Whoever said vegetarians can’t get just as beefy as their carnivorous counterparts couldn’t be more off the mark, according to a new study.
Researchers at Arizona State University had both vegetarian and omnivorous endurance athletes track their diet for one week, as well as complete a series of fitness tests.
The researchers found that whether the male athletes ate plants or animals, their physical performance was virtually identical, with perhaps even a slight edge to the vegetarians.
While the participants had comparable BMIs, body fat percentages and lean body mass regardless of their diets, the meat-eating men actually had considerably more visceral fat – the kind that increases your risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes.
Both the vegetarians and meat-eaters ate the same amount of protein, relative to body mass – about 1.2 grams per kg of body mass. The researchers found that both groups consumed the same amount of calories on the daily no matter where they were getting them.
In the physical portion of the study, the vegetarians were able to last longer than the carnivores on a treadmill, and in a series of leg extensions, their strength rivalled that of their competitors.
Past studies have found that vegetarian men are also 32 percent less likely to develop heart disease and 35 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer. Their lifespans are also generally longer.
Point, herbivores (don't be too sore, carnivores: we still have bacon.)
h/t Men’s Fitness.