Vegan musclebuilding? Is it possible?

Discussion in 'Health Tips for the Martial Artist' started by FrontKick-Jab-Punch, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. FrontKick-Jab-Punch

    FrontKick-Jab-Punch Yellow Belt

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    Hi, all -

    I have a question I don't know if you'll have the answer to, but there seems to be an impressively wide array of expertise on here, so I'll try.

    First let me preface this by saying that I'll trust that you're an "expert" on this if you either a) have a degree in nutrition/exercise science/a related field, b) are a medical doctor, or c) have spent many years doing research on the subject. "I'm very fit myself!" or even "I'm a personal trainer!" doesn't qualify as expertise for me on this one, because the issue is controversial, I'm in good shape myself, and I've already done a good deal of my own research (I'm a researcher!). So what I'm literally looking for is someone who has more expertise than I do, or more than I can find via a fairly competent search of peer-reviewed publications on the matter. That isn't to say your comments aren't very welcome and of interest! Just that I might not consider your opinion "expert." I mean, I don't consider my opinion "expert" on this topic, so hopefully that won't offend you. =)

    Ok. With all that out of the way: I'm a pescatarian who is moving more and more towards a completely plant-based diet (largely for health reasons; the pescatarianism more or less covers my moral reasons for avoiding eating animals). But I also run triathlons, lift weights 2-3 times a week, and - obviously - practice the martial arts regularly. I've heard so frequently that we need to consume some ungodly amount of protein each day to build and retain muscle mass (it varies, but I mostly hear something like 1 - 1.5 time my body weight in grams) that I worry about getting this much protein simply from plants, soy, and legumes. On the other hand, I've also read about elite athletes (e.g., winning marathoners/triathletes) who clearly put out extremely high levels of performance and are fairly muscular but who eat vegan diets; they say Americans overestimate the amount of protein we actually need and that we get all that's required from grains, legumes, and vegetables.

    So. What is UP WITH THAT? Who am I to believe and what ought I do? Can I maintain my current muscle mass if I drop to a completely vegan diet? Can I ADD to my muscle mass with a completely vegan diet? Is whey powder - a dairy product, right? - bad for me if I'm trying to eat vegan? Do we really need to eat our bodyweight in grams of protein or is that an exaggeration? I'm interested in all of your thoughts and personal anecdotes - and expecially your expert opinions if you're out there.

    Thanks in advance... this is a tricky one.

    FKJP =)
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  2. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    So, according to you, I'm not qualified to participate in this thread. So I won't, other than to say that it is possible. I know many, many people who are strict vegan, athletes.

    Good luck with your research.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  3. FrontKick-Jab-Punch

    FrontKick-Jab-Punch Yellow Belt

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    See now, Steve...? There's no reason to be all hurt and sulky. That's why I said that - and I quote - "I'm interested in all of your thoughts and personal anecdotes" and that the fact that I was hoping for an expert wasn't to say that "your comments aren't very welcome and of interest!"

    Anyone who likes is qualified to "participate." It might lead to a very interesting discussion. Just that the one with the "answers" ought to be an expert. Isn't that how most things are in life? ; )

    FKJP
     
  4. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Not hurt nor sulky. You were pretty clear. I'm not an expert on the subject, and frankly, I wonder what you're really looking for. There is plenty of information readily available, including several examples of elite level athletes who are vegan.

    Are you looking for information on nutritional needs of athletes? Are you unaware of the many sources of protein available on a plant based diet? While you went to pains to describe whom you didn't want to hear from, you weren't very clear what you're actually looking for.

    If its simply whether it is possible, the answer is yes, as I said before. I know many.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  5. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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  6. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    I'm a doctor-I have PhD.......in physics. :lfao: However, I offer one of my teachers, Joseph Greenstein, the Mighty Atom, 5'2", less than 150 lbs., vaudeville strong man and strict vegetarian who practiced all his feats of strength into his 80's he wasn't an expert, either..:rolleyes: :lfao:..you can read more about him, and his numerous, mind boggling feats of strength, here And, of course, there's Mac Danzig, elite MMA fighter, and vegan.....no expert, though...:lfao:...and Jack LaLanne, TV strongman, who performed remarkable feats of strength into his old age, and was a lifelong vegetarian-and quite muscular......no expert, though....:lfao:....oh, and let's not forget Andreas Cahling, whose competitive bodybuilding years were spent as a frugiterian, but who now is a vegetarian.....not an expert, though.... View attachment $Bodybuilder-Nordique-Andreas-Cahling-Champion-des-annees-80.jpg of course, he's like 60 something, now: not an expert, though.....:lfao:....what was the question again? :lfao:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2014
  7. FrontKick-Jab-Punch

    FrontKick-Jab-Punch Yellow Belt

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    Mm. Sulky, and now condescending and insulting. I'm sure your ego is very tied into whether or not you're winning points with me - but just for the record, you're not.

    I think it's pretty SOP to prefer information from experts. That is, we may watch a self-defense video or two on YouTube, but if we really want to learn, we look for an expert instructor. But, you know, if you'd prefer to read some random person's blog on the treatment a burning rash to a diagnosis and prescription from a physician, well, it's a free country.

    Since this post was supposed to be about the difficulties of building muscle on a vegan diet and not about the way I unfairly ask questions that you feel qualified to answer but I'm clearly too blind to appreciate even after "re-welcoming" your input, I'm going to go ahead and not pay attention to your further remarks on this. But maybe I'll ask something later you're an expert on and you can show me a thing or two then.

    Stupidly and unclearly yours,

    FKJP, PhD =)
     
  8. FrontKick-Jab-Punch

    FrontKick-Jab-Punch Yellow Belt

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    Ah, Elder999 - this is fun stuff. I'm glad I can provide such rich amusement.

    A) Thank you, these were interesting videos. You knew this guy? The top one, I mean. He looks out of your generation, but I don't know how old you are.
    B) Personal experience is a wonderful way of understanding the world. But there is lots of information out there on how just because a person experiences something doesn't mean that it's actually true, or that it's helpful to others. For example, some people think they've had personal experience with aliens. That doesn't mean we ought to consider them experts in astronomy. Also, people have lived well into their 90s smoking multiple packs of cigarettes daily and eating a high-fat, high cholesterol diet. But the plural of anecdote isn't data, and there are always outliers.
    C) I apologize if my question wasn't clear enough. Apparently it's baffling everyone. To the degree that I wasn't certain it was possible, you've demonstrated that it is - at least, assuming these people are all vegans as you say they are (not that I doubt you particularly, but it's always best to check. I'm quite gullible). More useful, however, is what kinds of foods and what amounts of protein are actually required (I believe I mentioned this) to produce results such as these (or not even such as these! I'm not necessarily looking to bend nails with my teeth).

    The sad thing is that until I saw that Grumpy Steve had "thanked" you for your post, and until I had a second to see that the smileys were all laughing hysterically at me, and until I caught the purposeful reiteration of "not an expert"... I thought you were sincerely trying to help me. Like I said, gullible. You got me - good one.

    I'm learning that people don't like to feel they're being excluded from conversations for not being experts. Sorry, we aren't all experts at everything. I very much respect your PhD in physics. I have one in Statistics. But I wouldn't presume to give advice on breakdancing. Not an expert. For sure.

    I'm sure you and Sulky Steve wouln't mind if your karate students (assuming you have them? I don't know if you're instructors or just practitioners) turned away from you and asked instead some guy on the street instead how to stop an attacker from grabbing them. I mean, he looks tough and has lots of muscles and has gotten into (and survived) some street brawls! So I think he knows as well as you do how to divert an attack. Yeah?

    I apologize for seeking expertise from non-experts who imagine themselves to be experts. Or comedians.

    Peace out.
     
  9. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Here's where I see the problem... You've defined who you feel is qualified to answer your question so narrowly that you've ended up alienating a lot of people who just might know something. I'm not a vegan, I'm not a trainer, nor am I a nutritionist... but that doesn't mean I don't have information that might help you. (Like maybe I know a vegan bodybuilder...) But you have sent the message quite clearly that you don't want to hear that. No matter how relevant.

    I notice that you haven't really responded to Steve's question: What are you really looking for with this question? Are you seeking guidance on vegan diets that supply enough protein for building muscle? Medical information about how much protein you really require to build muscle or strength (by the way, the two are not the same thing...)?

    And -- a word to the wise -- childish name-calling doesn't really help your cause. It just might even be a violation of the Terms of Service...
     
  10. SahBumNimRush

    SahBumNimRush Master of Arts

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  11. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Let me get this straight. You've called me sulky and grumpy and a few other things now... and you think I'm the one being condescending and insulting? It's clear that you're a little defensive, and I'm getting the impression that the thread isn't going the way you expected. So far, you're blaming me for that. Consider taking a little of the responsibility for it, yourself.

    A good start would be to explain what you're really looking for. I asked before and you felt condescended and chose not to answer. I am interested in the subject, and as I said before, I know a lot of people who are vegan athletes and my diet is mostly plant based. If you would get over yourself a little bit, this thread could be salvaged. It's a good topic.
     
  12. FrontKick-Jab-Punch

    FrontKick-Jab-Punch Yellow Belt

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    Oh - whoops! I guess you didn't catch the part where I wrote that I was interested in everyone's opinions and experiences and that all comments were welcome? And - oops! I guess you also didn't read the part where - after Steve told me he wasn't going to tell me anything because he wasn't "expert" enough - I reiterated that? It's okay, apology accepted. The only thing I actually said was that I wouldn't "consider someone an expert" on diet and nutrition unless they were - call me crazy - an expert on diet and nutrition. I'm absolutely stunned that people's egos are so huge here that some stranger not considering them an expert in his head is enough to make them this pissy. I think it's literally that that is creating such an issue - the thought that I'm not willing to accept their expertise whether or not they actually have any. Who cares what I think about your expertise on vegan diets? Honestly, if someone asked for "expert advice" on rotator cuff tears and was hoping for the opinion of a physical therapist or doctor, I would just reply with "well, I'm certainly not an expert, but..." and give them whatever advice I had without rancor. Who can blame them for hoping for an expert on the topic?

    No, I haven't answered Steve's question. He's douchey.

    So are you, Assistant Administrator (a little douchey, to be very clear). I've seriously been on here for like a week, I've started a number of thoughtful threads, I even use proper grammar and everything, har har, and I've already seen some pretty unpleasant, egotistic exchanges here that end with "if you don't like it, then fight me" or the kind of know-it-all condescention I've dealt with here. It's too bad, because a number of people have been very nice to me, and had some good stuff to say. But I've spent years away from online communities and I forgot something: the way we're forced to talk to one another in the real world due to social conventions doesn't apply here. I also forgot that I don't care for the wide standard deviation of intelligences and manners to be found here. So: suspend me for Terms of Service Violation if it makes you feel good and just and assistant administrator-y. I really imagined martial artists would be a different bunch.

    Love and snuggles,

    Me.
     
  13. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    Ooh, boy.....:rolleyes:.......nice knowin' ya, kid.....:lol: (btw, the laughy smileys aren't personal. I really do laugh a lot...:lfao: )
     
  14. Steve

    Steve Mostly Harmless

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    Honestly, if you'd just chill out a little bit, speak plainly and consider that you might not be the excellent communicator you believe yourself to be, we'd have a good thread about vegan nutrition.

    Now, you're escalating, calling me douchey, calling the mods douchey and generally throwing a great big temper tantrum. According to your profile, you're a college professor. Act like it and try posting on topic.

    Frankly, you seem like an intelligent, enthusiastic poster. I'd hate to see you storm off in a huff or get yourself banned for no reason. But that's the path you've chosen.

    Since this is a Martial Arts forum, let's try a martial arts analogy. You've been at it for a while, I gather. So, let's say that this isn't online, but is in your college hallway. You're talking to another professor, and you've said something that clearly doesn't give you the reaction you're looking for. Do you escalate the situation or attempt to de-escalate the situation? Do you mock the other professor and call him a douche bag or re-frame your statement in a way that is more clear? Or do you do something else?

    Point I'm making is that this is your thread. The thread has gone awry. You have choices. Instead of reacting and posting something you could end up regretting, making things worse, take some responsibility for it, consider posting something constructive and on topic, and maybe get some answers to your questions.
     
  15. FrontKick-Jab-Punch

    FrontKick-Jab-Punch Yellow Belt

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    I give up for the day. Feel free to delete this thread - I would if I knew how. I need sleep.
     
  16. FrontKick-Jab-Punch

    FrontKick-Jab-Punch Yellow Belt

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    Meh. Tried explaining myself nicely. Don't care anymore. Thanks for trying, though. Ban away. I'll find my answers elsewhere.
     
