With celebrities like NFL running back Adrian Foster and former President Bill Clinton embracing a vegan lifestyle, many people are swearing by the benefits of plant-based nutrition.
So, what exactly is the answer to this peculiar question: is it possible to build muscles on a vegetarian diet? YES, IT IS!
Eating meat to go big is so last generation. Today, putting together together a mass-gaining meal plan based on plant foods should be done wisely and strategically. A calorie surplus from healthy whole food sources, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans/nuts, and getting plenty of protein is the way to go.
It doesn't matter whether the source of protein is vegetarian or non-vegetarian. A vegetarian diet can provide adequate proteins from dairy foods, nuts like almonds, dals and pulses.
Secondly, a lot of weight training goes into building of muscles. For this adequate energy is needed which can come from carbohydrates and fats. It's best to consult with a sports nutritionist or a qualified dietitian before you make unhealthy choices to build muscles.
Building muscles on a vegetarian diet can be a bit challenging compared to building muscles on meat, but surely it is not impossible. A few good examples from the world of our Indian wrestlers, including Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar should be proof enough that muscles can be built with veg food.
However, the problem arises due to the poor choices most vegetarians make. Most vegetarian diets lack sufficient protein and are heavy on the carbs, think the typical Indian meal of rice and potatoes. A healthy veg diet to build muscles should include a variety of dal,with combination of cereals and pulses; dairy products, and nuts. Make sure you get enough protein in your diet and eat sufficient calories to build muscles. Along with the protein be sure to get quality fats like coconut oil, ghee, butter, etc for healthy hormone production. Without adequate fat in your diet, the body will not produce enough testosterone to build muscle.