When you want to bulk up and build muscle, one of the most common things you will hear is how important it is to give your body enough protein. In order to get big, strong muscles, you need a healthy balance of exercise and extra protein, and it is a common misconception that one of the only ways to get enough protein is by eating meat.
For your body to grow and thrive, protein is essential, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a meat eater to get enough of the good stuff.
There are plenty of muscle building foods out there that are completely meat free.
Many people believe that meat is the only food that is high enough in protein to build muscle mass effectively, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. There is a massive array of meat-free muscle building foods out there, and vegetarians, vegans or anyone in between can muscle build just as well as the meat-eaters of the world.
You might have to work out a little harder in the kitchen to prepare your protein-packed goodies, but the results to your body will be the same as a meat-lovers. If you are looking for some meat-free meals to power your workouts and muscle building foods that don’t revolve around meat, then read on to discover our top 6 meat free muscle building foods for serious gains.
Eggs are an easy staple food that are full of protein-y goodness. One whole hard-boiled egg contains roughly 7g of protein, and they versatile enough to eat regularly without getting bored or repetitive. Eggs are one of the best muscle building foods for vegetarians, and if you are really watching the fat intake, you can use just the egg whites.
Whip up a quick spinach omelette for dinner, or have a delicious boiled egg with whole wheat toast for your breakfast; however you choose to cook them, they will give you a decent protein boost to aid your workout. It really is a case of ‘how do you like your eggs in the morning?’
Avocados are all the rage these days, and you can find them in almost any sandwich, restaurant or shop thanks to the recent avocado trend. They aren’t just super popular because they taste amazing and are packed full of antioxidants and heart-healthy fats. The trusty avocado has roughly 2g of fat for every 100g, and while they are often thought of as being high in fat, they are mainly monosaturated which means they are full of the ‘good’ fats.
Wild rice is full of fibre; in fact, it has 3g more fibre than white rice. As well as being great for fibre, wild rice surprisingly falls into the category of muscle building foods thanks to its protein powers. This type of grain has roughly 1.5 times more protein than other types of long grain rice, and 100g gives you 15g of protein. Suitable for vegetarians, vegans and plant-eaters alike, wild rice can be used in an array of different dishes and is super easy to incorporate into your diet.
Chia seeds are an all-around healthy addition to any diet. As well as being full of omega-3, fibre, iron, calcium and antioxidants, chia seeds are chock full of protein. These little seeds are derived from the Salvia hispanica plant that grows in Mexico and Guatemala and are very versatile. With 6g of protein in every 1.25 ounces, these seeds can be used in everything from smoothies to cakes and puddings.
One of the greatest muscle building foods for a meat-less diet is lentils. With over 9g of protein in 100g of lentils, these little legumes are true protein powerhouses. As well as being protein-rich, lentils are a great source of fibre, iron, manganese and folate. They can be cooked into a huge range of dishes, including fresh salads, lush lasagnes, or hearty stews. With lentils in your diet, it couldn’t be easier to build lean muscle mass as well as the next meathead.
Tofu is a popular staple in a lot of vegetarian and vegan diets, and for a good reason. This versatile ingredient is made from soy, is full of protein, and makes for an easy and tasty meat replacement. With 8g of protein in every 100g, it is great for bulking out salads, stir-fries and soups. As it lacks in taste on its own, it readily absorbs the flavours of any ingredients it is cooked into, making it a delicious meat-free muscle building food.