Recent shows that a vegetarian diet can be the foundation of a healthy lifestyle if followed by certain guidelines. Contrary to popular belief, lack of meat does not interfere with building muscle, including heavyweight athletes. It is only important to select alternative protein sources, such as grains, legumes, and plant seeds.
Besides, you need to consider the degree of protein digestibility from various foods. It makes it clear how fully the substances saturate the body. The highest score on the scale is 1. Food with this ratio is ideal for building and maintaining muscle mass. However, consuming these foods without exercising will not lead to muscle growth.
Factors That Hinder Muscles Development
Many factors hinder muscle development. Some of them are:
- High-Calorie Intake: Eating foods that are high in calories can affect the strength and the growth of muscles. Therefore, avoid eating such foods.
- Drinking Alcohol: If you drink it in a moderate quantity, that’s alright. But if you consume it excessively, then that’s a problem. If you want to gain muscle mass, you should probably get treatment for alcohol addiction first.
- No Physical Activity: Just focusing on food and not on exercises will not help build muscle mass. You have to do regular exercises to see prominent change.
Foods Effective For Muscle Growth
100 g of 1% fat cow’s milk contains 43 kcal and more than 3 g of protein. Its digestibility coefficient is 1. Milk helps to restore muscle tissue and enhances protein synthesis. According to research results, whole natural milk supplies the body with phenylamine on average 80% more than non-fat analogs.
This amino acid is found in body proteins. Also, high-grade milk contains 2.8 times more threonine, an amino acid involved in the formation of proteins.
You can get great amount of proteins from eggs. At the same time, the product contains about 1300 mg of leucine. This is an amino acid that does not synthesize in the body. You can only get it from food. Eggs support muscle growth and are highly digestible with a PDCAAS (protein digestibility corrected amino acid score) ratio of 1.
Leucine also reduces the rate of protein breakdown and maintains a high analytical response in skeletal muscle. It means it helps to maintain shape over time. Athletes add eggs to their diet for another reason. It contains a lot of zinc, which provokes the growth of muscles due to the insulin-like factor.
3- Dairy Products
Fermented milk products formed by clotting contain casein, a slowly digestible protein. In 100 g of cottage cheese, 1% fat contains more than 16 g of protein and 79 kcal. Cheese is also rich in casein, but less nutritious: most varieties are high in fats. However, both foods help maintain muscle mass.
Casein slowly raises blood amino acid levels, and it stays high for several hours. Due to this property, many people prefer using fermented milk. But remember that not all milk products are high in protein.
Interestingly, meat is the main contributor to muscle growth, although its PDCAAS coefficient is lower than that of cottage cheese and milk, at 0.92. But beef contains amino acids that are effective for increasing muscle mass. The product contains a lot of creatine. It also contributes to gaining muscle mass, increases endurance, and is suitable for diet nutrition.
As compared to other meat, beef is quite low in calories. A 100 g of meat contains 187 kcal, 18.9 g of protein, and 12.4 g of fats. Research confirms that its absorption, when combined with exercise promotes protein synthesis and muscle growth in people of all ages.
5- Chicken Breast
The reason some sports nutritionists advise eating chicken over beef because it has a low-fat content of 1.9 g per 100 g. Plus a low-calorie content of 165 kcal. Interestingly, there is more protein in chicken than in beef, i.e., 23.6 g per 100 g. Scientists found that natural chicken protein hydrolyzate serves as an excellent foundation for muscle growth without gaining weight fats.
Like beef, this type of meat, when combined with training, can increase endurance and improve strength training. It is important to choose the breast, and not the other parts of the chicken. They do not have such a useful composition.
This seafood is almost pure protein. 100 g of shrimp contains 95 kcal, almost 19 g of protein, and only 2.2 g of fats. Adding them to your diet is an easy way to replenish your protein intake without unnecessary calories. Not many people know but shrimps are as beneficial for health as eggs are.
In addition, shrimp contains Omega-3 and Omega-6, the antioxidant, and many vitamins. Keep in mind that the product contains tropomyosin, which in some cases causes allergies. If you are just considering adding shrimp to your diet, start with small portions and talk to your doctor.
In terms of digestibility, chickpeas are not inferior to fish: their PDCAAS coefficient is also 0.78. But it takes a long time to cook and causes stomach problems for some. It is optimal to use chickpeas in the form of hummus. Or you can eat them in mashed potatoes with the addition of oil and spices. 100 g of chickpea contains less than 166 kcal, 10 g of fats, and 8 g of protein.
Moreover, chickpeas contain a lot of amino acids: valine, isoleucine and, leucine. Many believe that the latter is only present in eggs and other animal products. In addition, these legumes contain zinc, glycine, methionine, and arginine, which is necessary for muscle growth.
Along with meat, several other food products can contribute to the development of muscle mass. But these all foods will be effective only if you do exercise regularly and avoid bad habits, e.g., drinking alcohol.