Meatless Protein: Top 10 High Protein Vegan Foods For All The Vegan Gym People!

It’s very hard to be a vegan athlete: Not only do they have to plan their meals more carefully than their meat-eating counterparts, but they are also frequently subject to intense skepticism and scrutiny from the athletic community at large. You can’t gain muscle if you don’t eat meat. There’s no way you’re getting enough protein to accommodate your workout schedule.

Do any of these statements or questions sound familiar?

If you’ve been a vegan athlete for more than, say, a week, I’m betting the answer is “yes”.

These comments are annoying and misguided. Still, they do have a small grain of truth to them: If you’re working out regularly, then it’s vital to consume plenty of protein on a regular basis. That’s because protein provides our bodies with the fuel they need to power through workouts and recover after them.

Here’s what happens if athletes (whether vegan or carnivorous) don’t consume enough protein:

Your body will break down muscle instead of building it.

When you aren’t eating enough protein, your body needs to find fuel somewhere else—and if it gets desperate enough, it will start “feeding” on your own tissues in order to do so. More specifically, the body will start to tear down muscle tissue1 in order to obtain the amino acids that are necessary for sustaining the function of your organs. Obviously, the loss of muscle mass is the last thing any athlete wants.

It will take longer to recover from injuries.

Our bodies require protein2 in order to repair damaged cells, skin, and tissues. When we’re not consuming enough protein, our bodies won’t recover from injuries as quickly, and we’ll suffer from decreased immunity overall. This can be a major setback for anyone attempting to follow a rigorous training plan.

You’ll feel tired all the time.

If you’re not getting enough protein—especially as an athlete—then you’re liable to suffer from chronic fatigue3 or a general sense of sluggishness. This can seriously impair your workout routine, because you’re less likely to show up for your workouts or power through intense workouts if you’re constantly feeling tired.

So it is true that protein should play a major role in athletes’ diets. But it certainly is not true that it’s impossible for vegans to eat a high-protein diet. We’ll prove it in the following section.

High-Protein Foods for Vegan Athletes

There is a huge variety of vegan foods that are packed with protein. Below, we’ve highlighted 10 of the best.

These teeny tiny little seeds are known as a superfood for a reason: They pack four grams of protein into just two tablespoons, and they also boast plenty of other nutrients in the form of calcium, fiber, iron, magnesium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds can be added raw to a variety of dishes, from smoothies to oatmeal or yogurt parfaits. Give them a try in this recipe for Chia Vegan Protein Muffins.

Young soybeans (aka edamame) boast 11 grams of complete protein per half cup, which makes them a stellar source of protein. They’re…

Scientists are rethinking the dinosaur family tree

dinosaur skeletons
dinosaur skeletons

The dinosaur family tree just got a makeover. One outcome is a conclusion that meat-eating evolved twice in dinos (in groups represented by Tyrannosaurus rex, bottom middle, and Staurikosaurus, right). So did traits associated with plant-eating (groups represented by Brontosaurus, left, and Triceratops, top middle).

The standard dinosaur family tree may soon be just a relic.

A new study proposes redrawing that tree. Its authors argue that this made sense after examining more than 400 body traits.

The long-accepted tree of dino relationships has two main branches. Each contains critters familiar even to the non–dinosaur obsessed.

One branch leads to the “bird-hipped” ornithischians (Or-nih-THISH-ee-uns). This group includes the plant-eating duckbills, stegosaurs and Triceratops. Another branch contains the “reptile-hipped” saurischians (SOR-ish-ee-uns). That group is further divided into two smaller ones. There are the plant-eating sauropods (typically four-legged, like Brontosaurus). And then there’s the meat-eating theropods. (They are typically two-legged, like Tyrannosaurus rex and modern birds.)

Harry Seeley first proposed this split between bird-hipped and reptile-hipped dinos in 1887. The British paleontologist had noticed that the pelvis of every dino had one of these two shapes. At some point, he reasoned, the earliest dinos must have diverged into these two groups. Other scientists accepted the idea, and then strengthened it in the 1980s. It essentially has been dogma ever since.

dinosaur tree
dinosaur tree

Now a group of researchers has re-examined dinosaur anatomy with fresh eyes. And they come to a very different conclusion — and tree.

Matthew Baron is a paleontologist in England. He works at the University of Cambridge and Natural History Museum in London. His team started with a mix of fossils, photos and descriptions from scientific papers. The researchers pored over the anatomy of more than 70 different dinosaurs and close non-dino kin. Overall, they compared 457 aspects of their anatomy. They tallied the presence, absence and types of features. These might include the shape of a hole on the snout or a cheekbone ridge. Those data…

Anatomy analysis suggests new dinosaur family tree

new dino evolutionary tree
NEW WAY TO RELATE The dinosaur evolutionary tree just got a makeover. One outcome of the proposed rearrangement is that meat-eating evolved twice in dinosaurs (in groups represented by Tyrannosaurus rex, bottom middle, and Staurikosaurus, right), as did traits associated with plant-eating (groups represented by Brontosaurus, left, and Triceratops, top middle).

The standard dinosaur family tree may soon be just a relic.

After examining more than 400 anatomical traits, scientists have proposed a radical reshuffling of the major dinosaur groups. The rewrite, reported in the March 23 Nature, upsets century-old ideas about dinosaur evolution. It lends support to the accepted idea that the earliest dinosaurs were smallish, two-legged creatures. But contrary to current thinking, the new tree suggests that these early dinosaurs had grasping hands and were omnivores, snapping up meat and plant matter alike.

“This is a novel proposal and a really interesting hypothesis,” says Randall Irmis, a paleontologist at the Natural History Museum of Utah and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Irmis, who was not involved with the work, says it’s “a possibility” that the new family tree reflects actual dinosaur relationships. But, he says, “It goes against our ideas of the general relationships of dinosaurs. It’s certainly going to generate a lot of discussion.”

The accepted tree of dinosaur relationships has three dominant branches, each containing critters familiar even to the non–dinosaur obsessed. One branch leads to the “bird-hipped” ornithischians, which include the plant-eating duckbills, stegosaurs and Triceratops and its bony-frilled kin. Another branch contains the “reptile-hipped” saurischians, which are further divided into two groups: the plant-eating sauropods (typically four-legged, like Brontosaurus) and the meat-eating theropods (typically two-legged, like Tyrannosaurus rex and modern birds).

This split between the bird-hipped and reptile-hipped dinos was first proposed in 1887 by British paleontologist Harry Seeley, who had noticed the two strikingly different kinds of pelvic anatomy. That hypothesis of dinosaur relationships was formalized and strengthened in the 1980s and has been accepted since then.

The new tree yields four groups atop two main branches. The bird-hipped ornithischians, which used to live on their own lone branch, now share a main branch with the reptile-hipped theropods like T. rex. This placement…