Earlier this week, I met up with a colleague; also a personal trainer & natural body builder. Having not seen him in nearly a year, a couple of things had changed. Firstly, he’d gone vegan (a real surprise, given that his staple diet used to revolve around Nandos), and secondly, he is in the best shape he has ever been. Removing all animal products from his diet seems to have changed his whole lifestyle, but the natural question that arises from this is:
How does he get enough protein?
Protein is one of the building blocks of body tissue, as well as a fuel source. When ingested, protein is broken down into amino acids, where they are then used in cell construction and repair, bases for specialised cells, hormones, and immune system components. Protein is also the second most abundant molecule in the body, behind water. Therefore, by cutting out the easiest sources of protein (meats, dairy, fish & eggs) it seems unlikely that he would be able to get enough protein in his diet. Let alone enough to continue adding muscle mass for his body building! There are of course other sources of protein; whole grains, pulses, legumes (beans), and nuts & seeds all contain amino acids. Although these sources have lower levels of protein, getting some of your daily intake from these will give a more balanced diet, as well as providing you with a range of other nutrients that are low in animal sources.
I am not trying to suggest that veganism is a great option, I personally am far too keen on dairy and steak, but it certainly is worth considering adjusting your protein sources, reducing your meat intake slightly, and seeing how you feel. If nothing else, start looking at where else we can source amino acids. For more info try visiting http://www.