I am male 70 KG 170cm tall, I have recently started muscle building exercise to improve my thin frame, I know protein is essential for muscle building, but I cannot eat egg and meat, Could you please advice me veg food needed for better protein for muscle growth from plant resources ? I workout 1 hour 5 days a week. Right now I am having bananas milk and lentils like mung beams etc.

  • 2
    I'd suggest pea protein as an answer but it's probably considered a supplement around here and hence off topic. Good luck
    – james
    Mar 29, 2017 at 10:22
  • 1
    You can check Clarence Kenney's diet. He is a massively strong weightlifter and vegan. He talks about it here: youtube.com/watch?v=hHrysja5lYw
    – Idri K
    Mar 29, 2017 at 10:48
  • I would suggest you to focus on strength training programs like Starting Strength/Strong Lifts which uses compound movements to boost your strength. Being vegetarian is not at all a limitation as being portrayed widely.
    – PravinCG
    Mar 30, 2017 at 11:29
  • @james - supplements, like nutrition, are not off topic if they are asked about in the context of using them in a fitness program. In this case, although the physical fitness is not as fleshed out as I might like, it would be appropriate to add protein supplements as an answer.
    – JohnP
    Mar 31, 2017 at 23:55
  • @johnp, yet we've recently removed a question on whether xyz supplement would help muscle gain, the comment was that "supplements are off topic because everyone reacts to them differently" The meta says nothing of the sort. Clearly we make our own rules as we go. Bit of a joke.
    – james
    Apr 2, 2017 at 6:26

3 Answers 3


If you're looking for WHOLE plant-based foods, I would say the best (as in "most dense" - pretty much every plant-based food has a complete amino-acid profile) protein sources are:

  • Lentils
  • Beans (all sorts.. kidney, black, garbanzo, etc.)
  • and also Peas

If you struggle to meet your protein needs with your regular diet for whatever reason (which shouldn't be the case if you feed yourself with sufficient calories and make sure that around 15% from calories are from protein), any cheap plant-based protein powder is going to help:

  • rice protein
  • hemp protein
  • pea protein
  • etc.

It doesn't really matter which source the protein is coming from. The effectiveness is going to stay pretty much the same. Make sure you give your body a CONSTANT supply of protein throughout your day.

For further information, check these studies:

  • An issue with plant based protein is that it is not a "complete" protein. They lack certain amino acids that trigger protein synthesis. The big one is leucine. I think the amount of leucine is about 3.5 grams per meal to trigger protein synthesis in the body.
    – NicoLA
    Mar 29, 2017 at 18:31
  • 2
    Leucine is not an amino acid you want to consume in large amounts: nutritionfacts.org/2015/06/16/… and as already said, pretty much every plant provides all the essential amino acids and are therefore "complete". You just have to make sure to eat enough calories. Mar 30, 2017 at 5:59
  • 2
    I did some research and found a good unbiased article that supports your claims. It also gives good dietary examples for meals and macro managing. breakingmuscle.com/fuel/…
    – NicoLA
    Mar 30, 2017 at 20:22
  • 1
    @NicoLA That is a really good article! Mar 31, 2017 at 11:10

I'm a vegetarian too and I eat a lot of tempeh. It has a good amount of protein and I like the flavor and texture anyway.. you can also eat

Seeds and kernels. For example pumpkin seeds, melon seeds, sunflower seeds. Nuts, e.g. Cashew nuts, peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachio nuts etc. Cottage cheese, quark, mozzarella. Lentils, chick peas and beans. Goji berries

Or get the whole list of [Vegetarian Sources Of Protein][1]

[1]: http://www.statusofhealth.com/13-surprising-vegetarian-sources-of-protein/ hope my answer would help


There are amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins, and we get them more easily from animal sources. We can also get them, quite readily, from vegetable sources.

If I have enough of certain basic amino acids, my body can synthesize certain others.

What's important in your diet, and what is considered a complete protein dietary profile, is a combination of vegetable protein sources that insure you are getting all of the "essential" amino acids, that your body cannot produce itself from other amino acids.

For instance, my recollection is that tofu and brown rice is an excellent combination for getting a good spectrum of essential amino acids in sufficient quantities.

These nine (essential amino acids) are leucine, isoleucine, lysine, tryptophan, histidine, phenylanaline, valine, methionine and threonine. While proteing sources such as meat, eggs and dairy are good sources of amino acids, vegetables can also help you to meet your daily requirements of these essential nutrients.

LiveStrong.Com: Essential Amino Acids In Vegetables

Examples of Complete protein vegetarian combinations

  • Grains and legumes: rice and beans; peanut butter sandwich; tortillas with beans
  • Grains or vegetables with dairy or soy: pasta with cheese; baked potatoe with dairy/soy sour cream; rice pudding; cereal with milk

The Vegetarian Athlete: Combining Foods For Peak Performance

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.