Can a muscular guy survive on a predominantly vegetarian diet? This is a general belief in bodybuilding is difficult or even that it cannot build muscle if you eat vegetarian food. The basis for this is simply that meat and dairy products contain large amounts of protein, and that animal protein is said to be superior when it comes to building muscle. However, Can you build muscle as effectively on vegetarian food, or being even vegan?
Unfortunately not much research has been done on the subject, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence (i.e., people who eat vegetarian, and claims to have put on much muscle) because it is just as easy to put on muscle even by eating strictly vegetarian food.
The highly respected fitness guru Dr. John Berardi also carried out an experiment in which he ate only vegan food during a 30-day period while he trained hard. He ate about 5,000 calories a day, combined with his use of a typical exercise program designed to build maximum muscle much.
Result was that he went up a total of 3.1 kg during the period, of which approximately 2.2 kg was pure muscle. The results surprised Berardi who now do not dismiss proteins derived from plant sources for muscle building. He argues, moreover, that the hysteria that prevails right now regarding carbohydrates and obesity is considerably exaggerated. The main thing is that you eat whole grains.
A typical vegan diet consists of a lot of nuts, seeds, legumes (like beans, which are rich in protein), fruit and vegetables. A vegetarian allow themselves even to eat dairy products and eggs that are high in animal protein, which is shown to be good for muscle growth, but that certainly does not seem to be a must for those who want to put on much muscle.