Building muscle as a vegetarian is not very hard although you will not be able to consume meat which is an important source of protein. Protein is very important in building muscle so you need to ensure that you get enough. Ovo-lacto vegetarians include animal derived products into their diet such as milk, cheese, eggs and butter but vegans on the other hand strictly avoid anything derived from animals. For vegans, building muscle will be a bit more difficult but not impossible.
Meat is an excellent source of protein and fat which are important food groups in building muscle. Ovo-lacto vegetarians can get up to their required intake of protein and fat by consuming eggs, cheese, milk and butter. For vegans, a bit more creativity is needed to ensure that their protein requirements are met. By combining grains and legumes (black beans and rice) or nuts and seeds (sunflower seeds and peanuts) you can create a complete protein.
Soy and Moring
Soy and moringa oleifera are two plant-based foods that are complete sources of protein which you should ensure that you include into your diet as a vegetarian. Moringa is especially important if you are a vegan since it provides so much of the protein, vitamins and minerals that might be lacking in a meat prohibited diet. Moringa has been successfully used in many parts of Africa to combat malnutrition and undernourishment as it is provides almost every nutrient your body needs to develop. I guess you could call it God’s gift to man. There is really no excuse for not obtaining enough protein in your diet as a vegetarian.
Fats are easily obtained from sources such as olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds. Fats play a vital role in transporting important vitamins and minerals essential for muscle growth as well as encouraging the production of testosterone which helps to build more muscle. Therefore, there is no excuse for not obtaining enough fat in ones’ diet either.
You will find it difficult to build muscle unless smart nutritional planning is combined with a sensible weight training routine. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of long term energy heading into a grueling workout to ensure you perform at your best in the gym. After a workout, a fruit such as a banana is great to consume in order to replenish the potassium you will have lost through sweating. Potassium is critical in helping your muscles recover faster after a workout. Additionally, the glucose in a banana will also restore depleted glycogen levels to re energize your body. Therefore, you will not lose strength by being a vegetarian since fruits and vegetables can provide all the energy you need for an intensive workout.
If you plan your meals right you will be able to get nourishment from all the major food groups as well as all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function. You will not lose any strength by cutting meat out of your diet and you will be able to build just as much muscle or even more than your meat consuming counterparts.