Proteins are the building blocks of our body. Right from hair, skin, and nails to the DNA – all of these are comprised of protein. But the most noticeable part of our bodies, full of protein, are the muscles. Muscles contain a large amount of protein. So needless to say, if you want to build your muscles, you need to consume a lot of protein.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, animal proteins were considered superior. This explains why poultry, beef and other animal proteins were always a part of the diet of a body builder. Of course, this put vegetarians at a disadvantage. But things have changed. Studies have since demonstrated that you can bulk up your muscles without animal meat.
Whether you are an athlete or a bodybuilder, there are few things that you must know if you are a vegetarian, and are looking to boost your nutrition:
Know what type of vegetarian you are
Different types of vegetarians are classified based on what they eat:
- Vegans (No animal products of any kind are allowed).
- Lacto-vegetarians (If dairy is allowed).
- Pescatarians (If fish is allowed).
- Lacto-Ovo vegetarians (Dairy and eggs are allowed).
It is important to know this, because each type of vegetarian has their own set of constraints, and need to structure their diet differently. So the sources they can use for protein vary. For instance, Lacto-Ovo vegetarians get a good amount of proteins from eggs, whereas vegans cannot use eggs as a source of protein.
Choose your supplement based on your style of vegetarianism
Whey protein, commonly used by sportspersons, contains rennet that is derived from the gut of a calf. So if you are a vegetarian, this supplement is not suitable for you. One of the simplest ways to check if a particular protein supplement is suitable for you, or not, is to look for the symbol of kosher. Kosher food doesn’t have dairy or meat products. Some products have it on their labels, but most of them don’t bother to put them up front, so you might have to do a bit of research on the ingredients and check if it’s all ‘kosher’ for you!