You do not have to be a carnivorous eater to be a bodybuilder. Vegetarians can be competition bodybuilders, too.
Why Become a Vegetarian?
Because of the all of the negative press that meat has had over the years, many people are turning to eat a vegetarian diet. Others become vegetarians because of ethical reasons, religious reasons, or health reasons. Since bodybuilding often includes adding more dietary protein to build muscle, people who are vegetarians often shy away from bodybuilding. The vegetarian diet includes many proteins, so there is no reason that a vegetarian cannot become a competitive bodybuilder.
Short and Intense Workouts
Vegetarian bodybuilders can lift just like the meat eaters, but they need to do a few things a bit differently. A vegetarian weight lifter should have shorter, but more intense workouts. The reason behind this is that protein from foods other than meats is burned more quickly. If your bodybuilding buddies ask why your workouts are shorter, let them know and stay strong in your beliefs no matter what people say. You could even ask a gym employee to help you locate other vegetarian bodybuilders so you have a team.
Eat Enough Calories
Competitive bodybuilders who eat a vegetarian diet need to pay attention to what they eat. Bodybuilders need protein to build muscle, so they need to be sure they eat enough calories so their bodies do not turn to their protein stores as fuel. They need to be sure they eat more whole, fresh foods rather than processed food that is high in carbs. It is also very important to vegetarians to eat grains that are full of good nutrients, so they should eat quinoa, spelt, and amaranth instead of white rice and other processed grains.
To insure that the vegetarian body builder stays strong, he or she should look in to eating an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet. This is one that includes dairy and egg products. Vegetarian bodybuilders that eat dairy and egg products can add egg white protein and dairy products like yogurt and cottage cheese for protein.
Nuts and Legumes
Other important foods for vegetarian bodybuilders include nuts and legumes. Nuts are important because everyone needs healthy fats. Nuts also provide energy and their higher calorie content will help bodybuilders gain more muscle. Legumes also add protein to the body builder’s diet while also adding a quality carbohydrate. They also make good snacks for body builders.