When it comes to vegetarian bodybuilding and the relative diets, there are a lot of myths that are thrown around and unfortunately, believed by many. The image that people get in their minds when they imagine a vegetarian is that of an under-nourished, skinny, under-built individual who is also unhealthy, and lacks the ability to be a serious bodybuilder! So, aren’t vegetarians lacking nutrition of some sort? Aren’t they weak? Don’t they lack energy and get tired too soon? Don’t they eventually go back to becoming meat eaters? Well, these and many more presumptions about vegetarianism are untrue. They are all myths with no ground reality. Here are some common myths surrounding vegetarianism and vegetarian bodybuilding.

Myth #1: Vegetarians cannot get sufficient protein.

FACT: Protein is actually something a vegetarian should be least worried about. Grains, nuts, beans, legumes are more than enough to fulfill your daily protein requirement, whether or not you are into vegetarian bodybuilding. The smarter thing to do is to consume whey protein concentrate and isolate, something which many athletes and bodybuilders do.

Myth #2 Vegetarians lack strength and energy.

FACT: In a recent survey it was found that the typical meat eaters felt lethargic and ready-to-sleep most of the time, whereas the vegetarians were energetic and felt positive throughout the day. The reason behind this could be the amount of calories burnt while digesting the heavy meat-loaded meals, thus, it was concluded that consuming meat can lead to an overall low level of energy.

Myth #3 Vegetarian dishes tend to be high in fat.

FACT: Earlier, huge amounts of cheese and butter used to be ‘the rule’ in the vegetarian cookbooks. But these days, many flavor-rich herbs and spices are discovered and accepted as a part of many western and eastern dishes. So, be creative and use celery, cinnamon, turmeric, jalapeno, cilantro, basil, cumin, oregano, marjoram, thyme, bay leaf, chili powder, ginger, garlic, paprika, sage or rosemary to SPARK your food!

Myth #4 A vegetarian bodybuilding diet is a repetitive, carb-rich diet.

FACT: Many vegetarians consume a wider variety of foods than their carnivore counterparts because they really have to think beyond the meat-and-potatoes box. If you aren’t too lazy to plan things, you will never get bored of your vegetarian diet. Follow the ‘food rainbow’ – fruits, veggies, beans, legumes, NUTS! These foods will also keep you full for extended amount of time.

Myth #5 You never really feel full on a vegetarian diet.

FACT: If you are consuming plenty of plant-based foods and eating enough fiber you will always feel full but never uncomfortably full. Fiber is the stuff that fills up your stomach, and yet again, legumes give you enough of hunger-satisfying protein. So, you see, it is not the lack of meat, it is the quantity and quality of food you consume in your vegetarian bodybuilding diet that matters.

If you are a vegetarian bodybuilder, or just a vegetarian wanting to put on some muscle, the best thing to do is to consult your local healthcare expert to get a custom diet plan which will suit your lifestyle as well as help you achieve your fitness goals. To avoid complications in future, do consult a doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet.