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Meat Protein verses Plant Protein

Real Nutrition
Real Nutrition
Meat Protein verses Plant Protein
Meat Protein verses Plant Protein

There has always been the staunch advocates and critics arguing which protein source is the best for athletes, (or anyone for that matter) wishing to increase their lean tissue. Evidence from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition may shed some light on this ongoing debate

In a 12 week study examining the role of meat consumption coupled with weight training, scientists at Penn State University found that a diet containing meat was superior to a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet with regard to gaining mass.

Nineteen overweight men aged 51 - 69 with about 30% bodyfat participated in the study. Nine consumed a diet derived 15% - 17% of calories from protein, half of which came from meat based sources, beef, chicken, tuna etc., 15% from egg or milk products and 35% from plant sources. The other Ten men consumed a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet with 12%-15% of calories coming from protein, 40% of which came from eggs, milk products and the remaining from plant sources.

Although the protein sources differed, the total amount of protein consumed by each group was comparable, with no significant differences. All subjects weight trained twice a week for the 12 week study, performing three sets of each exercise at a weight equal to 80% of their one repetition maximum.  Exercises included leg extensions, seated leg curls, row and chest press, all done on pneumatic strenght training equipment.

Participants in both groups improved their strength by up to 38% with no real difference between between the meat eaters and the non-meat eaters. However a definite difference in body composition was recorded. The lacto- ovo group had no change in fat mass and a slight decrease, ( about 1.2% ) in lean body mass. In contrast, the meat eating group experienced a 4.6% decrease in fat mass coupled with a 2.7% increase in lean body mass. In addition, the fibre size of the thigh muscle improved more in meat eaters, than in the lacto-ovo group. (16% vs 7% respectively.)

The results clarify the point that meat is an important source of protein, which simply can't be substituted with plant based protein sources.

The bottom line: for increasing lean mass consuming some meat as part of your overall eating plan is better than a vegetarian based diet. Even in our quest for lean tissue gains, (ie. muscle) we should still consider our health and keep meat lean and in moderation.


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I am always been for meat

I am always been for meat protein, it's better taste and has more AK in protein then plant protein.More meat more power, but on other side if someone not eat meat then it should be eating more types of plant proteins.

Ok so a group of fat men on

Ok so a group of fat men on a poor strength training program were seperated into two different diets. One diet was a mix of meat, plant, and dair protein. Thirty five percent of the protein coming from plant sources. The other mostly dairy. And this is a criticism of plant protein how?

Like most things in

Like most things in life...moderation is the key. Nothing wrong with a varied diet, including regular servings of red meat.

Well! 2 well written

Well! 2 well written articles above this one. I agree. Definetly something to think about..! However I dont think i can be a vegetarian...Besides..we have been eating met since before homo sapiens...why all of a sudden is so so bad for us????

What about the moral aspect

What about the moral aspect of eating animals? Animal cruelty AND the resources used to feed animals, which should be feeding people. People are starving because we eat steak! Is it all me, me, me?

Ok. What Katie says its

Ok. What Katie says its true. However how do you reconcile the fact that when not eating a steak i feel light headed, a lack of power, and I find no energy at all, especially when going to the gym. After I have a steak I actually feel power in my muscles like they ask me for exercise! The toxins in meat are a problem but I dont't beleive you have a problem digesting it. That is nonsense! We are conditioned to eat meat and in truth some reaserch shows that without the ability to hunt so we can benefit from the rich protein in meat there would be no homo sapiens! I think we owe our progress to eating meat! And yes you can live longer if you are a vegetarian, be healthier, but how do you turn down a good stake and a glass of wine?

Protein, excessive or not,

Protein, excessive or not, cannot be absorbed by the body without living antioxidents, phytochemicals and vitamins, but most importantly, living air and water and metabolic processes such as photosynthesis. There for mass gain by meat protein serves only as exactly that - mass gain. The hormonal composistions found in meat damage the delicate balance within our own hormonal systems, and not to mention the comsumption of meat (essentialy dead flesh) emitts harmful enzymes for the purpose of decompositon, within 24hours of the animals death. (Which means also the meat in stores are already well past thier use-by date - to eat meat, it needs to be within this 24hour period and raw (uncooked) for minimal damage). Re hormones: The reason why the research above suggests that there is an immediate gain from meat protein, is a result of the hormonal compositions (found particularily in Beef, and various other hormonially driven animals)increase the relative hormonal compositions which stimulate muscle growth. But this is in fact contrary to a "good thing." Those hormonal compositions are not a derivative of our own physiology and therefore doesnt work in conjuction with our metabolic and hormonal systems, driving it out of balance and leading to things like hair loss (men and women) and prostate dieases. Women eating equivalent compositions of meat such as beef (male) is in direct opposition to a females hormonal composition. The health institutes of the world are increasingly classifying meat as unhealthy (furthermore dangerous), admitting to a tolerance of 250grms over a week period(not in a single sitting, as this amount would stagnate in your bowels and cause various states of constipation, eventually causing bowel cancers, and various other bodily diseases associated to bodily waste elimanation deficiencies.) The health benefits if any are small, and only on a short term scale, the long term results in what the above has already pointed out. Being lean is not at all unhealthy (as per articles insinuation), and is a body type whch has stamina and endurance (and less long term negative health effects. Beware of scientific investigations about health, because our measure of health is derived from unhealthy people.


Excess protein has been linked with osteoporosis, kidney disease, calcium stones in the urinary tract, and some cancers. A varied diet of beans, lentils, grains, and vegetables contains all of the essential amino acids.