Everything You Should Know About Building Muscle While Eating Vegetarian
Contrary to popular belief, it is actually possible to gain muscle while on a vegetarian diet. Many people still think that the supposed lack of protein in a vegetarian diet does not allow for sufficient results in the gym. However, this is nowhere near the truth.
Whether you’re eating meat or not, building muscle involves a strict dietary regimen designed to optimize the quantities of the nutrients your body requires. Your diet should include minerals, fiber, vitamins, and of course protein to ensure you get the desired results.
Similar to non-vegetarian fitness enthusiasts, vegetarian gym goers need to follow a prescribed dietary regime and have a good understanding of their body. If you optimize your diet, you shouldn’t have any problems building muscle while eating vegetarian.
Types of Vegetarians
There are four different vegetarian categories and each involves different dietary habits. It is important to have a clear understanding of which category you belong to because it can largely determine your gym diet. All vegetarians can generally be classified into the following four categories:
1. Pescetarians, who eat fish
2. Lacto-ovo vegetarians, who eat dairy and eggs
3. Lacto-vegetarians, who eat dairy products
4. Vegans, who are solely on a plant-based diet
There is a unique set of challenges for each category when it comes to maintaining a healthy vegetarian diet and exercising. For example, many vegetarians who exercise regularly wonder if it is safe to supplement with casein and whey powder. These dairy by-products might be good for lacto and lacto-ovo vegetarians but what about pescetarians and vegans?
Well, casein and whey powders are obviously not appropriate for vegans and pescetarians, but other vegetarians should steer clear from them as well. Some of these powders may contain rennet, an enzyme that usually comes from slaughtered calves’ stomachs.
Still, the question of how to supplement for protein while eating vegetarian remains. A simple answer is to resort to plant-based protein.
How Much Protein Do You Need?
Now that you know what kind of protein is required when building muscle while eating vegetarian, you may wonder how much protein is enough. In reality, you would need much less protein than you might think because building muscle is not only about protein intake.
As a rule, healthy people who don’t exercise need about 0.8 grams of protein per 1 kilogram of body weight. Since your goal is building muscle while eating vegetarian, you would need a bit more than that. The general recommendation is around 1.3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for those who exercise regularly.