Some people argue that you can get all your protein needs from vegetables, but others say that you need meat to get your protein requirements. A US study has found that a meat-containing diet was superior to a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet with regard to gaining skeletal muscle mass! A 12 week study examined the role of meat consumption coupled with weight training.
The basis of the study was set up on the basis that, although the protein sources differed, the total amount of protein each group consumed was comparable, with no statistically significant differences. All subjects weight-trained twice a week on non-consecutive days for the 12 week duration, doing three sets of each exercise at a weight equal to 80% of their 1 repetition maximum.
Subjects in both groups improved their strength by up to 38% with no real differences between meat-eaters and non meat-eaters, but researchers found a definite difference in body composition. The lacto-ovo group had no change in the mass and a slight decrease in lean body mass (1.2%). While the meat eaters experienced a 4.6% decrease in fat mass coupled with a 2.7% increase in lean body mass.
In addition, muscle-fibre size of the muscles tested indicated a 16% increase in the meat eaters vs. 7% increase in the lacto-ovo group.
The bottom line is; for putting on lean mass, consuming some meat as part your overall eating plan is better than a vegetarian based diet. But even though we’re mass-motivated, we should still consider health and keep the meat lean and eat it in moderation!
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