Top Vegan Athletes
Top Vegan athletes demonstrate that you don't need animals to participate in a variety of sports, from long-distance running and basketball to figure skating and weight lifting. Here are 10 world-famous athletes that rely on plants for their energy.
Many great sportsmen, including world champions, martial artists, and Olympic weightlifters, appear unconcerned about receiving adequate protein from their vegan diets.
Athletes And Veganism
And there is a slew of other vegan athletes who are as successful. After eliminating all animal products from their diets, these athletes frequently enhanced their performance, winning world championships, and even breaking world records.
Veganism can be chosen for a variety of reasons. Some people are worried about how the meat business has impacted the environment and climate change, while others are sympathetic and prefer a vegan diet to avoid animal suffering.
Since this is a vegan diet for athletes, we'll concentrate on how healthy and useful a vegan diet can be for enhancing athletic performance. Veganism has been proven to be the healthiest diet available. Because they contain such large levels of lipids and cholesterol, animal products are now the leading cause of coronary heart disease and cancer.
“Where do you obtain your protein?” is a common question I get. Convinced meat-eaters say that “a vegan diet is just too expensive” or that “a plant-based diet cannot provide necessary nutrients.” I can certainly state that I have never suffered from a protein deficit while following a vegan diet, and this is also true for world-class vegan athletes.
Vegans include several world-class bodybuilders, who require far more protein than the typical person. Black beans provide 21g of protein per 100g, whereas beef has just 14g. Black beans are also less expensive to purchase than beef, contradicting the claim that a vegan diet is more expensive than a meat one.
Protein options for vegans, such as beans, tofu, vegetables, and grains, are frequently less expensive than meat and provide higher-quality protein. Furthermore, plant-based proteins are free of antibiotics used in the livestock sector. They also contain significantly less fat, with only approximately 1g fat per 100g compared to 30g fat per 100g in beef.
Vegans may consider taking vitamin B12 supplements because they can only acquire them from animal sources. Taking a supplement every day, on the other hand, isn't a big deal, and many athletes are required to do so anyhow.
Vegan goods are frequently supplemented with vitamin B12. Overall, vegans tend to live a healthier lifestyle, eating more natural foods and less fast food, which is good for athletes, as it aids recovery and improves their overall well-being. It also reduces inflammation in the body, which is essential for preventing injuries.
Veganism And Greatness
Serena Williams won the French Open, while Carl Lewis, one of the most decorated Olympic athletes of all time, had his finest year on the track after giving up animal products. Kyrie Irving, who is enjoying a fantastic season with the Celtics, said he is feeling terrific thus far.
Whether you're a marathon runner, a team sports player, or a weightlifter, a vegan diet is a great choice. There are essentially just benefits! You make a beneficial contribution to the environment, improve your health, and increase your productivity. You'll feel much better, and you'll also be making a statement against animal abuse.
A number of athletes have said that turning vegan has helped them perform better. Finally, every athlete who wishes to advance to the next level of performance must maintain a nutritious diet. Veganism is something that each athlete should consider, in my view and from personal experience. “Being vegan is not just the most effective method to be full-body strong, it is also the most compassionate; everyone wins,” NFL defensive player David Carter said.
Top 5 Athletes With The Vegan Diet
1. James Wilks
Following an injury in 2011, MMA athlete James Wilks became a vegan. Wilks is the subject of “Game Changers,” a vegan documentary directed by James Cameron and set to be released in 2019. The film follows the former UFC fighter as he heals from his injuries, directed by Oscar-winner Louis Psihoyos. It also debunks the myth that meat is required for strength and muscular development.
2. Dotsie Bausch
Dotsie Bausch, a pro cyclist who appears in “Game Changers,” turned vegan in 2009. Despite the fact that she gave up meat and dairy to be a better animal advocate, her dietary change may have helped her improve her athletic performance. Bausch went on to compete in the 2012 Olympics and won a silver medal.
Alexandra Paul, a Baywatch actress and qualified health coach, co-hosts The Switch4Good Podcast with the plant-based Olympian. Bausch revealed why she launched the podcast in an interview with Forks Over Knives. “Some of us athletes who know how wrong this message is wanted to educate people about the dangers of dairy,” she said. “Society mistakenly believes that you need milk from another species to grow big and strong, and some of us athletes who know how wrong this message is wanted to educate people about the dangers of dairy,” she said.
3. Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton, a six-time Formula One champion and vegan, is an outspoken advocate of animal rights. After viewing the vegan documentary “What the Health,” the British racer gave up meat and dairy in 2017.
“I'm going to see ‘What The Health' tonight.” In September 2017, he stated on Snapchat, “I'm on a mission to go vegan, people.” He went on to say that he wasn't simply interested in switching to a plant-based diet for his personal health. He stated, “Animal cruelty, global warming, and our own health are all on the line.”
4. Tia Blanco
Tia Blanco, a vegan surfer, has a long list of accomplishments under her belt. She became the first surfer since 1996 to win back-to-back gold medals. In 2015, the plant-based athlete won her first gold medal, and the following year, she won her second. Blanco just marked her “veganniversary.” “I'm officially seven years vegan and I'm loving my lifestyle today, more than ever before,” she said on Instagram.
5. Scott Jurek
Scott Jurek, a vegan ultrarunner, is proof that you don't have to eat animal products to be at the top of your game.
Jurek claims that being vegan has made a significant difference in his body composition. “A lot of people believe that eating animal products is required to build a lot of muscle mass or sufficient muscle mass for even power sports, and this has been shown wrong time and time again,” he added.
The Power of Veganism
According to Veganism.org, “Veganism is a way of life that strives to eliminate, as far as is feasible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other reason.” Veganism, on the other hand, is about much more than just eating properly. “Veganism refers to a group of ideas, beliefs, and practices that include, but are not limited to, vegetarianism, ethical veal farming, vegan dairy, veganism, animal rights, environmentalism, anti-speciesism, and a variety of other forms of nonviolent activism aimed at making the world a more compassionate and humane place for animals.”
Others choose this diet as an ethical choice to avoid causing animal pain. Others couldn't imagine a world without dairy, eggs, or even leather, despite the fact that eliminating all animal products can reduce the risk of certain diseases. Veganism is a relatively new diet, but its rising popularity suggests that more people are becoming aware of its advantages and integrating it into their lifestyles.
Why People Prefer this Diet
According to most weight-loss websites, veganism is one of the most effective ways to reduce weight. Naturally, some people may point to the various health benefits, such as increased energy and improved digestion. These health benefits will remain consistent, but the diet's weight-loss strategy is truly novel. It allows you to make vegan foods the bulk of your diet, helping you to lose up to 15 pounds each month just by eating vegan meals. As a result, even if you don't gain weight, you can maintain your weight loss.
You also don't have to go all-out and exclude certain foods from your diet; you may incorporate them in little doses.
Why the World of Sports Goes Vegan
Plants' antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, according to Harvard Medical School research, aid in reducing recovery periods, reducing delayed onset muscle soreness, reducing joint discomfort, and allowing for faster injury repair. Plant-based diets also assist to increase blood viscosity, which aids in the effective delivery of oxygen throughout the body, which promotes healing.
The elevated cardiovascular risks faced by endurance athletes, such as atherosclerosis (plaque building up inside arteries) and myocardial damage (decreased blood flow to the heart), can be reduced by a plant-based dairy-free diet, according to a 2019 review titled, ‘Plant-Based Diets for Cardiovascular Safety and Performance in Endurance Sports.'
A vegan diet may also improve sports performance owing to improved cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and weight loss, according to researchers at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Vegan and vegetarian diets are becoming more popular among professional athletes, who tout their general health advantages, increased performance, and faster recovery. Tom Brady, a quarterback, follows a mostly plant-based diet, the Williams sisters are vegan, and Steph Davis, an excellent rock climber, is vegan… Lionel Messi, Novak Djokovic, Colin Kaepernick, and Lewis Hamilton are some of the most well-known athletes in the world. The list could go on and on.
What are the Benefits of Going Vegan?
Given how frequently the phrases “vegan” and “healthy” are used interchangeably, all vegan-friendly dishes must be nutritious, right? Take another look at your situation. While eating a plant-based diet is good for your health (as well as the welfare of animals and the environment), this does not always mean you should eat “vegan” foods. Despite being heavy in mystery chemicals and empty calories, junk foods like Spicy Sweet Chili Doritos, Swedish Fish, and even Oreos are vegan-friendly.
“Is veganism healthy?” has been a point of contention since the diet was given a name (fun fact: veganism was ‘founded' in 1944). Veganism varies from the traditional Western steak-and-potatoes diet in that it eliminates all animal products, including dairy, meat, and eggs. While concerns about protein and calcium intake are common, a well-balanced vegan diet that includes a variety of vegetables may contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
Anyone might fall into the trap of mentally checking out when it comes to nutrition just because something is free of animal products. Even if you're totally vegan, it's startlingly easy to ingest too much fat, sugar, and calories. If you're considering going vegan for health or other reasons, keep an eye on your diet. Fill your plate with a mix of vegetables, grains, legumes, and fruits to keep satisfied and energized.
Also, while a vegan diet might be extremely nutritious, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that eating a plant-based diet can be more expensive than not eating one at all. And I'm not just talking about outrageous costs like the whole cost of your new juicer at home. Consider this: can you get organic wheat flour, tofu, and soy milk at your local supermarket?
All of these items must be obtained fresh or from a health food store. Furthermore, if you want to buy organic, hormone-free items, you must be prepared to spend a little more money. Consider this if you've ever wondered how someone can afford to be vegan: vegan goods are typically more expensive than their non-vegan counterparts.
Being a Healthy Vegan
Even though my days of consuming animal products are long gone, my daily routine is far from vegan, and I certainly do not pretend to be one of those “100% vegan” people who enjoy cheese. I'm well aware that what I ate throughout my years as a vegetarian was far from ideal, and I've read enough articles, blogs, and books to understand the advantages and disadvantages of my own decisions.
I'm someone who is constantly striving to better. So when I say vegan, it's only to remind you that I can eat as well as anyone else. Things like quinoa and beans, which aren't vegan at all, have their place in my diet, and I like them. All non-vegan items, such as the aforementioned French fries, are extremely “whole foods,” therefore I consider myself to be a whole food vegan.
1. Prioritize Eating Vegetables
Instead of focusing on what they can eat on a plant-based diet, many people focus on what they can't. However, a wonderful dinner does not have to revolve around meat. Veggie-packed meals are a great choice for a variety of reasons:
- they're strong in vitamins (such as A and K) and minerals (like potassium),
- they're low in calories, and
- they can help you feel more satiated since they're high in fibre.
2. Eat Different Kinds of Foods
On a vegan diet, it's critical to eat balanced meals that contain a range of nutritious foods to ensure you get all of the nutrients you require. Beans, for example, provide protein and fibre, while leafy greens are high in vitamins A, C, and K.
To reap all of the advantages, choose fruit in every colour of the rainbow. Swapping out refined grains, such as white pasta and white bread, for whole grains, such as brown rice and quinoa, adds iron and B vitamins to a vegan diet (nutrients that are stripped out when the grains are refined). And, the extra fibre from whole grains will help keep you full, and may even help you lose weight.
3. Eat Whole Grain
Substituting healthy grains like brown rice and quinoa for refined grains like white pasta and white bread adds iron and B vitamins to a vegan diet (nutrients that are stripped out when the grains are refined). Furthermore, the additional fibre included in whole grains can help you stay fuller for longer, and may even aid in weight loss.
