T Nation

No meat and training


#1

If i go vegetarian but still get my calories, micro and macro nutrients, will strength and mass gains hurt?


#2

What type of vegetarian?

Probably, as far as the current science considers, no


#3

Not eatimg meat


#4

eggs, dairy & shakes, go for it


#5

So long as you're getting enough complete proteins (in addition to various vitamins, minerals etc), you should be fine.

S


#6

Yep. To tack onto what everyone's already said, it's absolutely possible to build muscle and drop fat on a vegetarian and/or vegan diet.

Berardi talked about it here:
http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_nutrition/can_vegetarians_build_muscle

And there have easily been a dozen previous threads discussing it.


#7

Oddly, I was just looking into this yesterday... the conclusion I came to, as a fatty, was maybe during a carb up day or something, but the cabrs required wouldn't work so well in my case.


#8

My diet is mostly vegetarian and I’ve been progressing on all my lifts. Most days I get protein from eggs, cottage cheese, beans, nuts and protein powder. Sometimes I even eat about a brick of tofu and/or tempeh a week. I would avoid soy in large quantities. I read about one vegan bodybuilder who was eating three bricks of soy a day and he ended up with gyno or something like that. I think a small quantity of it is okay. I recommend you try tempeh. It’s fermented soy and tastes pretty damn good in a stir fry, etc.

I think more people should become vegetarian or at least eat less meat, which is what I do. The meat industry creates more CO2 than all the transportation in the world. It takes a lot of energy to raise and process all those billions of animals that get slaughtered every year. It’s really not sustainable in the long run. Unfortunately, meat consumption seems to be going up more and more.


#9

[quote]creatinejunkie wrote:
If i go vegetarian but still get my calories, micro and macro nutrients, will strength and mass gains hurt?[/quote]

Why?

Either way it will be sub optimal


#10

Thay will marginally suffer. Make sure to take creatine and extra leucine.


#11

I’ve done it for the past 3.5 years or so (been a vegetarian for about 8 years, lifting for 3.5). Gone from 120 lbs and deadlifting 135 lbs (honestly weak as fuck) to 185 bodyweight and deadlifting 435ish. Many people achieve better results on carnivorous diets so it’s hard to say if thats a matter of genetics, poor training, overall inappropriate macros and calories, or the fact that I don’t eat meat.

Discovered some medical issues recently that may be influenced by my vegetarianism so I’m toying with the idea of adding fish and/or hunted or ethically raised meats. That would potentially give me a glimpse into whether or not meat makes a difference for my strength and mass gains. All I can say for now is that it is absolutely possible to make progress on a vegetarian diet, but I don’t think anyone knows for sure if it is only sub-optimal progress.

If you go for it, make sure your protein sources are “complete” and remember that even complete plant-derived proteins tend to contain less leucine per gram, so larger doses may be necessary to maximize protein synthesis. Also supplement with creatine. A solid multivitamin/ mineral wouldn’t be a bad idea, but if you’re eating lots of plants and animal-derived foods like milk and eggs you really should be fine in that department.

Best of luck if you decide to go through with it.


#12

Also good B vitamin complex not a bad idea


#13

To add to the above… I think Berardi wrote that having just some meat does a lot to make all your other proteins that much more complete… so maybe once/day.

Anecdotally, I had a friend that was vegan, except for fish, for a few years and in the army (ranger). When he had his first child, he decided to incorporate some meat into his diet by having a steak once a week. He said as soon as he began this, he immediately started putting on mass and gained like 20 lbs in a couple months.


#14

I’m trying to go more vegetarian, but I still eat meat on occasion. I hate the meat industry and factory farming. It’s fucking up the planet with carbon emissions and it’s cruel as fuck. I don’t want to support those fuckers, but I still eat meat so I’m a bit of a hypocrite.


#15

[quote]DiddlySquat wrote:
I’m trying to go more vegetarian, but I still eat meat on occasion. I hate the meat industry and factory farming. It’s fucking up the planet with carbon emissions and it’s cruel as fuck. I don’t want to support those fuckers, but I still eat meat so I’m a bit of a hypocrite.[/quote]

There are ways around this. Find a local farmer with pastured animals, treated well, that will sell you a cow.


