Just because you want to take up Bodybuilding, doesn’t mean that you need to eat lots of meat, or in fact, any meat. If you are a vegetarian or vegan then chances are you have taken the decision to not eat meat, fish and maybe eggs or any other animal products. Whether your choice is down to ethics or you just do not like the taste or the idea of meat and fish, do not let anyone tell you that you need to give up and eat meat in order to build your body.
Here are some of the things to consider if you are a vegetarian or vegan and have decided to take up bodybuilding.
Make sure that you are getting enough calories. If you have eaten a vegetarian or vegan diet for some time then chances are you will not have any problems eating, but you may well need to increase your calorie intake. A deficit in calories when training hard will only leave you feeling tired and drained and will cause you to breakdown any muscle that you are trying to build.
One easy way to increase your calorific intake in a safe way would be to eat small snacks spread throughout the day. Eating a banana or an apple or even a couple of whole wheat biscuits with a spoonful of peanut butter for instance and if you eat dairy, consider natural yoghurt with some fruit.
Like with all forms of exercise, you must keep your body’s fluid levels up by drinking plenty of water as becoming dehydrated can not only be dangerous but also will lower your body’s efficiency when using all of the nutrients that you have eaten. One fact that not a lot of people know is that a water molecule is required to break down the bond between two fat molecules.
Eating plenty of protein is also very important for bodybuilding. Some will claim that the best way to eat protein is to eat meat, but this argument is scientifically floored as gram for gram, many vegetables contain more protein than meat as many meats contain a high water content. Free range eggs are of course a great source of proteins, especially the white part called the albumin. If you do not eat eggs then whey protein is also very good, although you must make sure that the whey that you use comes from a vegetarian source.
For Vegans there are also some great alternatives to eggs and whey and these include refined protein isolates such as Soya protein, Rice protein and Hemp protein powders. All of these are very easy for the body to digest and can be mixed to make the most of all of their nutrients. Of the 3, Soya is the most complete protein powder as it contains all of the essential amino acids required by the human body. Of course, any Soya protein powder that you choose to use should ideally be from an organic source.
Ensure that the bodybuilding supplements that you use are suitable for vegetarian and/or vegan diets. Just because a supplement contains all vegetarian or vegan products doesn’t mean that it is not wrapped in a gelatine capsule. Choose a bodybuilding supplement such as BodyCheck, which is suitable for Vegetarian, Vegan, Halal and Kosher diets, and has the added benefit of not only helping to increase your endurance but to help aid recovery also with a selection of natural anti-inflammatory herbal extracts.