Friday, January 9, 2009

How to Get Your Daily Protein When You’re Vegetarian or Vegan

You need at least 1g protein per pound of body-weight daily to build muscle and to help muscle recovery from strength training. If you weigh 155lbs/70kg, that’s 155g protein per day.

What Do Vegetarians & Vegans Eat? Vegetables, legumes, fruits, soy, … Some eat eggs & dairy products too. But never meat, fish or poultry.

* Lacto-ovo Vegetarians. Eat eggs & dairy, but no animal flesh.
* Lacto Vegetarians. Eat dairy, but no eggs and no animal flesh.
* Ovo Vegetarians. Eat eggs, but no dairy and no animal flesh.
* Vegans. Eat no eggs, no dairy, no animal flesh and no honey.

The Cons of Vegeterianism & Veganism. You need vegetables & fruits for fiber, vitamins and minerals. You also need green veggies – like spinach – to counter the acidity from protein. However:

* Testosterone Levels. Saturated fat & cholesterol from meats, eggs and dairy increase testosterone levels. Lack of these foods means less muscle, less strength, less energy, lower libido, higher body fat, …
* Allergies. Consuming huge amounts of dairy & eggs to get your 1g/lbs protein can cause lactose intolerance, acne, etc.

Protein Sources for Vegeterians & Vegans. Getting 1g/lbs protein daily is easy if you’re lacto and/or ovo: eggs, milk, whey, cheese, etc. Other protein sources you can choose from:

* Beans. Black, garbanzo, hummus, kidney, fava, winged, mungo, lima, …
* Legumes. Lentils, peas, cow peas, chick pea, snow peas, …
* Nuts. Walnuts, almonds, pistachio, cashew, peanuts, peanut butter, …
* Seeds. Sesame, pumpkin, hemp, flax, …
* Milk. Soy milk, almond milk, …
* Soy. Soy beans, tofu, deli-style soy meats, soy milk, soy cheese, …
* Whole Grains. Brown rice, quinoa, granola, oats, breads, …
* Protein Powder. Soy protein, hemp protein, rice protein, …

Example Diet.

* Meal #1: oats, soy milk, banana, flax seeds
* Meal #2: hemp protein shake, brown rice
* Meal #3: whole wheat pita, hummus/bean salad, spinach
* Meal #4: soy protein shake, apple
* Meal #5: brown rice, tofu, hemp oil, spinach, tomatoes
* Meal #6: almonds/almond milk

Are you vegetarian or vegan? How do you get 1g/lbs protein daily? What’s your opinion on mixing vegetarianism & veganism with strength training? Share in the comments.



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