How Can Vegans Get High Protein Foods To Build Muscle?

vegans and building muscle

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I am a vegetarian so I don't eat eggs or fish but I do eat milk products and drink milk.

My question is

  • Can a vegetarian be built?
  • How can vegans get protein (no egg and no fish)?
  • How much do we need to eat compared to people who eat meat for protein.

- Brian


Hi Brian,

Thanks for the question.

Vegetarians can indeed build well muscled, and defined bodies. Listen, your body doesn't really distinguish between what kinds of proteins it prefers.

All it knows is that it's getting enough protein to maintain and to build your body - That's it. Whether it be from a slab of beef or from cottage cheese, your body will use the protein for it's main purpose, to maintain and build your bodies working tissues.

How can vegans get protein containing no red meat, eggs, or fish? You can get plenty of protein from other sources such as:

• Peanuts - 1 oz serving contains 90 calories and 4 grams of protein;
• Sunflower Seeds - 1 oz serving contains 140 calories and 6 grams of protein;
• Almonds - 1 oz serving contains 170 calories and 6 grams of protein;
• Non Fat Cottage Cheese - 6 oz serving contains 120 calories and 22 grams of protein;
• Whole Milk - 8 oz serving contains 150 calories and 8 grams of protein;
• Non Fat Yogurt - 8 oz serving contains 120 calories and 13 grams of protein;
• Skim Milk - 8 oz serving contains 90 calories and 9 grams of protein;
• Low Fat Swiss Cheese - 1 oz serving contains 90 calories and 8 grams of protein;
• Tofu - 4 oz serving contains 94 calories and 10 grams of protein;
• Lentils - 4 oz serving contains 115 calories and 9 grams of protein;
• Soy Milk - 8 oz contains 130 calories and 10 grams of protein;
• Peas - 6 oz serving contains 85 calories and 6 grams of protein;
• Black Beans - 4 oz serving contains 113 calories and 8 grams of protein;
• Pinto Beans - 4 oz contains 117 calories and 7 grams of protein;
• Quinoa 3.5 oz contains 370 calories and 14;
• Whey protein - 25 grams equal to 22 grams of protein;
• Soy protein - 25 grams equal to 21 grams of protein;
• Rice protein - 15 grams equal to 12 grams of protein.

These are just a sample of what's out there in terms of high protein, vegetarian foods. There are plenty of vegetarian cook books out there with high protein recipes. Check this site out:

Most of these recipes are vegetarian with a high protein count. It’s right down your alley.

Brian, speaking from a physiological point, we’re not divided into groups of meat and non meat eaters. The human body needs protein to maintain and grow and regardless of whether or not you’re a vegetarian, our protein requirements will be the same. 20 grams of protein is going to be 20 grams of protein, no matter where you get it from.

A meat eater who needs 150 grams of protein to build muscle mass is no different that a vegetarian who also needs 150 grams of protein to build muscle. It’s all a matter of where your derive your protein from, since it all gets used in the same fashion.

If your looking to build muscle mass, I suggest you get anywhere from .8 to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Start off with about .8 grams of protein and adjust your intake based on your improvements. For example, if you weight 140 pounds, try and get about 115 grams of protein in your body each and every day.

Three protein shakes a day equals about 80 grams of protein per day so you have plenty to work with. Have one in the morning as soon as you wake up, one immediately after you’ve worked out and one right before you go to bed.

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I hope this helps,


As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.

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