Every Lean Mean Veggie Machine Needs Their Protein

September 1, 2012 10:25 am 0 comments

By Amme Hazari MS and Mike Ormsbee PhD CSCS CISSN.

Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand, there’s no doubt about that. Everybody wants the fit body composition where even your reflection makes you do a “double take”, and casting directors are calling begging you to appear on the next season of Jersey Shore. Ok maybe this doesn’t apply to everybody, but the point is, regardless of your motives, most people share the common goal of desiring that perfect body. Here are some helpful first steps towards that goal.

Whether you are endurance training (swimming, running, cycling etc.) or resistance training (weight lifting), both require greater protein intake. We will focus on vegetarians who are aiming to achieve hypertrophy (an increase in size of the muscle fibers) using resistance training and protein intake, both of which are crucial. If you are eating healthy and exercising, you will begin to see the benefits in no time. The vegetarian cuisine may cause more of a challenge in obtaining that ideal lean body mass, not because there isn’t substantial protein to be found, but because most foods are ‘incomplete’ protein sources compared to animal products.

What are the experts saying?

According to the RDA requirements, you should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. However, if you are exercising more protein intake may be required, otherwise your body may risk not obtaining the nutrients required to maintain a positive protein balance. It may be necessary to take 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight in order to prevent muscle degradation during a resistance training program. Of course the amount varies depending on your goal.  

Getting from Bruce Banner to the Hulk

Want to see faster gains? Then make sure you consume protein 30-45 minutes prior to exercise, so that your body is simultaneously tearing and synthesizing muscle fibers during the workout. Whey protein, which is vegetarian friendly, taken before exercise has shown the same anabolic affects as after exercise (5). Other studies even showed that consuming the essential amino acids and carbohydrates mutually before exercise actually had a greater effect on protein synthesis than after exercise (4)

In order to gain muscle hypertrophy, it is critical to consume protein after resistance training as well. Studies show the increased benefits of immediate protein intake versus prolonged intake (2+ hours) after your workout (2). Immediate ingestion shows a higher net protein synthesis which promotes hypertrophy and increases strength. This is because exercise increases blood flow, which therefore increases the transport rate of amino acids. Your blood flow is the highest right after exercising, which produces a “window of opportunity” which lasts about 30-45 minutes. By taking advantage of this opening, you can achieve a significant increase in net protein turnover. This answers the when, but now we must address how much protein intake is optimal.

For non-vegetarians, it does not require much thought in putting a diet together, as meat is a rich source of protein. For vegetarians, on the other hand, finding good sources of protein presents more of an obstacle but can be quickly and efficiently achieved.  It has been shown 20 grams of protein is sufficient for maximal protein synthesis (1), which can be easily satisfied by a protein shake and comes in many flavors. For those with a sweet tooth, there are even dessert flavored shakes that when mixed with milk an additional protein is provided.  And don’t feel limited to taking them only pre or post workout; why not take a shake for breakfast or figure a way to incorporate them throughout your daily meals. This way it can be a low calorie meal to feed the hunger and a great way to increase daily protein intake.

O Protein, Protein, Wherefore Art Thou Protein

Some of the highest concentrations of protein can be found in tofu, veggie dogs/burgers, whole grains, lentils, and various types of beans, especially soy beans.  Nuts, almonds, peanut butter are also good protein-packed snacks. If you are lactose-tolerant then milk, yogurt and cheese are valuable sources too. There are also smaller doses in common staple foods such as rice, vegetables and bread. These which are complementary protein and the root of many vegetarian meals and when combined form complete proteins.

Quinoa, considered to be a whole grain, has an exceptional amount of protein. It is one of the very few sources to be a “complete” protein. In just one cooked cup you will find a whopping 18 grams of protein containing all the essential amino acids (3). Kidney beans are another great source. In just one cup of kidney bean you will find 13.4 grams of protein (3).

Try getting creative with your protein sources, as many can be incorporated into delicious cultural dishes. For example, tofu is not everyone’s favorite, but only half a cup contains over 10 grams of protein (3).Mixing tofu into a stir-fry can be a savory option for a meal.  As a “veggie machine” myself, I absolutely love vegetarian burgers and hot dogs, and it is definitely worth a try. These foods effectively provide 10-16 grams of protein.  On top of that, they are relatively quick and easy to prepare.

Let the journey begin to your goal of rocking that sexy outfit one day. Find a strength training regimen tailored to fit your needs, and remember to consume adequate protein both pre and post workout. Try to incorporate more protein into your daily meals and snacks. Following these simple rules will have you feeling stronger, more motivated and confident. Get your protein on!

BIOs

Amee Hazari, M.S., a protein advocate and vegetarian, recently graduated from The Florida State University with an MS in Exercise Physiology.  Michael J. Ormsbee, PhD, CSCS, CISSN is an assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food, and Exercise Sciences and a research faculty member of the Institute of Sports Science and Medicine at The Florida State University. He specializes in exercise training, performance nutrition, and nighttime eating to optimize body composition, performance, and overall health. Visit him at www.mikeormsbee.com.

References

1. DR M, Daniel R. Ingested protein dose response of muscle and albumin protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men. Am.J.Clin.Nutr. 89 (1) 161, 2009.

2. Esmarck, B., Andersen, J. L., Olsen, S., Richter, E. A., Mizuno, M. and Kjær, M.  Timing of postexercise protein intake is important for muscle hypertrophy with resistance training in elderly humans. The Journal of Physiology, 535  301–311, 2001.

3. Hackett, J. (n.d). How to get protein on a vegetarian diet. About.com. Retrieved October 24, 2011, from http://vegetarian.about.com/od/healthnutrition/tp/protein.htm.

4. Tipton, K, Rasmussen, B, Miller, S, Wolf, S, OwenStovall, S, Petrini, B, Wolfe, R. Timing of amino acid-carbohydrate ingestion alters anabolic response of muscle to resistance exercise. Am.J.Physio: Endocrinology and Metabolism 281 (2) E197-E206, 2001.

5. Tipton, K, Elliott, T, Cree, M, Aarsland, A, Sandford, A, Wolfe, R. Stimulation of net muscle protein synthesis by whey protein ingestion before and after exercise. Am.J. Physio: Endocrinology and Metabolism 292 (1) E71-E76, 2007.     

 

Comments are closed

Latest News

  • Fitness Tips for Big Guns

    Tips for Big Guns

    by Ramsey Rodriguez CSCS CISSN. Building big arms has been a fascination and/or an obsession for those of us who lift weights.   My bodybuilding and personal training career spans over three decades and I can truly say I learned the most about building big arms while working with Professor Angel Spassov who is one of the best Strength Coaches in the World!  He told me, “I have conquered every sport in the world and Bodybuilding is no different.”  I don’t want […]

    Read more →
  • Articles Fitness ISSN Intermittent Eating

    Intermittent Eating

    by Jose Antonio, PhD.  Eat frequently and spread it throughout the day.  Perhaps 6 per day.  Get 20 grams of protein minimally per meal.  Don’t skip any meals.  Whoa Nellie.  Hit the rewind button.  Ooops.  Generation “Z” has never seen a rewind button.  Uh. Instead hit ‘ctrl alt delete.’ Is the general advice given at the top of the page passé, wrong, or misguided?  Absolutely not.  It works and works well.  Increasing meal frequency can preserve lean body mass (during […]

    Read more →
  • Products Whey Protein Reinvented With AMINOGEN®

    Whey Protein Reinvented With AMINOGEN®

    Back in the dark ages of sports nutrition, single source whey protein was considered fairly standard and effectively the same no matter which brand you used. Over time differences developed in quality, amino acid profiles as well as flavouring and colouring as better manufacturing processes were developed. But it seems it’s in 2014 when we see the standardisation of single source whey protein become a thing of the past. Pioneered by innovative sports nutrition brand THE PROTEIN WORKS™, they have […]

    Read more →
  • Articles ISSN An Ode to Nutrient Timing

    An Ode to Nutrient Timing

    By Jose Antonio PhD FISSN FNSCA CSCS.  A few weeks back, one of my students asked me about a recent meta-analysis published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.  It was a well-written piece authored primarily by Brad Schoenfeld who is perhaps better known for his Lookgreatnaked.com website.  I mean who wouldn’t want to look frickin’ great naked, right?  Like the old Seinfeld comedy TV show demonstrated so poignantly, there’s ‘good naked’ and ‘bad naked.’  I’m a […]

    Read more →
  • News Press Releases Products Be the Expert – Evolution Nutrition

    Be the Expert – Evolution Nutrition

      We all know what January is about: People have a new enthusiasm to work out and lose weight – making it the best opportunity you have to re-energize your existing clients and pick up some new ones. The annual question is, how? Can you offer a new product or service that will add value to what you already deliver? If so, what is it? People want something new, but they also demand something that really works. What if, instead […]

    Read more →
  • Interviews SNI Interviews Tony Ricci MS FISSN CNS

    SNI Interviews Tony Ricci MS FISSN CNS

    Tony is a Fellow of the ISSN and ISSN Certified Sports Nutritionist.  He sat down with SNI to chat about training and the fight sports! SNI:  The majority of your career is dedicated to sports nutrition. However your focus in S & C is exclusively to combat sports, why just this particular sports discipline? And besides, MMA is one of my favorite sports to watch! (Jose Antonio). First, because I have a lifetime of practice dedicated to multiple disciplines within […]

    Read more →
  • Articles Fitness 5 Life Stressors That Are Affecting Your Training

    5 Life Stressors That Are Affecting Your Training

    by the Dynamic Duo.  “I’m tired. I feel overtrained. I have no energy. I ate like crap the other day. I had a long day at work. I feel fat. My genetics suck.” We remember our last year of College taking 15 Units per semester, doing an internship, working 32 hours a week, homework, projects, and training. MY LAWD we were extremely busy and evidently this lead to mental stress. We started to continuously say things like the above statements […]

    Read more →
  • Articles Sports Nutrition Fish Oil For Fat Loss

    Fish Oil For Fat Loss

    Fish oil is most known for its beneficial cardiovascular and cardiac health effects, and continues to top the list of health promoting supplements. In 2004 FDA approved a prescription fish oil preparation for treatment of high blood triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia) (1). Recently several studies have shown that fish oil also has other beneficial effects, which might appeal more to the younger crowd, and especially to fitness and bodybuilding enthusiasts. One of these effects is fat loss. Fish Oil Induced Fat Loss […]

    Read more →
  • Articles Brown rice protein: for your digestive and athletic needs

    Brown rice protein: for your digestive and athletic needs

    By Scarlett Blandon, MS RDN.  Unless you were a vegan (or a yogi…or maybe a protein powder junky) the chances of you knowing about brown rice protein are slim to none.  Rice protein is a novel source of protein derived from the entire rice grain (including bran layer), and is available as a concentrate or isolate just like other protein powders.  It offers several benefits that other protein powders do not, but chances are those merits have been drowned out […]

    Read more →
  • Fitness Do You Have to “Suffer” While Dieting?

    Do You Have to “Suffer” While Dieting?

    Why is it that when it comes to dieting, everybody automatically thinks they have to suffer and deprive themselves from everything in life? Why is it that people think they can’t have the foods they love and crave in moderation? Why does the word “dieting” have to be portrayed as suffering? We really don’t have a clear cut answer to this, but we feel a big part has to do with the personality of people feeling like they need to […]

    Read more →