between your regular meals instead.
Becoming a successful vegetarian bodybuilder will require you to pay careful attention to your diet so that you take in adequate amounts of protein and other nutrients. So long as you do this, you should notice the same amazing results that non-vegetarian bodybuilders experience.