Social Question

lanahopple's avatar

Having trouble as a vegetarian athlete, losing muscle and energy... help!

Asked by lanahopple (455points) August 5th, 2011

I have been a vegetarian for 4 months now, more or less, and I love it! Buuuut….. I have been noticing my energy level in practice and my performance in games not being up to my standards (fatigued and slower) and I know it is because of my diet.
Is there anyone, as a vegetarian athlete (no fish, no meat, but YES milk eggs ect.) who could write up exactly what you eat on a training day, on a non training day (but mild exercise is fine), and then what you would eat before a big game/tournament.

Sorry for all the ands, but could you also please give me advice as to how to build a lot of muscle but without the extra fat??

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

23 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

For many non-meat eaters, they have a B-12 deficiency. I take a sub-lingual B12 daily.
Mayo clinic info.

” ...strict vegetarians or vegans who are not taking in proper amounts of B12 are also prone to a deficiency state.

A day’s supply of vitamin B12 can be obtained by eating 1 chicken breast plus 1 hard-boiled egg plus 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt, or 1 cup milk plus 1 cup raisin bran.” Source

I cannot help with the rest of your question. Sorry

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

It would probably help if we knew what your diet consists of now.

nikipedia's avatar

I am too lazy to write up everything, but some tips:
greek yogurt is full of protein, and you can get it fat free
peanut butter on bananas
chocolate milk is the perfect recovery drink
beans + rice
lentils + rice
you can add a ton of protein to salads with nuts (I love almonds on mine), hardboiled eggs, and by grating some hard cheese (parmesan, romano) on them
eggs in general are awesome, and there are about a thousand things you can do with them.

Oh yeah, and don’t forget about iron. I eat shredded wheat cereal with 90% of the RDA for iron (sometimes for breakfast, sometimes just snack on it dry) and as soon as I started doing this it made a HUGE difference in my energy levels.

intrepidium's avatar

I recommend this site by a couple – both active runners (she also happens to be pregnant) and foodies who also dabble in a wide range of vegetarian and vegan cooking and baking, plenty of recipes provided on their blog.

I’m not a vegetarian myself but I do tend to have far more veggies than meat in my diet. Beans and complex carbs work well for me when I’m training e.g. bean salads, pilafs, oats cooked as oatmeal or pancakes or baked into muffins. I also have about the equivalent of 6 egg whites a day. Other staples are bananas with Nutella, nut butters, tofu either stir-fired with veggies or more often pureed and blended with fruit to make smoothies (I drink TONS of smoothies with yoghurt and honey, maple syrup or agave as well) or tofu blended with Nutella (a favorite) to make a quick pie filling.

incendiary_dan's avatar

Don’t skimp on fat; the body tends to require fat to properly digest proteins. As much as possible, stick to free range and grass fed products. Get some good eggs from free range chickens. Hard boiled eggs are probably a good bet.

lanahopple's avatar

Awesome thank you.
No one mentioned anything about whey protein powder, is it not necessary or would it be a good thing to have after practice or a game?

zenvelo's avatar

My gilfriend just started mixing whey powder into a smoothy she makes each morning with just fruit, she also adds chia and/or flax. She says she’s had a bit more energy all morning because she is getting protein. She also takes a number of vitamins.

JessK's avatar

This is going to sound weird. I promise.
But as an older sister to very picky children, I can say for a fact that if you make a smoothie with frozen fruits, a little milk, and a small carton of Silken Tofu instead of yogurt, it will be thick, a super source of protein, and DELICIOUS. My family is known for their smoothies and guests are always surprised when they find out they’ve just eaten tofu. It doesn’t make any difference in the taste at all, and it makes the smoothie thicker instead of all watery and thin. Make sure that in addition to protein you are getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need.

JessK's avatar

If you want to try to not gain any fat, try eating foods with a really low carb/protein ratio when working out, but not when really hardcore training. My mom came off the Atkins diet after losing about 50 pounds in the stomach area. She was really happy about it and didn’t say she ever felt tired from not eating carbs.

whiteliondreams's avatar

I currently take a soy protein powder blend that contains a good amount of protein and vitamins. If you aren’t allergic to soy, consider it, especially as a replacement for cows milk due to the acidic properties in cow milk that deter from it’s actual purpose of providing calcium to the bones. It actually does the opposite.

*Also look at greek yogurt as opposed to ordinary yogurt. Greek has much more protein especially if there are no fruits in it. While it may taste strange or different at first, either you like it or you don’t. However, consider the benefits. You can eat to live or live to eat.

zenvelo's avatar

@whiteliondreams Soy protein is estrogenic. Try using whey powder for protein instead.

whiteliondreams's avatar

@zenvelo Incorrect. See here , here, and here please. Soy is probably given a bad name because of it’s sexual misconceptions, racial consumption, and the ideology that it is plant-based, so it can’t contain all the necessary nutrients a human needs. I have no allergy to it, I have been consuming it for nearly two years, and it is my morning meal replacement or lunch replacement when I work out.

gailcalled's avatar

Too much soy is considered a risk for women who have had breast cancer because of the phytoestrogens..a hormonal and not a sexual issue.

whiteliondreams's avatar

@gailcalled This link claims otherwise based on what the American Cancer Society “confirms”. I’m not trying to be contentious or pugnacious, I just want to know what else is out there because science is right one day and wrong the next.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@whiteliondreams The American Cancer Society doesn’t know fuck-all about human health. While we’re at it, the American Diabetes Society doesn’t either (they recommend a diet that is simply less bad than the average American one, but not good).

However, the estrogenic and other anti-nutrient qualities of soy and other legumes can be almost completely neutralized by fermenting, which is the normal way most traditional peoples who eat soy prepare it. If you get tofu, get the fermented kind. Miso is good. Even sprouting legumes helps a lot.

nikipedia's avatar

@incendiary_dan, why do you make me do this. Please explain to me what you know about human health that is superior to the knowledge of both the American Cancer Society and American Diabetes Society.

zenvelo's avatar

@whiteliondreams Please don’t say I am incorrect when your own links contradict what you are saying. Why not just take the controversy off the table and use an alternative protein source?

Here is a layman’s explanation .

whiteliondreams's avatar

@zenvelo You wanna go at this all day? It’s funny how Whey is a product of cow’s milk, which happens to be an acidic proponent in advancing osteoporosis due to the inability of our bones to absorb the calcium we require. Why? Because our bones are too busy neutralizing acidic blood. Hmm, but you knew that! Since you also want to throw “professional magazines” in the air, I can provide a layman’s explanation as well.

Not that I am arguing with you, but we do want to be as safe in consuming protein products as possible and this debate is sure to provide the perspectives needed.

SSS911's avatar

I just read everything posted…what is left of my brain just blew up.

BiZhen's avatar

Being a vegetarian is senseless. Resume eating meat to restore your health and athletic ability. It is that simple.

Iwis's avatar

Becoming a vegetarian goes beyond just not eating meat. You have to educate yourself on how to substitute the protein your body is missing out on.

SimpatichnayaZhopa's avatar

Humans are omnivores, so it is wrong to try to be a herbivore. Just return to eating meat and vegetables, and your health will improve overall. BiZhen’s answer is excellent.

kritiper's avatar

You’re not getting enough protein. Load up on a lot more corn and beans.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther