The choice of being a vegetarian is a conscious decision that many people have adopted into their belief system. The vegetarian lifestyle is a disciplined and regulated way of life. There are many positive benefits of living a vegetarian lifestyle, there is one negative side that is often neglected. Taking in the right type and correct amount of muscle building protein is too low in the vegetarian diet. Soy and plant proteins are not substantial enough to sustain the growth and repair of muscle tissue. Bean and plant protein are incomplete proteins that have to be combined with complete proteins to provide tissue repair.
Unfortunately, the best sources of tissue building protein is provided by animal products; meat, eggs, dairy, poultry, fish. By eliminating these protein sources from a vegetarian diet will reduce the ability of optimal tissue repair. Even though it is possible to combine two incomplete proteins, for example beans and rice, to make a complete protein, the amount of protein derived from this combination might not suffice the needs of a vegetarian who is interested in maintaining their muscle mass. The most effective means of increasing protein in a vegetarian diet is to supplement with the tissue building supplements.
Amino acids are the building blocks of all cells. Amino acids are smallest units of protein. All tissue generation is derived from amino acids. Fat metabolism and muscle metabolism, all organ functions, strength, recovery, and overall good health are benefits of amino acid balance in the body. In fact, roughly 70% of all body mass is made up of proteins and their constituent amino acids. Amino acids cannot be stored in the body and must be constantly replenished through food sources.
There are twenty-three amino acids that the body needs to help support tissue growth and repair. Over 1500 different forms of proteins depend on these twenty-three amino acids for proper muscle, connective tissue, hormone, antibodies, hair, skin, nails, blood, and enzymatic synthesis within the body.
One of the most effective vegetarian supplements are free form amino acids. Free form simply means that the amino acids are molecular independent, not binding to other amino acids. The best part of free form amino acid supplementation is that they bypass digestion and assimilate through the liver and into the bloodstream quickly. Protein from food sources can take up to four to six hours to get into the blood stream. Another benefit of taking free form amino acids is that once you take them you will be receiving a constant flow of amino acids. Protein from food sources can often times be over cooked and damaged resulting in lower amino acid uptake.
Free form amino acids are hypoallergenic, which means there are no side effects from taking them. The molecular structure of the free form aminos are pure and have no lactose intolerant properties making them a great alternative to folks that are allergic to dairy products.
Free form amino acids supplementation is safe and does not tax the liver or kidney system. Free form amino acids play a role in fat loss, by increasing the mobilization and circulation of stored fats in the body.
Three of the twenty-three free form amino acids, L-Leucine, L-Valine, and L-Isoleucine are important for preventing muscle tissue breakdown during exercise. With a high concentration of these three free amino acids following exercise muscle tissue can repair and regenerate faster in recovery.
Free form amino acids can be used to boost energy. They provide creatine phosphate and adenosine triphosate (ATP) synthesis. ATP is the high energy phosphate compound made by muscle cells energize the body. Without ATP the body systems would not survive.
In conclusion, a vegetarian diet must provide enough protein to sustain the correct amount of amino acids to feed the muscles of the body. Not getting enough protein can result in the wasting away of your own muscle tissue. To avoid losing muscle tissue and having the ability to metabolize off extra body fat a diet rich in protein is essential. Since plant and bean foods lower in protein value than meat, fish, eggs, and dairy foods it is important to consider supplementing your diet with free form amino acids. Free form amino acids are safe and effective in getting the necessary daily requirement of protein into the body without having to stray from the vegetarian lifestyle.
Daryl Conant, M.Ed