Protein is the building block of muscles, and every bodybuilder knows that they must consume their daily requirement for them to be on the right track. Unfortunately, a lot of emphases is put on animal proteins, leaving vegans to wonder whether there are any high-protein foods for vegetarian bodybuilders. While most of these foods are not given the attention, they deserve there are several of them that will aid your journey in muscle building.
Why are proteins so important in muscle building? Before you get to your workout, you want to be sure that your body has the essential nutrients to get you through it. For recovery, the muscles you have just worked out need to be replenished with bodybuilding foods to recover and grow. Not all proteins are equal. The body produces 20 amino acids, but 9 essential amino acids cannot be produced naturally. These have to be ingested. For a protein to be complete, it must contain these 9 essential amino acids. If you are already beginning to fret at the magnitude of that, relax. You do not need each of these essential amino acids in each meal, just a sufficient amount of them per day. While most animal proteins are complete, you can get your necessary dose from plants too.
Here are some delicious high-protein foods for vegetarian bodybuilders that give animal proteins a run for their money.
While the name will have you thinking that it is a variety of wheat, this grain is far from that. Buckwheat is gluten-free, and the ideal option for the gluten intolerant. It is a fruit seed belonging to the rhubarb family. Buckwheat is a great source of several important nutrients in the body, and more so proteins. A cooked cup of this grain will provide you with 6 grams of proteins, getting you closer to the day’s requirements.
There are several ways to have your buckwheat. You can grind the seeds into flour and use it for making crepes. You can also make soba, the Japanese noodles, or cook the hulled kernels in a way similar to oats. The variations are endless. Apart from protein provision, buckwheat is a super food in other ways. It lowers blood cholesterol and improves blood circulation.
We cannot begin to talk about high-protein foods for vegetarian bodybuilders without talking about soy. This food is a complete protein, ranking as high as meat and dairy products. Several varieties exist, and this product has received mixed reactions, but the safest way to consume soy is to avoid the processed stuff. For the sake of your health and to get the best out of it go for tofu, tempeh, and natto, which have an acquired taste. The fermented variety has reduced amounts of phytoestrogen, the controversial compound, by approximately a third.
Half a cup of tofu has 10g of proteins. The firmer the tofu, the more proteins it contains. A half-cup serving of natto will give you 15g while a half cup of tempeh has 15grammes as well.
Quinoa is not only nutritional, but also tasty and an excellent substitute for rice. It is also good for those looking to lose weight. Quinoa is quite versatile; you can use it for your muffins, cookies, and even fritters. Have it for breakfast, dinner, or whenever, thanks to its ability to be included in just about every meal. One more thing about this amazing grain is that it is gluten free. It also grows easily, which is one of the reasons NASA scientists have been looking at it as a potential crop to grow in outer space.
It ranks highly in high-protein foods for vegetarian bodybuilders, with a cup of cooked quinoa giving you up to 8 grams of proteins. For cooking ideas, you can pair it with anything that would go with rice or couscous, including beans and lentils. Spoil your loved ones with a chocolate quinoa cake or even make a roasted strawberry quinoa parfait. Apart from protein, each serving will also give you manganese, magnesium, and fiber. Add omega-3 fatty acids to that list. It is truly a super food.
4. Rice and Beans
This combination is one of the most common among vegetarians. While the calorie counters will tell you that you risk going overboard with your carbohydrates consumption for the day, say you would rather consume the complete proteins that this meal gives you. How does combo complete each other? Each of them contains proteins but is incomplete. Beans are high in lysine, but low in methionine. Rice is the opposite; low in lysine and high in methionine. If you combine the two, you get both essential amino acids in the same amounts as meat. One cup of this combination gives you 7 grams of proteins.
Not a fan of black beans? Lentils will give you the same effect. This combination is an ideal way to load on proteins and carbs after an intense workout. This meal is not only nutrition, but it is also quite easy to make.
They are the underrated food that you only think of when you want something easy to make. Did you know that one cup of cooked lentils provides your body with 17grams of proteins? Quite high, as you may note. Lentils are a staple legume all over the world. There are several variations of them, but they all have the same nutritional value.
Lentils on their own are not complete proteins. They lack methionine and cysteine, both essential amino acids. You can pair them with rice for added benefit.
Perfecting a Nutritional Balance
When it comes to finding high-protein foods for vegetarian bodybuilders – as well as reaching your health goals – what works for one individual might not work for you. Everybody manages situations uniquely, so while protein is necessary, you do not need a meat-based regime to produce the right levels.
With a bit of examination and awareness of different food sources, you can effortlessly achieve your regular demands and still stick to your particular diet or food options.