So you wanna be strong? You don’t need meat to build muscle. As long as you get enough protein (meat-free protein options here) and eat a well-balanced diet, you’ll be fine. If you’re not convinced, check out the website of America’s top vegan bodybuilder. If he can build muscle without dairy, then cutting back on meat won’t hurt you a bit.
Eggs: Eggs are the perfect protein, supporting your body’s protein needs even better than beef. And it’s the group of amino acids found in “complete” proteins that promote muscle growth.
Almonds: Two handfuls a day will give you enough vitamin E to protect your muscles from post-workout free radical damage, letting them recover and grow more quickly.
Yogurt: Yes, yogurt can be macho! Sugar-free yogurt with fruit provides enough protein and carbs together to help avoid post-workout breakdown of protein – helping your muscles grow faster.
Olive Oil: The mono fat in olive oil lowers the amounts of muscle-degenerating protein found in your body. Buy organic extra-virgin and eat it uncooked, sprinkled over your food.
Water: Duh! All your body functions work less efficiently when you’re dehydrated. In a thirsty body, protein is used at a slower rate to build muscle. While not technically a “food”, water is vital. So drink up – and no, Gatorade doesn’t count.
Any vegetarian bodybuilders out there? Tell us what works for you. And just a note: we’re not advocating vegetarianism if it doesn’t work for you – there are plenty of ways to “green” your ham. But eating less meat is a great step to help the environment.
Image: faded milky way