#16

There are a couple of things to consider with vegetarianism. First, all humans kill other animals, even vegans. Habitat is displaced by wheat fields and planting and harvesting equipment cruelly kills and maims untold thousands of animals. You can certainly look at a minimization of the death you cause or even better the amount of pain and cruelty, BUT causing the death of animals is a fact of life.

Second, while meat takes more energy to produce per calorie, things like cows and goats can be grazed and raised on land unsuitable for agricultural farming, it isn?t necessarily a tradeoff of one for the other. This is most definitely true when you get away from things like grain fed beef. Lastly, going vegetarian or even vegan and preforming well can be done, BUT it is going to be harder.

For me it?s about impossible to comprise my diet of the sort of macros I need to maintain health on a diet relying on plants for calories.


#17

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
There are a couple of things to consider with vegetarianism. First, all humans kill other animals, even vegans. Habitat is displaced by wheat fields and planting and harvesting equipment cruelly kills and maims untold thousands of animals. You can certainly look at a minimization of the death you cause or even better the amount of pain and cruelty, BUT causing the death of animals is a fact of life.

Second, while meat takes more energy to produce per calorie, things like cows and goats can be grazed and raised on land unsuitable for agricultural farming, it isn?t necessarily a tradeoff of one for the other. This is most definitely true when you get away from things like grain fed beef. Lastly, going vegetarian or even vegan and preforming well can be done, BUT it is going to be harder.

For me it?s about impossible to comprise my diet of the sort of macros I need to maintain health on a diet relying on plants for calories.[/quote]

There’s really no point in trying man.

I find a lot of the vegan/vegetarians who do it for ethical reasons have a deep emotional attachment to it.

You’ll rarely persuade someone out of their diet, it usually comes as a result of long stretches of feeling anemic.

My cousin only included eggs into her vegan diet once she fainted and started suffering low blood pressure.


#18

The problem I have is with factory farming. They just cram all these animals into these horrible settings. There is zero concern for these animals welfare. At the very least, show some degree of compassion for their concern.

I do agree that a lot of vegans are a bit self-righteous and attached to their morality. When I see that it turns me off. I understand that eating meat is not abnormal, but the conditions of these animals are abhorrent. It’s not like the old days before everything got so industrialized. At the very least people should try and eat less meat.


#19

[quote]DiddlySquat wrote:
The problem I have is with factory farming. They just cram all these animals into these horrible settings. There is zero concern for these animals welfare. At the very least, show some degree of compassion for their concern.

I do agree that a lot of vegans are a bit self-righteous and attached to their morality. When I see that it turns me off. I understand that eating meat is not abnormal, but the conditions of these animals are abhorrent. It’s not like the old days before everything got so industrialized. At the very least people should try and eat less meat.[/quote]

Or turn to other methods. The half a cow I have in my freezer lived a happy well cared for life in a grassy pasture. I know, he lived down the road from me.

The eggs I eat come from happy healthy chickens that run around all day in the sun chasing bugs in my back yard.


#20

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:

[quote]DiddlySquat wrote:
The problem I have is with factory farming. They just cram all these animals into these horrible settings. There is zero concern for these animals welfare. At the very least, show some degree of compassion for their concern.

I do agree that a lot of vegans are a bit self-righteous and attached to their morality. When I see that it turns me off. I understand that eating meat is not abnormal, but the conditions of these animals are abhorrent. It’s not like the old days before everything got so industrialized. At the very least people should try and eat less meat.[/quote]

Or turn to other methods. The half a cow I have in my freezer lived a happy well cared for life in a grassy pasture. I know, he lived down the road from me.

The eggs I eat come from happy healthy chickens that run around all day in the sun chasing bugs in my back yard.[/quote]

Agreed. Where I live, there are plenty of small farms that treat their animals very well and it really isn’t too much of a cost difference to buy meat from them. My parents have a lot of chickens, so I get some of their eggs on occasion.

I find, like DD stated, that most issues people have with eating meat can simply be solved by finding a local farm to buy your meat/dairy/eggs that treats their animals well and isn’t loaded with hormones/chemicals.