Legendary Plant-Based Athletes

Legendary Plant-Based Athletes

The recent release of The Game Changers film shed a light on the advantages plant-based athletes have. If you've watched the film, The Game Changers, then you know what i'm talking about. 

If you haven't, then you should watch it. The film follows a former UFC fighter on his journey across the world to find the truth on meat and plant-based diets. It follows elite athletes, world renowned scientists, and other interesting people. 

The Game Changers proposes a fundamental tenet of the human diet which contradicts what most people know to be true; plant-based diets are superior to other diets for athletes and those seeking to optimize their performance and health. 

The following athletes demonstrate this to be true, as they are world-class, and some, arguably, the greatest in their sport. 

 

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi is one of the world's most dominant players. He's won the FIFA Ballon d'Or, FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, FIFA World Player of the Year, Best FIFA Men's Player, European Golden Boot, and numerous other awards multiple times, all on a raw vegan diet. 

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski

Equally suave as athletic, Tom Brady is an NFL legend and credits much of his success to his plant-based diet. 

Following in his footsteps, his former teammate Rob Gronkowski ate a plant-based diet in an effort to improve his performance, body, and lifestyle. The process and diet exposed him to a new range of foods which he never expected to like, "For example, (Brady's) avocado ice cream. It's delicious." 

Lewis Hamilton 

Lewis Hamilton is an animal rights and sustainability activist, but credits much of his success to his diet. He claims that the diet aids him in keeping his weight at the right point, with a low amount of body fat - key for F1. 

Having won the F1 Championship multiple times, recently winning again in 2019, Lewis Hamilton is one of the greatest drivers to race. 

Kyrie Irving

Point guard for the Brooklyn Nets, Kyrie Irving has been one of the most dominant players in basketball since he was drafted. The #1 draft pick won the championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers and a range of awards including: Rookie of the Year, All-Star, All-Star Game MVP, and various other awards. 

Kyrie reportedly went vegan after watching the Netflix film, What the Health.

Jan Frodeno

Jan Frodeno is one of the most underrated athletes in the world. He is the GOAT in Ironman racing and has won the challenging race three times, having recently won with a 7:51 time - breaking the world record. For those that don't know, the Ironman race consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run. 

Frodeno claims he isn't vegan or vegetarian, but eats 95% plant-based.

Eliud Kipchoge

Eliud Kipchoge, a Kenyan long-distance runner, is the world record holder of the marathon with a time of 1:59, a record he set in 2018 at the Vienna Marathon.  

Kipchoge's diet is largely vegetarian and consists predominantly of wholesome plant-based foods. 

Novak Djokovic

The Serbian tennis player, Novak Djokovic, is consistently ranked as one of the best tennis players in the world. With his recent Wimbledon win and record of 17 Grand Slam titles, it's no surprise that he's ranked as #1 in the world within men's single tennis. 

Djokovic has been living on a plant-based diet for a few years, though he doesn't like labelling himself as vegan.

Carl Lewis

The former American track athlete, Carl Lewis, has had an impressive career with 10 Olympic medals, nine gold and one silver as well as 10 World Championship medals. 

Lewis wasn't vegan throughout his entire career, but after turning vegan he won "his greatest race" at the age of 30, in the 100m at the 1991 World Championships. 

Venus Williams

The former #1 female tennis player in the world, Venus Williams, is an American professional tennis player with an admirable record. With seven Grand Slam titles, she's arguably one of her generation's top athletes. 

She started subscribing to a vegan diet after a recommendation from her doctor as part of a treatment for her diagnosis with Sjogren's syndrome and has thrived ever since.

Alex Morgan

Alex Morgan, the co-captain of the American national team, and Orlando Pride forward, has been vegetarian since 2017 and switched to a vegan diet in 2018 after learning that it was possible to thrive athletically on a plant-based diet. 

Scott Jurek

Scott Jurek is an American ultra-marathoner with a rather long and impressive record. He's held a dominant place within the sport during his career and won a number of races including the Hardrock Hundred, the Badwater Ultramarathon, the Sparathlon, and the Western States 100 mile Endurance Run. He has set a new US record for 24 distance runs. 

Jurek has adhered to a vegan diet since 1999 and attributes his competitive advantage to the benefits of a plant-based diet. 

Nate Diaz

Nate Diaz is most well known as the man that took down Connor McGregor. McGregor's taunts about Diaz being vegan prior to the fight must have only pushed him harder. 

He became vegan at the age of 18 when he was inspired by his older brother and former welterweight champion, Nick Diaz. Nate claims that being vegan has made him a smarter and more intelligent fighter, along with making him feel much better physically. 

Arian Foster

The former American football player, Arian Foster, held a successful career as a running back on the field. After his career in the NCAA, he was drafted for the NFL and signed by the Houston Texans and later, the Miami Dolphins. 

Foster thrives on a non-strict vegan diet, which he decided to adhere to after ample research and deciding it would be best for his performance. 

Jack Wilshere

Jack Wilshere is an English professional footballer and midfielder for West Ham United, and the English national team. His career started as part of another Premier League club, Arsenal, where he was the youngest ever league debutant. 

In 2017, the footballer became vegan. He believes adhering to a plant-based diet helped him reach the peak of his physical fitness.

Sergio Aguero

The world famous Argentinian footballer, Sergio Aguero, and one of Manchester City's stars eats a meticulously planned diet, which is in his own words is described as "no more pasta, no more sugar, and no meat". 

Hector Bellerin

Hector Bellerin is a Spanish professional footballer, and the Arsenal right back. Before entering the Premier League, he began his career at Barcelona. 

In 2017, the footballer tried a vegan diet for three weeks and became convinced ever since because of the positive effects he experienced. He is now a strong advocate for the vegan diet due to the health and performance benefits, and believes the diet change has helped him become closer to reaching his "full potential".

Heather Mitts

Heather Mitts is a former American professional player for a number of different teams including Philadelphia Charge, Boston Breakers, Philadelphia Independence, and Atlanta Beat. She holds three Olympic gold medals with the USWNT. 

She decided to go vegan when she found herself with conflicting feelings about loving animals, yet still consuming them. She loves being a voice for the animals and is very passionate about her vegan diet. 

Leave a comment