Vegetarian or meat-eater? Which is the best way to gain muscle and lose fat? The debate is still alive. In fact, it can be achieved by optimizing the hormonal system, and to do so, a good balance between the two is ideal for both athletic performance and to meet aesthetic objectives
An adequate level of anabolic hormones, i.e. testosterone, growth hormone and "insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). These hormones are our focus for better body composition and performance. An adequate level of testosterone is important for training motivation, tissue repair and to maintain a healthy heart among other things. Estrogen, female sex hormones, must be kept under control (preferably at a low level) to ensure weight loss, for good metabolic function, and for health reasons in general. This applies to both women and men, and this is also true for testosterone levels. Higher level of testosterone in a woman will help her melt more fat, as well as help with her cognitive function and her assertiveness in everyday life. Cortisol should also be kept under control with good workout methods and adequate post workout nutrition. It is therefore important to lower cortisol level after training to make way for the anabolic hormones, which will permit to lose fat and gain muscle, and not the other way around. In the morning, a higher level of cortisol is necessary to help us get out of bed and start the day. However, in the evening, to sleep deeply and to ensure that growth hormone plays its role in repair, anti-aging and weight loss, cortisol should be lower. Emotional stress and overtraining can promote high levels of cortisol in the evening as well as during the day. Serotonin and melatonin will help achieve this deep sleep but cortisol should be lower for these two hormones to work.
Food that will help achieve this goal are:
Cruciferous: broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy and kale.
Organic meat and wild meat.
Fruit with low glycemic index to detoxify xenoestrogens, such as blueberries and raspberries.
Essential fats: mainly omega-3.
Adequate amount of protein, according to body composition, weight, activity level, gender and age.
An adequate level of certain supplements will prevent hormonal ratios that will hinder the achievement of sporting and aesthetic goals. Vitamin B, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc and omega-3 will work. Vegetarians must take vitamin B12, calcium and iron (especially women) Why do we need protein from meat for optimal body composition? A vegetarian diet may possibly be effective for performance and body composition, but there is not enough research on this subject. However, a number of researches prove that testosterone is higher in omnivores than in vegetarians. It is also easier to obtain nutrients that give more power, recovery, strength and allow a greater amount of work in training, as taurine, carnosine, creatine and carnitine that are all from consumption of meat. From a health point of view, the very limited supply of certain amino acids such as glutamine and glycine in a vegetarian diet may disrupt homeostasis. Also, there are often high levels of homocysteine in vegetarians which is associated with heart disease and poor development of muscle mass.