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First I want to say I know absolutely nothing about food or nutrition. So please write in terms I can understand.

I am 18 years old and I exercise in order to help in building muscle. My weight is 53 killograms. I am also a vegan (well actually a vegetarian since I do eat some milk and eggs, but little so most of my protein I get from plants). I know that in order to build muscle, I have to get enough protein.

I'm able to get protein from foods like beans, lentils, nuts, (I think) grains.

However I'm really not sure how much daily protein is plenty enough to help build muscle. I'm also not sure how much vegan food I need to eat daily in order to get this amount of protein.

Some numbers will be very helpful:

  1. What is the amount of protein I need to eat daily in order to help build muscles?

  2. What vegan foods can I eat that have plenty of protein, and how much of these foods should I eat daily in order to build muscle?

In terms of amounts, I'm really not sure what I'm doing. So help will be great. Thanks

3

If you eat milk and eggs, then whey protein supplements/powders are permissible. As far as amount, you want between 1-2g of protein per kg of body weight, leaning more towards the higher side. So I would recommend 75-100g of protein per day. (Not all at one time, but spread out).

Quinoa is an excellent grain source, it's 18g protein per cooked cup, beans/lentils are another good source. Tofu/Soy, as well as many nuts/nut butters.

For the rest, that's a really broad subject. I would recommend getting a nutrition primer and reading through it, as there are other considerations for vegetarians (Such as B vitamins, B12 in particular) that you need to be aware of. Vegetarian/vegan is not "automatically" a healthy diet, it needs just as much planning as a non vegetarian diet.

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  • Thanks for answering. You said it's recommended to get about 75 - 100 of protein per day. Two questions about this. 1- Did you mean grams or milligrams? (As you can see I'm totally clueless). 2- I do one training session per day (nothing very long or intense), and I know I should get a lot of protein after that. And you say I shouldn't get all the protein at once. So how do you recommend I divide the protein throughout the day? 50% after training, 25% at morning and 25% at evening? Or some other division? Thanks – Aviv Cohn May 14 '14 at 22:19
  • @Prog - the small g after a number generally indicates grams. Milligrams is designated by mg after the number. While it is desirable to get at least some protein in the hour after a weight workout, it's not necessary to really overload. What a lot of people do is have a 25-30g protein shake directly after a workout, and then eat dinner within 30-60 minutes after that. Other than that, it's kind of up to you and how your body reacts, some people can't handle a large glop of protein all at one time. – JohnP May 14 '14 at 22:51
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Yes protein from beans, pulses, lentils and nuts.

I wasn't sure on the amount, but found this link http://breakingmuscle.com/nutrition/how-to-build-muscle-mass-on-a-plant-based-diet

Which I think you may find useful.

It says about 1 gram per pound of body weight for example a 200lb bodybuilder requires 200gms of protein a day.

This is not my area of expertise, so it would be great if someone could comment, and confirm if this sounds about right. Thanks

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Soy is the highest protein food on the planet by weight, 36℅ of the weight of soy is pure protein.

Dried soy is even higher at 56℅ of the weight being pure protein, but if we are only counting unprocessed foods, then normal soy beans still reign as the most proteic food on the planet.

Close second are cow steaks and normal plain beans at 25% of their weight being pure protein.

Spinach is the highest protein source on the planet by calories. 24 kilocalories for 100 grams of weight, 17 of those kilocalories are protein.

I wonder how do those poor meat eaters manage to get their protein....guess it's because they sometimes eat their vegetables too.

Guess what? You don't need to worry about protein...protein deficiency does not exist outside of starving countries, if you eat natural unprocessed food...be it dead animals or plants, I can 100℅ assure you that you are getting more protein than you actually need.

Whoever tells you otherwise has never been vegetarian, has no knowledge about nutrition, has never studied nutrition or medicine and has probably grown up reading bodybuilding magazines and everything they know about lifting comes from whatever is commonly accepted. But one would argue that in common knowledge is were myths and misconceptions thrive, but I digress...

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