If I've been asked once, I've been asked a thousand times! "SO, you're a pretty big guy! You must be cheating or something, because how are you getting enough protein?"
"Oh, you're vegan! Aren't you worried you're not getting enough protein?"
No, I'm not 'roiding up. No, I'm not worried about getting enough protein.
Plants have protein!
However, this is a common food myth. Let's take a look at it in our very first Food Myth Friday!
How do you get enough protein?
Ok, so it's easy to forget that some people actually want to know the answer to this rather than just asking because plant-based eating just does not compute. So, let's take a look at how we vegans and vegetarians get our protein.
So, for me, I don't take in as much protein as many sources would have you believe that you need. The general consensus of the resistance training circle is 1g per pound in body weight. Well, that's definitely doable if you're consuming animal protein.
See! You can't do it on a plant-based diet!
Hold up, skippy, I'm not done yet.
Over the last several months, I have averaged .82g per pound of protein intake per day. That may not sound like much less than 1g per pound, but 191g of protein is a whole lot less than 233g on a vegan diet. That is A LOT of food! I also want to note that this is the amount that I choose to take in while cross-training three times a day. Running, weights, and HIIT take their caloric toll. As a rule of thumb, you'll want to take in about 15% protein in your daily macros if you're not training.
How to hit your daily protein as a plant-based eater.
Now, let's look at what you'll need to consume to hit your numbers for whatever your fitness or dietary goal may be on a plant-based diet!
Beans. *gasp* carbs... Hold up, check this out.
The list goes on!
Tempeh (fermented soybeans that are great for the gut)
Nuts and Nut Butters
That's just the shortlist. Nearly every whole food has some amount of protein, so fill up on whole foods and hit those gains!
Alright, I'd be a lying liar if I didn't admit to supplementing my protein intake. However, it's purely a time-based issue with me. I start early, work out during my break and lunch, cook dinner for the fam, and then it's either time at the ballfield for the Chicken or at the gym with the wife. Rinse and repeat. I am notorious for eating my meal prep at my standing desk and plowing on through. So, protein powder comes in clutch!
My go-to is Redcon1's Green Beret
The vanilla is my favorite. It's my favorite simply because you throw it in with some coconut almond milk, and you have a sweet treat that can't be beaten. Plus, it helps you towards your goal. Win-win!
So, the next time you get asked (or ask) about plant-based protein intake, you'll know a bit more about it. As with most things with fitness advice, try it out for yourself. That's the best way to figure out what specific needs you have based on your individual goal.
Remember, you can be as strong as an ox on a plant-based diet. I mean... what does the ox eat?
See you next Friday for another Food Myth Friday: Animal Protein is Higher Quality Protein.