Can you really build muscle without meat?
This has always been a popular question and today I am going to show you some tips you can use to build muscle – veggie style!
Here are two prime examples of guys who managed to build bulging biceps without beef:
Bill Pearl is probably the most famous vegetarian bodybuilder. He was a Mr. Universe in 1953 and in 1971. (Interesting side note, Bill Pearl beat Sean Connery. Yes, that Sean Connery in 1953. Mr. Pearl did not become a vegetarian until he was 39 and he is a lacto-ovo vegetarian so he consumes eggs and dairy products.
Another interesting example is Kevin Eubanks, the band leader from Jay Leno’s Tonight Show. Eubanks also consumes protein powder, eggs and fish. If you’re trying to build muscle without meat, here are a few tips to help speed your progress:
What Can You Eat?
First and foremost, you need to figure out what kind of vegetarian best describes you.
Can you eat dairy? Eggs? Fish?
Fish is a phenomenal muscle-building food. Not only is it high in lean protein but fish also contains healthy fats that provide energy, burn fat and build muscle. So if you can include fish in your diet, by all means, do so.
Next up, eggs.
Natures Perfect Muscle-Building Food?
Old-school bodybuilding trainer Vince Gironda believed that eggs were the perfect muscle-building food.
Vince stated that eggs have a higher biological value than any other protein food. He believed that the consumption of eggs would boost muscle-building hormones within the body and help keep your system in positive nitrogen balance.
Sidenote: Vince also believed that you must consume your eggs raw to reap maximum benefits.
Add Dairy To Build Mass
Often times, vegetarians struggle to build muscle because of low fat intake. Ultra-low fat intake hampers testosterone which is one the prime hormones for muscle building. By adding dairy to your diet, you can boost your fat intake. (Eggs are also high in fat).
For Strict Vegetarians
If you cannot consume eggs, dairy or fish and you still wish to build muscle, I would make the following suggestions.
#1) Invest In A Good Protein Powder
The truth of the matter is, you need to keep your protein intake high to build muscle. It is nearly impossible to get 200 or 300 grams of protein per day from fruit, vegetables and gains, so a good protein powder will go a long way.
#2) Add Healthy Fats To Bump Up Calories
It’s impossible to gain weight if you are not taking in more calories than you’re burning off. And it’s hard to get a lot of calories from a strict vegetarian diet. Try adding extra virgin olive oil or fish oil to your daily diet. Just one tablespoon contains 120 calories. And the extra fat intake could help raise testosterone levels and spare protein.
Am I Recommending A Vegetarian Diet?
No! I am not a vegetarian and I am NOT advising anyone to become a vegetarian. Personally, I believe the healthiest way of eating is to eat like a caveman. Cavemen ate fruits and vegetables, but also meat when the opportunity arose. However, I am not trying to tell you what to do. Some people prefer to eat in a vegetarian manner because it makes them feel better. Others do it because they are concerned about animal rights. Others do it for religious reasons.
No matter what your reasons are, the tips above can help you build more muscle while still allowing you to stick to your principles.
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