More and more professional athletes from around the world are making the transition to a plant-based diet. Most people would assume athletes have to have a strict, high protein, meat-based dietary programme in order to maintain their intensive workout routines. So why are they making the change and going vegan? Here are 5 Top Vegan Athletes!
1. David Carter now famously known as ‘the 300 pound vegan’ is a professional American football player, as a defensive lineman. My first impression was “wow he is huge!” hence his new fitting nickname. David was concerned with the worrying statistics of an average American footballer’s lifespan being 56 years due to cardiovascular health challenges. So with that in mind, he eventually decided to transform his life and live on a plant based only diet. He became Vegan on Valentine’s Day of 2014 as a gift for his Vegan wife. Aw! how sweet, he`s a big softy really!
“I can honestly say that being vegan is not only the most efficient way to be full-body strong, it`s also the most humane; everyone wins.” – David Carter
2. David Smith who is probably and deservingly still celebrating his success after the 2016 Para Olympics, as a British para rower and cyclist, became part vegan as an initial recovery diet following a major health scare and operation. He admits that at this point his main focus was simply to have good health, but soon noticed that he was benefiting from fast recovery between training, better sleep and more energy. David started adding more plant based foods into his diet and gradually became a Paralympic, Gold medal winning vegan! Go David!
“I believe 100% that following a plant based lifestyle got me back on my bike in 6 weeks.” – David Smith
3. Morgan Mitchell a sprinter, who at the age of 21 was the fastest Australian female sprinter in 13 years, qualifying her to compete in the 2016 Olympics. Morgan became vegan for ethical reasons two years prior to her record setting success. Even athletes can be couch potatoes from time to time though; cosying up on the sofa, Morgan watched a number of vegan health documentaries before sprinting down the plant-based path!
“I am completely vegan! It’s an all or nothing kind of deal with me.” – Morgan Mitchell
4. Tia Blanco became world champion after winning the World’s Surfing Games this year, which was two years after changing to a plant-based diet, most of the time being a fully raw vegan. Tia was vegetarian from birth and chose to take the final step to veganism after researching optimum health diets by surfing the web!
“I hope to make a difference in the world by sharing my diet and lifestyle” – Tia Blanco
5. Austin Aries is an American pro wrestler who has won numerous world titles and has now joined WWE after a long stint at TNA. Along with his hidden real name (Daniel Healy Solwold Jr) he has also been on a vegan diet for over five years, which not many people know. Austin has said he wants to try and encourage everyone to educate themselves on food and health, especially parents and kids and now includes the word “herbivore” within his social media bios. He was a vegetarian before being vegan and people knew him more for this, calling him ‘the Spectacular Vascular Vegetarian”. This top athletic vegan seems to collect titles in all senses!
“For my protein I eat tempeh, lentils, beans and vegan protein powders” -Austin Aries
In addition, the tennis sisters, Venus and Serena Williams, Scot Jurek the Ultramarathon runner, Nick and Nate Diaz the UFC fighter brothers, Tim Shieff, the most successful free-runner (also known as “Livewire”) are all athletic, trend-setting vegans but the list goes on and on…Even the legendary bodybuilder and seven-time former Mr Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger is saying “Hasta la Vista” to his old diet, living on plant-based foods and most definitely not saying “I’ll be back” to dairy and meat!
It seems that all of these professional athletes decided to transition to a plant based diet for very different reasons, but they have more than one thing in common. Since making the change they have never looked back and they don’t stay quiet about it either! They all include within their social media bios that they’re not only athletes, but vegan too and openly encourage others to make the change. Take their lead and shout about it like the athletes do and Tweet us if you’re a healthy vegan @keepfitkingdom!