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Ask Men's Fitness: Can I Build Muscle Without Eating Meat?

Our expert weighs in on whether a plant-based diet can help you bulk up.
red meat

"Is it true that I need to get my protein from meat if I want to grain muscle mass?" —Tim L., La Jolla, CA

Well, animal protein is the more "complete" protein, with all the amino acids required to build new proteins and, therefore, muscle. Vegetable proteins tend to be defined as "incomplete." So, yes, there might be an edge to animal protein, but it's bad to overdo it—especially with red meat. I would advise healthier animal protein such as chicken, turkey, and fish. If you're a vegetarian, don't worry: You can build up bulk with vegetable protein. 

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