Vegan & Vegetarian Protein Recommendations & Their Best Sources | How To Be A Vegan Saiyan
One of the biggest concerns for people when first going vegan or vegetarian is where they are going to get their protein. Plants can have a lot of protein but it isn't that simple.
My personal story with vegetarianism; after trying it for 3 months I realised I couldn't maintain my level of performance in the gym without eating meat. This was with heavy supplementation and tracking calories/protein intake. When I started eating meat again my strength started to go back up even though nothing else had changed, same supplementation, same protein numbers, same calories. I didn't know why at the time but since then I've learned the science behind what was happening; vegetarians and vegans need more total protein if they aren't consuming animal protein.
Protein is not the same across all sources, for example 20g of protein from beans is not the same as 20g protein from chicken.
Protein quality is determined by digestibility and amino acid content, some of the amino acids that make up protein are indispensable for muscle growth and if these amino acids are not available or cannot be digested, muscle growth is compromised.
Vegan protein sources aren’t easily digested due to fibre and anti-nutrients, they also tend to lack a good amino acid profile which can be remedied somewhat by utilising a protein powder of decent amino acid profiles (blending rice and pea protein creates a protein powder with a full amino acid profile).
Due to the poor digestibility for protein vegans/vegetarians will need to consume more. 1.6-2.2g per kg of bodyweight for meat eaters becomes 2.24-3g per kg of bodyweight which is a hell of a lot of peas and rice.
There are plenty of athletes that consume less than this and seem to get away with it, but from my own practical experience and the theory this is what I believe is optimal. Try it for yourself if you're interested.
So if we were to go all in with vegetarianism or veganism, what are the best sources of protein to hit those numbers?
As you can see it's entirely possible to get your protein in with a vegan or vegetarian diet. I don't personally believe it's optimal, however it can be extremely healthy when done correctly and I understand the ethics of such an approach. Hopefully this guide can help some of you veggies make some more gains.
That's all for now folks, be more shonen