More and more athletes are moving towards a meat-free diet for health reasons and/or ethical reasons as a stand against the cruel and detestable treatment of animals on factory farms.

Names of Vegetarians on the list include 5X Mr. Universe Bill Pearl,  7X Ms. Olympia Corey Everson, Olympic Track and Field Star Carl Lewis, Milwaukee Brewers slugger Prince Fielder, Pro football player Tony Gonzales, Martial Art’s Star Mac Danzig- and the list could go on and on.

As someone who has been ingrained in health and fitness for the past 25 years, I’ve most often followed whatever the popular thinking has been regarding optimal sports nutrition.

The body-building community has put an emphasis on a much higher protein intake than the non-athlete for maximizing muscle synthesis.  Most body-builders follow the recommendation of 1 gram of protein per lb of lean body mass.  That’s twice the recommended daily allowance for the average person.  And it’s been generally accepted that animal protein was superior and a more “complete protein” than vegetable proteins.

Do we really need that much protein?  Probably not.  To be honest, I’ve never seen a study that backs up 1 gram per lb of body weight is necessary to build muscle.  Although I’m sure there is one out there, along with a hundred others that state something else.  And as far, as animal protein being “superior” than vegetable protein, well I guess that depends on the source.

I do know that I’m finding more body-builders and pro athletes everyday that are building muscle and performing at an elite level and thriving on a vegetarian diet.

With that in mind-I’m forwarding a very good article called “The No-Meat Athlete” by Marzia Prince with Fitness-RX.  To find the original article from Fitness-RX you can go here.

The No-Meat Athlete

Written by Marzia Prince Friday, 13 April 2012 05:00

NO MEAT ATHLETE ins1 Can Athletes Thrive on a Meat Free Diet?

A Plant-based Diet Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Build the Body You Want!

In recent years, a growing trend towards vegetarianism (not consuming animal flesh) and veganism (not consuming flesh or products) has been taking the world by storm. This new generation of plant eaters includes fitness professionals, bodybuilders, powerlifters and professional athletes. Incorporating a plant-based diet, whether you eat meat or not, is the purest form of sports performance supplementation that an athlete needs to burn fat, put on quality muscle and increase energy.

Can you build a body without animal meat?

In a world of carnivores, it seems impossible because nutrition is heavily focused on animal protein. Especially in the bodybuilding and fitness world, it seems like eating animal meat or products five to six times a day is the standard diet. One would think that you could not achieve the same results as you would consuming animal meat. I thought it was impossible until many world-class plant-based athletes proved me wrong.

A main topic of conversation for many people is that vegetarians and vegans “don’t get enough protein” on a plant-based diet. But that could not be further from the truth. According to the World Health Organization and the American Dietetic Association, a vegan or vegetarian on a well-planned, balanced diet has no trouble meeting their protein requirements. And if you really think about it, how many people do you know with a protein deficiency?

If you still don’t think its possible, here are some No-meat celebrity athletes that prove you can reach your fitness goals without meat:

Robert Cheeke, vegan bodybuilder

Rich Roll, vegan ultra endurance athlete

Brendan Brazier, vegan professional Ironman triathlete

Mac Danzig, MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)

Andrea While, female bodybuilding

Claudia Lailhacar, NPC Figure Competitor

Where do no-meat athletes get their protein?

Protein is one of the three macronutrients the body needs for cellular repair. Very important for muscle building! Protein is made up of smaller components called amino acids. Our bodies do not synthesize nine essential amino acids, so we need to consume it from a plant or animal source to build and repair the body. So when consuming a diet low in animal products, a variety of plant-based nutrition is key. It is important to mix and match plant proteins to be able to form a complete protein. A complete protein is a protein that has all the essential amino acids. A good example of a plant-based complete protein combo is brown rice and beans.


Vegan proteins: NO MEAT ATHLETE ins2 Can Athletes Thrive on a Meat Free Diet?






Brown rice 




Nut Butters


Vegetables— especially leafy greens

Non-GMO soy or tofu



Plant-based protein powders such as hemp, pea or a mixed plant blend

Vegetarian proteins: 

All the proteins listed on the vegan list, plus:




Whey protein power

How much protein should you eat?

In the bodybuilding and fitness world, the standard amount of protein is one gram per pound of bodyweight. You need to divide that number up according to how many meals you are eating a day. Taking in the proper nutrients every two to three hours ensures that your muscles will always be fueled and nourished, providing the best opportunity for growth and achieving desired results.

Remember not to exceed too much protein per meal. Your body can only assimilate what it needs at that time. Like any of the macronutrients, if you eat too much of it, it will store as fat. So be careful on your food portions.

Marzia’s Meatless Muscle Meal : Black bean quinoa salad


• 2 teaspoons grated lime zest

• 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

• 2 cups quinoa cooked

• 1 (14- to 15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

• 1 medium tomato diced or 15 baby tomatoes cut in half

• 3 scallions, chopped

• 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

• ½ of small avocado chopped

Directions: Mix all together in a bowl and enjoy! Serves 2 people.

It is good to change up your protein sources to give your body different quality nutrition. Never underestimate the power of plants!

Marzia Prince is an IFBB Bikini Pro & Team Gaspari Athlete. Having a major health scare back in 2009, Marzia became a plant-based fitness athlete. Through her education and journey, she was inspired to help others. In 2011 Marzia announced her new brand The Healthy Housewives to educate women about the importance of incorporating a plant-based lifestyle for health and longevity. To contact Marzia via e-mail:

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