One of the most common questions I come across is:
Is it possible to gain muscle / speed / strength without eating meat?
To easily answer this question, here are 5 examples of Vegan athletes who are changing the game and proving to the world that you don’t need meat, fish or dairy to be a successful athlete.
1. Nate Diaz
On only 12 day’s notice MMA fighter Nate Diaz became the first fighter to finish Conor McGregor in the UFC. His fitness levels were at such a high level that he only needed less than 2 weeks in training to finish McGregor in the 2nd round.
He has currently beaten 19 men in his MMA career and was the Ultimate Fighter Season 5 winner.
If anything, meat’s gonna slow you down.” — Nate speaking to Men’s Journal
2. Venus Williams
Superstar tennis player Venus William was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome (an autoimmune disease) in 2011. She then turned to a raw vegan diet which improved her health and gave her the energy to carry on playing tennis at the highest level. At the age of 37 she has been able to play over 1000 matches and continues to this day.
“Not only does it help me on the court, but I feel like I’m doing the right thing for me.”
3. David Carter
David Carter plays American football as a defensive Lineman and changed to a Vegan diet in 2014.
“After being vegan for only two months I can honestly say that being vegan is not the only most efficient way to be full body strong, it’s also the most humane; everyone wins.” —In an interview with Plant Strong
For anyone struggling to gain weight on a Vegan diet — here is your inspiration. When playing he has a weight of around 300 pounds. That’s a lot of plants!
4. Rich Roll
“Fittest Vegan On Earth” — Men’s Health Magazine
Rich Roll is an Ultraman athlete (Ultraman is a 3-day / 320 mile double-ironman distance triathlon). He once completed an almost impossible task of 5 ironman-distance triathlons on 5 islands of Hawaii in under a week. Something he has named the EPIC5 CHALLENGE.
To complete these challenges takes an unprecedented amount power, strength and fitness — and all this is powered by a plant based diet.
5. Tia Blanco
Tia Blanco is a 21 year old professional surfer who won the first place Gold medal at the International Surfing Association (ISA). The ISA is the world governing authority for surfing. She also has a Youtube channel where she goes through some of her daily plant based meals.
“more energised than ever before. I am rarely ever sore after my workouts. I also find myself reaching a higher athletic level.” — Tia on her Vegan diet
The trend is growing — more and more athletes are turning to a plant based diet.
As the saying goes - “the proof is in the pudding”. More Athletes are seeing the results a plant based vegan diet can give them and they are trying it for themselves.
The upcoming documentary ‘The Game Changers’ will showcase some of the greatest athletes in their respective fields showing the effects of a plant based diet. The documentary is directed by Louie Psihoyos and produced by the famous director and producer James Cameron. I predict a further shift in the public's perception of Veganism after this documentary, similar to the reaction ‘What the Health’ brought to social media.