New Nutrition Study Presents a Case for Vegetarian Diets for Athletes


More and more men are going vegetarian these days because of the fact that they are as physically (and mentally) strong as those who eat meat. A study proved this recently.

Scientists from Arizona State University discovered something about men who eat vegetables and that they gain muscles as much as men who eat meat. The study was done on male endurance athletes who were vegetarians and meat eaters. They were divided in groups.

Anyway, these athletes were given a special dietary regimen for 7 days and they were also subjected to a cycle of fitness assessments. The test subjects are of similar body structure and they also have the same degree on physical performance.

Now, these were observed among the test subjects – the athletes who ate pure greens displayed slightly higher results compared to those who were omnivores.

These male athletes recorded everything necessary all throughout the research period such as the BMI and body fat measurement and more. It further showed that those who ate meat had more visceral fat compared to those who were vegetarian. Visceral fat makes the abs bigger and the risks associated with that are illnesses like Type 2 Diabetes.

While it is surprising for some, there are vegetables that are great sources of protein. The vegetarian athletes were provided these veggies to be consumed and so that they won’t lack the necessary nutrients. The same amount of protein in grams was given to them equally – both the veggie eaters and the meat group. It was observed that even if the athletes who ate pure veggies and mixed meats with greens had equal protein nutrient intake per day which was 1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight, those who were vegetarian ate fewer calories, all in all.

One of their tests, endurance on treadmill, proved that those men who were purely vegetarian had a higher VO2. VO2 represents volume of oxygen – a higher volume means that the person can last longer in a physical endurance test like running, jogging or walking. Speaking about that, those athletes who ate vegetables only in the study had more VO2.

These veggie athletes didn’t eat steak, chicken, pork chops and all the other meaties and yet, when they performed their leg extension exercises, their strength and endurance equaled those who were on an omnivore diet. This is a proven and amazing fact. Plus those who eat vegetables showed signs that they are healthier compared to those who have meat in their diet.

The athletes in the study who were pure vegetable eaters showed these results – 32% less chances on contracting heart conditions, 35% less chances of developing cancer and since they’re healthier, they are also less likely to die prematurely of natural causes compared to those who eat meat.

Veggies and other non-meat foods high in protein

Protein Veggies

So, what type of veggies or non-meat foods can you eat that’s loaded on protein? Well, there’s the tempeh which contains 34 grams of protein for a 6-oz serving. If you like cheese, then, you can about with cottage cheese. It has 23 grams of protein in a cup. You may also like to eat Greek yogurt since it is a protein-rich food. This yogurt has 18 grams of protein in a 6-ounce serving. And of course, don’t forget edamame. It has 18 grams of protein in a cup. Then, there’s black beans, lentils, eggs and quinoa – there are so many that people do not know of – all rich in protein, very nutritious and healthy.