  17. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    I'd have to find it, but MANY years ago Harvard did a study and found that even without food, the body would start to adapt and try and build muscle. Obviously, it wasn't optimal as if there were building blocks etc.

    When it comes to protein and bodybuilders. They ingest MANY more calories and macronutrients with the theory that we don't know EXACTLY how much our body can actually use to optimize the muscle rebuilding and hypertrophy, so let's give it a lot more than we think it needs to get the job done. This is also why most pro bodybuilders are very fat in the offseason and then use drugs to shred the excess weight off to come in ripped at contest time.

    Which brings me to my next point. No matter WHAT kind of diet and exercise program you are following, unless you are a genetic elite for building muscle naturally, you will not look like a bodybuilder with that kind of size without synthetic help. This clouds the issue for many people because they only see physiques that are built on hgh, T replacement and anabolic steroids. Look at the OLD time strongmen to see what type of physique is possible to build naturally with great genetics.

    Lastly, when it comes to vegan diets many people don't look healthy because they aren't getting a complete amino acid profile. There are many amino acids and some of them are labeled as "essential". That means that your body HAS to have them as a complete chain already through your food. The "non-essential" amino acids, aren't labeled that because they aren't also important, it means that your body can break down those amino acids and restructure them with other amino acids to build the chain it needs. So for a vegan approach, you need to make sure that your diet spans a wide variety of food sources that will give you all of the amino acids.

    Then, just as with regular non-restrictive diet and exercising you need a slight surplus of building materials with which your body can maintain, repair and rebuild to get bigger and stronger. Vegan dieting is alot harder to build muscle because animal protiens (especially natural beef) have been shown to elevate testosterone levels and creatine levels in the muscles. Also, many vegans eat alot of soy proteins which have also been shown to elevate estrogen levels in men, which is counter productive to what you want to accomplish.

    I'm not a doctor, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night...
     
  18. SahBumNimRush

    SahBumNimRush Master of Arts

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    :roflmao: :rofl:
     
  19. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    FrontKick-Jab-Punch

    I am not offend nor am I a doctor, I am married to one and come from a medical family and there are a few doctors in it, I did actually start PT school but never finished and was accepted into a Nutritionist program and never went and tried like hell to get to a Rehabilitation Psychology program that I was accepted into but their schedule and mine simply would not match up. but that is not the point of this. And I am not qualified to answer your post based on the following.
    Try and read what you wrote with an unbiased eye

    Can you see why some might be offended or feel it was pointless to answer?

    I think there was a person on MT at one time that would fit “a” and there were a couple that would fit “b” but not so sure about “c”. But I am not sure anyone from “b” would give a whole lot of info to someone they do not know on a webpage.

    Again I do not think anyone from “b” would answer you on this at all even if they read it, but not being a doctor I could be wrong.

    My wife could be found in a per review but I know for a fact she would not answer this and unless you can read Chinese you are not qualified to even read a peer review she will be found in. And frankly she would not answer you because she would not take you seriously at all based on your approach here and the fact that she has no idea who you are

    Did you actually mean that, because it appears you may have offended some and your posts after that do not appear that you actually meant any of that at all. I am not offended but it appears that others may be and you were offended that they took offence.

    Now this bit

    I submit that you are looking in the wrong place for answers based on your criteria. There are doctors out there that are more capable of answering this if you contact them at a professional level. The guy at engine 2 is, in my unqualified opinion, an expert. And his father is an MD who has done extensive research on vegetarianism. I could give you his name but I do not meet a, b, or c. And there is another doctor out there, who is actually quite knowledgeable on the topic, even though he has written books and done infomercials.

    This is just my opinion and I am not any of a, b, or c so take it for what it is worth. You may have gone further with this post and in your research if you asked if anyone had any info or could point you in the right direction

    As for me I am not expert but I tend to fluctuate between pescatarian and regular old vegetarian. Flirted with Vegan and tried Macrobiotic....he typed as he ate a Kiwi fruit
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  20. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    I've been practising martial arts on a strict vegan diet for a number of years, and have done my research. I have successfully dropped weight and built muscle at various times during my path. I don't think you can follow a martial path successfully on this kind of diet without planning, analysing and re-planning your intake diversity very carefully. It's a really long OODA loop with many influences. A combination of careful research, planning and experimentation over a number of years has led me to my conclusions, but what works for me might not work for you. I'm pretty much an expert on what I need, and only that.123
     

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