The Best Vegetarian Protein Sources for Bodybuilding

While meat and fish are usually the go-to ingredients for a bodybuilder’s protein fix, more and more people are switching to meat free diets or introducing vegetarian recipes into their meal plans. As a personal trainer it’s important to know the best vegetarian protein sources for bodybuilding.

To help you better support your personal training clients, we’ve pulled together a list of the 9 best vegetarian protein sources for bodybuilding that you can incorporate into your clients’ nutrition plans.

#1 Tofu

Derived from soya, tofu is an excellent source of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. It’s also a valuable plant source of iron and calcium, as well as magnesium, copper, zinc and vitamin B1. Tofu can be used as a meat substitute in many of your clients’ dishes, including stir fries and curries.

100g of The Tofoo Co. Naked Organic Tofu contain:

100 calories | 12g protein | 5g fat | 1g carbohydrates

#2 Chickpeas

Part of the legume family, chickpeas are a great source of protein, vitamins, minerals and fibre. A Middle Eastern staple, they can bulk out curries and salads, can be used to create a great veggie burger and are the main ingredient in falafel and hummus.

100g of canned chickpeas (drained) contain:

128 calories | 7g protein | 3g fat | 16g carbohydrates

#3 Peanut butter

Nuts are packed with protein, fibre and healthy fats. We love peanut butter here at My PT Hub HQ, deliciously served on toast and rice cakes, or with a banana or apple for a mid afternoon snack. Remember to opt for an organic peanut butter to avoid the oil, sugar and excess salt often added to household brands.

100g of Meridian Crunchy Peanut Butter contain:

596 calories | 30g protein | 46g fat | 12g carbohydrates

#4 Broccoli

While all fruits and vegetables contain protein, the amounts are usually small. Some contain more than others, like broccoli, spinach, asparagus and sweet potato. We’ve chosen broccoli here, as it can be added to many dishes in your clients’ meal plan.

100g of broccoli contain:

38 calories | 4g protein | 1g fat | 2g carbohydrates

#5 Milk

Whether your personal training client drink cow’s, soy or coconut milk, they’re all a good source of protein. Cow’s milk and soy milk provide 3g of protein per 100ml, while coconut milk includes around 2g.

100ml of whole milk contains:

64 calories | 3g protein | 4g fat | 5g carbohydrates

#6 Oats

Oats are an easy way to add protein to your client’s diet, either served as porridge, overnight oats or ground into flour to use for baking. Although not a complete protein, oats contain higher-quality protein than other grains such as rice and wheat.

100g of oats contain:

360 calories | 11g protein | 8g fat | 60g carbohydrates

#7 Lentils

A nutritional powerhouse, lentils are rich in protein, high in fibre and complex carbohydrates, while low in fat and calories. They are also naturally gluten free, making them ideal for gluten intolerant clients. Add them to a curry, chilli and salads, or in a tasty veggie burger.

100g of red split lentils contain:

102 calories | 8g protein | 0g fat | 16g carbohydrates

#8 Wild rice

A tasty, nutrient rich source of vegetarian protein, wild rice contains 1.5 times more protein than other long-grain varieties. It’s also a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals.

100g of Tilda Wild Rice & Brown Basmati contain:

352 calories | 8g protein | 3g fat | 72g carbohydrates

#9 Cheese

We’re sure your clients would love a cheesy treat every now and then! Some cheeses are better than others when it comes to protein content. For example, ricotta, low fat cottage cheese and the game changer that is Eatlean™ cheese. Eatlean™ is a high protein, low carb and low fat cheese which is 100% natural, and is available as a block, spreadable and bake varieties.

100g of Eatlean™ original block cheese contain:

169 calories | 37g protein | 3g fat | 1g carbohydrates

These are just a handful of suggestions for vegetarian protien taht made our list. Other options include nuts, quinoa and beans, as well as meat alternatives from brands such as Quorn™, Vivera and Linda McCartney Foods – ideal for those who want to incorporate sausages, pasta and chilli into their meal plans.

So don’t be mistaken in thinking that a vegetarian diet lacks the protein needed for your bodybuilding clients. There are plenty of vegetarian options packed with protein.

Need a tool that can help you with create and manage your personal training clients’ nutrition plans? Learn more about My PT Hub’s nutrition feature here.

Please note: Nutritional values have been supplied by our own verified database.