How does a plant based diet help these famous vegan athletes?
In 2019, millions logged onto Netflix to watch the new documentary Game Changers. The streaming giant's new hit promised to shed light on going vegan and the athletes that had benefited from a plant based diet.
Millions watched as doctors and sporting professionals dispelled many of the health myths surrounding a vegan diet and illuminated some of the health implications involved with eating animal products. After watching the documentary, many viewers decided to try a plant based diet for themselves and see if they felt many of the benefits that the athletes involved in Game Changers did.
Seeing these professionals at the peak of their physical health promoting a plant based diet, clearly did wonders in showing non-vegans just how beneficial this diet can be. There are many top athletes today that are thriving on a vegan diet. Here are just a few you may know, and what they have to say about this way of living.
Those who have paid even the smallest amount of attention to tennis in the last decade or two will be very aware of Novak Djokovic. The star of the tennis court began playing professionally in 2003 and has gone on to win as many as ninety ATP singles titles, of which 21 of those are Grand Slam titles. While he has openly stated that he doesn’t like the label ‘vegan’ he hasn’t consumed animal products for over a decade now.
The tennis pro came to this lifestyle for the health benefits and sticks to very natural plant based foods, he says a prayer before every meal and aims to eat as mindfully as possible. Djokovic attributes his ability to stay on the tennis court for so many years at peak fitness to his plant based diet.
A list of famous vegan athletes wouldn’t be complete without mentioning arguably one of the most famous sports stars alive. Lewis Hamilton is a passionate advocate for a vegan diet and says so publicly on a regular basis. Those that follow the F1 champion on social media will know that he is not shy when it comes to encouraging others to adopt a vegan diet to save the planet.
It’s not just his love for the planet that keeps him plant based though, Hamilton has often espoused the health benefits of this way of living. In 2021, he said “I have more energy; I'm so much more productive. I wake up feeling way better, clearer in thought and fresher in my body.”
Few people consider the physical strain of being a Formula 1 Driver when compared to other sports. However, F1 requires a lot of stamina and physical strength, with drivers needing to stay fit throughout their whole career.
Those unfamiliar with the world of surfing may not know who this young athlete is, however her career and story surrounding why she is plant based is an interesting one. Tia is a professional surfer from California and passionate vegan. Born in Puerto Rico, the Filipino-American athlete explained that she started surfing at three years old and never looked back. Since then, she has gone on to win several surfing awards.
The surfing star was raised vegetarian and became vegan over a decade ago. Her story goes a long way to debunk myths surrounding the need for animal protein when it comes to reaching peak athletic performance. Blanco has stated her favourite post-training meal is a Hawaiian Beyond Burger and, when asked about the company, said “I think Beyond Meat will change the world; for vegans and meat eaters alike.”
Honourable mention - Serena Williams
One of the most famous tennis players in the world Serena Williams receives an honourable mention on this list after stating that she follows a “mostly” vegan diet. Though Williams has recently retired, after winning twenty three Grand Slam titles, anyone watching tennis during her career can clearly see that she was at the peak of physical fitness. The tennis champion has attributed much of this to her diet which is reported to be vegan for six days a week and vegetarian for the seventh day.
Her husband, and Reddit founder, Alex Ohanian is fully vegan and recently said that he turned to this way of living when Serena became pregnant, following his own health concerns. Though Williams may not follow a fully plant based diet, she has gone above and beyond in the fashion industry when it comes to creating more vegan-friendly products. Her clothing brand S By Serena features a completely vegan leather line.
When asked about this, Serena stated “I feel like a lot of things are being killed and we’re not saving the earth…We can all just do one small thing and help out so that was also a lot of our inspiration.”
We hope you enjoyed learning about some of the most famous vegan athletes and how they not only survive, but thrive following a plant based diet. Check out our other article which highlights some other famous plant based athletes as well as our list about Olympians who you may not have known were vegan.