Actor and bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger revealed the sources of his protein intake after going 80% vegan.
The 75-year-old former California governor, who weighs 113 kilograms and eats 250 grams of protein every day, has long been considered the very pinnacle of physical fitness. However, in recent years, he removed the vast majority of meat from his diet, replacing it with plant-based proteins like lentils, salads, and veggie burgers.
In an episode of his Arnold's Pump Club podcast, he revealed "For protein, my staples are eggs, salmon, and chicken. But I have more and more veggie burgers with lentils and beans."
Meat only constitutes 20% of his protein intake, he claimed.
So what does Arnold Schwarzenegger eat?
"In the morning after my workout, I usually have oatmeal with Greek yogurt or granola," Schwarzenegger said on his podcast. "For lunch I always have a salad, sometimes with a plant-based burger or maybe salmon or chicken. Other times, it's with a scramble or omelet. For dinner, I always have soup. I like to eat light for my last meal."
The daily recommended amount of protein for adults is at least 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.
What types of plant-based proteins are there?
You can enjoy plant-based proteins simply by buying vegan protein powders. But here are some of the more common types of plant-based proteins in vegan diets:
- Soy (tofu, soy milk, edamame)
- Brown rice
- Pumpkin seeds
- Chia seeds
There are many other types of plant-based proteins, such as sunflower seed protein, peanut protein, and oat protein. Each type has its own unique nutritional profile and benefits, so it is important to choose a variety of protein sources to ensure you have enough of all the essential amino acids and other important nutrients.
Vegan proteins have all nine essential amino acids that the human body needs to function. These can't be produced by the body and therefore must be obtained through one's food intake.
Some proteins, however, do not contain all essential amino acids. This is the case for most plant-based proteins, but if you combine different sources, you can get all of them. For example, combining grains and legumes like rice and beans, or even hummus spread on bread, could be just what you need.