Protein for recovery on a vegetarian diet

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by campagowlo

I've just started training properly after a few years of just getting out on the bike a few times a week. I have switched to a mainly vegetarian diet in the past 8 months as I find my digestion is a lot better when I minimise my meat intake. I feel a lot better on a high carb and low fat diet. I don't snack at all, and have fruit for breakfast (incl 4 bananas), rice or pasta for lunch (with some veg in), and for dinner homemade soup with home made bread. My main vice in the past has been red wine. I have really minimised this now to only 2 glasses a week (at a bar) and none at home.

Once I up the training workload over the next month I am concerned about protein for recovery. When I was racing in the past I would use protein shakes like SIS rego but I tend to bulk up on this and dont stay lean. I want to lose another 4kg by next summer to get down to 71kg (I am 186 cm).

I would be grateful for some advice on how to up my protein intake for recovery on a mainly vegetarian diet.

by Weenie

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by boots2000

Need to know more.
How old are you?
Height and weight?
Training hours per week?

Do you eat dairy? Eggs?

I would use protien powder more than recovery formulas- Because most recovery formulas have a significant carbs and sugars in them (which may or may not be needed).
You should also consider and test whether high carbohydrate/low fat is the best way to go for your energy and weight loss needs.

4 bananas and things like rice and pasta sound like a lot of spiking the blood sugar. Again, this may or may not be fine depending on the individual, but it may be something that is hampering fat loss.

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by AJS914

Make yourself some home made beans (not canned) for some good quality protein and fiber. If you have an Instant Pot (electronic pressure cooker) it's super fast and easy.

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by campagowlo

Thanks for the advice both

@AJS914 - great idea I like cannelini beans and chick peas and have a pressure cooker.

@boots2000 -

I am 40 years old, 186cm tall and 75kg at the mo.

Training hours - will be around 10 hrs on the turbo each week and 4 hrs on the road in the winter and more like 10 in the summer.

Ive got a new direct drive turbo as I am more than happy training on it and dont get bored on.

Im not vegetarian out of ethical reasons more that Ive noticed a high meat intake really has a bad impact on my digestive system. Ive tried a lot of different approaches to nutrition and the high fruit and veg intake has got me a lot leaner than in the past, noticeably so for people who i havent seen in a while. It also seems to be good for my digestive system and I dont seem to have sugar highs and slumps. Which protein powders are best? I used to be a SIS rego drinker when I raced but it seemed to bulk me up a bit (might have had a bit too much maybe?).

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by boots2000

SIS reg has more carbs that protein- It might be good as a recovery drink from intense training- but it might give you excess calories if you are only looking for a protein supplement.
I suggest looking for a protein powerder that is primarily protein. For myself, I use 50% of a plant based protein (like pea protein), and 50% whey protein- I don't like 100% of either.

At you age, weight and traiing hours you might be fine with your high fruit diet- lowering carbs would be an experiment.
I find it helpful to make sure that you don't drop caloires excessively- Also, get your fats from sources like almonds, avocados, and extra virgin olive oil. Don't pile on the meat or processed oils.

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by vanillaflyweight

I agree with boots2000 try to include a protein supplement in your diet. Only precaution though is pea protein tastes pretty horrible... best combined in a fruit smoothie to mask it. There are other protein powders such as egg or rice which may be another option.

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by seahuston

I've been on a vegan diet for about 4 years with periods of high and low training volumes. I also rock climb with similar periods of high/low volumes. In both cases I notice a significant loss of energy when training at high volume (more so with climbing) unless I supplement with protein. I use Orgain protein (chocolate flavor), two scoops as an after workout recovery tool. I find it really helps with keeping my exhaustion at bay which translates to better training efforts. I haven't seen significant bulk or weight gain since using protein.

As a note, I've tried creatine since it's hard to get this naturally in a vegan diet but I didn't notice any major effects.
I do take BCAAs daily, I'm told they help but I haven't done any deep testing.
I also take L-Arginine daily and I do notice a bit more energy. Again not a lot of deep testing.
I found that a daily multi-vitamin also really helps keep me feeling alert and healthy. I also notice reduced energy if I stop taking this.

Also, congrats on reducing the wine intake. I cut way back on alcohol this year and dropped significant weight and feel much better day to day.

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by campagowlo

Thanks @boots2000 and @seahuston. Ive ordered 1kg of pea protein to take after training. I will slightly reduce my pasta and rice intake and addd a bit more olive oil (which I love). I feel so much better on a v low alcohol intake and will try out some multivitamins.

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by lucksun

Soy is one of the best foods.

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by joejack951

Depending on how much protein you are trying to add, and assuming you like the idea of pea protein, you might want to try this:

I love it, especially with Kashi Go Lean Original cereal or Barbara's Morning Oat Crunch, both of which have a decent amount of protein, too.

There is also Ripple which comes in a very tasty chocolate variety if you are looking to indulge a bit:

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by Lewn777

I eat plant based (vegan but occasionally vegetarian), and I follow cronometer and especially going on the advice of Professor Valter Longo we all probably get too much protein in our diet, plus all my protein numbers are easily met everyday on Cronometer. If not some nuts or tofu can easily fix it. So I wouldn't stress it, maybe worry about sleep, hydration and carb intake. But we are all different, so there isn't really one answer.

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by LouisN

Whey is vegetarian. Go for whey isolate, or whey "complex" with a mix of isolate and whey protein (cheaper than pure isolate).
It's among the best and better absorbed protein concentrate you need. Choose a product with the least amount of carbs in it. Follow recommended portions/day/body weight. I use it at times, and rapidly loose the extra 5-8 lbs I can't by just eating food ( too many cravings ... :P ).

Louis :)

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by bilwit

frozen berries + soy milk + plant-based protein powder + blender


if you're having a meal in an hour or so after your workout then there's no need to bother with a recovery drink (smoothies can pack in a lot of calories)

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by jeepntrek

Plant-based cyclist here with no animal products OR supplements!!

Smoothie: banana, berries, spinach, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds!! add ice, such a great post-recovery slam!
Have you heard of nutritional yeast?? AKA nooch! Some whole wheat toast w/ light butter and nooch is heaven!
Beans, soy milks, nuts. These will all keep you fueled.

BTW, most people try to get way too much protein (thanks marketing trends!) and thats NOT fantastic for us to put it nicely.

by Weenie

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by LouisN

campagowlo wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:10 pm
I don't snack at all, and have fruit for breakfast (incl 4 bananas)
That's about 450 cal. just for the bananas.... :lol: what "other fruit are you eating for breakfast ?

Louis :)

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