Just 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram every day – that’s how much protein The American College Of Sports Medicine recommends for endurance athletes. It’s a snap to achieve this with a vegan diet and you’ll probably require less if you’re not an athlete. You just have to know how to maximize your protein intake. So, when your vegan gym buddies come over for dinner, treat them (and yourself) to a delicious, protein-rich vegan meal that will boost everyone’s fitness at the gym the next day.
Complete proteins are your best bet
Protein is essential for every organ, cell, and tissue in our body. The body produces 12 amino acids, but we need to get nine essential amino acids from our diet in order to be healthy. If you want to increase your muscles, your meals should contain all the amino acids in order to be a complete protein meal. It sounds difficult, but it’s really easy. When feeding your vegan friends, treat them all to a dish of legumes, such as beans and quinoa, which gives you all the proteins you need. That meal is complete in itself!
Legumes are a fitness food
According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, if you want to get big muscles, add 30 grams of protein at each meal. If you do, the study found, you can achieve 25 percent more protein synthesis to enable muscle growth. When planning a vegan meal for an exercise buddy who wants to build big muscles, a good rule to follow is to focus on legumes. Just consider this: one cup of black beans contains 16 grams of protein, while a cup of chickpeas contains 19 grams of protein. That’s all your friend needs to get the full amount of protein he needs.
Your meal needs protein boosters
There are some foods that help your body to better absorb protein. These include acidic foods such as fruits, orange juice, and vinegar, so consider adding these to your vegan meal. You can also get some great meal inspiration from restaurant vegan meals that make use of delicious protein-boosting ingredients, such as balsamic, garlic, and fresh greens. Since these foods contain proteases, enzymes that are found in your stomach which break down bonds between amino acids so that they can be absorbed by the body easier, they will increase the benefits of protein to your body. With more protein getting absorbed by your body, more of it will go to building your muscles.
Don’t forget the carbs!
If you follow a regular workout routine, you should be adding carbs to your protein-rich vegan meals. The addition of healthy carbs will also help to make it feel more satisfying. Eating protein and carbs together will help you build more muscle, burn more calories, and give you the energy to sustain your workouts. Blending carbs and protein in a post-workout meal is important to repair depleted muscles, so if your friends are coming to you for dinner straight from the gym, give them this delicious combination. Examples of good carbs to add to your protein meals include sweet potatoes and whole-wheat pasta. When combined with proteins such as lentils and wild rice, it will be a delicious and nutritious meal – no one will even miss a meat dish!
You can build muscle and become fit on a vegan diet. The trick is to make sure you’re eating enough protein. When cooking for your vegan friends, add healthy proteins such as legumes and whole-grains to the menu. Don’t forget to add foods that will encourage better absorption of protein by your body. The result? Tasty protein-rich foods that sneakily boost your fitness.