4. Don’t Make An Assumption That Vegan Products Are Healthier
Vegan cookies aren't always healthier for your waistline than traditional cookies. Furthermore, garlic bread prepared with vegan margarine isn't always better for your heart than garlic bread made with butter.
Palm oil and coconut oil, which are high in saturated fats, are commonly included in processed vegan meals. Stick to whole-grain tortilla chips with guacamole, carrots and hummus, almonds and dried fruit, and whole-grain tortilla chips with guacamole. It's acceptable to indulge in vegan sweets now and again, but don't think of them as “healthy” just because they're vegan.
Risks of Veganism
I'm not here to tell you to “stop becoming a vegan!” or anything like that. You don't have to give up your fleshly or carnal impulses just because you're vegan. However, if you think about it, there are a few things you could give up if you go vegan. First and foremost, you will no longer crave junk food. I know you'll need your doughnuts and cheeseburgers, but perhaps just once in a while.
Furthermore, if you're attempting to lose weight, you'll probably need to keep a closer eye on your calorie consumption. While you won't have to struggle with many dietary cravings, there are a few items you'll have to give up if you want to go vegan for good. This is due to the fact that not all meals are vegan. Some meat substitutes, such as soy, are produced from genuine meat as well.
Finding a diet that works for everyone may be challenging with so many options. Being healthy, on the other hand, involves both the nutrients you take and the nutrients you don't. There are some foods and things that you cannot consume as a vegan. Consumption of eggs is one of them. Eggs are an essential component of a well-balanced diet.
Eggs include protein, vitamin D, calcium, and other essential minerals, as well as a host of other benefits. Vegans are missing out on a key source of nourishment since veganism prohibits the usage of eggs. Eggs, on the other hand, are a great source of both protein and fats, both of which are necessary for weight reduction.
Vegan food is unquestionably a growing trend. There has been a revolution in nutrition and food choices during the previous decade. From cupcakes to cupcakes, meat alternatives, meat substitutes, and more, there's something for everyone. You may enjoy it, but are you committed to seeing it through to the end?
Where do you go when you give up everything? There's a good chance the solution isn't somewhere. Because, as much fun as turning vegan is and as appealing as the marketing is, you'll only feel better if you're eating healthy enough and trying to be conscious of what you're eating, which can be difficult when it's so easy to hit the drive-thru. It's important to remember that a vegan diet is only as healthy as the person who consumes it.
Veganism is a diet that is completely made up of plants. Many vegans thrive at eating a well-balanced diet of high-quality, nutrient-dense foods. While eating a completely plant-based diet may appear to be straightforward, it might be difficult at first. Always strive to do everything in a balanced manner, and you'll see fantastic results as a vegan!
Everyone assumes you're a healthy queen who drinks kale smoothies and eats tempeh grain bowls all the time when you go vegan. While I'd like to respond that yes, those are the facts, I'll tell you a little secret. It isn't always the case, as great as it sounds. Because, well, French fries are vegan as well.
Lauren McNeill, RD, MPH, the vegan nutrition expert behind Tasting to Thrive, notes, “While a well-planned vegan diet may be incredibly healthy, merely being vegan does not mean that one is consuming nourishing food.”
Being vegan while consuming mostly highly processed foods such as chips, cookies, cakes, candies, and convenience meals is completely possible these days, thanks to the abundance of vegan alternatives on the market. Even the most seemingly healthy vegan products on the market aren't always what they appear to be.
I trust you enjoyed reading the article about the Top Vegan Athletes. Please stay tuned. There are more blog posts to come very shortly.
Your Opinion Is Important To Me
Ideas? Thoughts? Questions? I would love to hear from you. Would you mind leaving me your questions, experience and remarks about the Top Vegan Athletes in the comments section below? You can also reach me by email at Jeannette@LivingTheVeganLifestyle.org.
Below please find a link to the amazing book by Dr. Douglas Graham, an athlete on a raw vegan diet. “This book is the best I ever read on a raw vegan diet!” JeannetteZ
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