Posted by: William
I've been competing as a Natural Bodybuilder since 2008, and when my coach began to prepare me for my 1st contest, he immediately changed my diet. One of the biggest changes was a large increase in lean meat consumption. Since then, I consumed about 1 1/2 pounds of lean meat or egg whites on a daily basis. That's over 500 pounds of meat/year! Meanwhile, I had done some research around this meat consumption and whether I could gain the same advantages of the high meat diet with a plant-based diet. I tried this from six months, and here are my findings while on the plant-based (vegan) diet:
Plant based foods are higher in carbs, thus I felt like I had more energy than the higher meat diet.
My recovery time between intense weight training sessions was slower with the plant-based diet versus animal protein (meat) diet. **not good for the competitive athlete**
Plant-based diet is less expensive than meat based.
My strength after about two months decreased around 5%-10% while on the plant-based diet. **not good for the competitive athlete**
If you are a competitive bodybuilder/figure competitor, the composition of animal protein is essential to maximizing lean muscle mass.
There is a lot more to it, so if you have any questions on diet, please respond to this post. For the general population (outside of highly competitive athletes), I feel that there should be an increase of plant-based foods, especially more vegetables and removal of all processed foods - to get to more of a whole food diet. Research of long term health, especially cancers rates, have been linked to a diet high in processed foods along with animals products. Bottom line, everyone is different and has different nutritional needs, and a thorough evaluation needs to be done to ensure a healthy lifestyle.