Turn on the TV, surf the web or slap on your headphones to listen to a food/health podcast and you are likely to hear about veganism. This dietary trend is all the rage as it is healthy, environmentally-friendly and chic in just about every way. There is a common misconception that professional athletes avoid veganism due to its supposed lack of protein and other essential minerals and vitamins. However, quite the contrary is true. As time progresses, that many more pro athletes are taking the vegan plunge.
Kyrie Irving or “Uncle Drew” as he is known on the silver screen is the NBA’s premier social justice warrior. The smooth point guard credits his vegan diet for his on-court prowess. Irving transitioned from omnivorism to veganism after watching the popular “What The Health” documentary.
Most people are surprised to learn Venus Williams abides by a raw vegan diet. Williams transitioned to raw veganism after a Sjorgen’s syndrome diagnosis back in 2011. The tennis star insists her veganism is responsible for alleviating her joint pain and excessive fatigue. Just as important is the fact that Williams is adamant her plant-based diet enhances her tennis game. All in all, Williams has won 21 titles, earning an incredible $95 million dollars.
Defoe might not be a household name in the United States yet he is well-known throughout the world. Defoe has more goals than all but six Premier League soccer players. The footballer has tallied 162 goals as a striker. Though Defoe’s play nosedived a couple years ago, his transition to veganism sparked quite the comeback. When Defoe is asked about the challenge of giving up meat and dairy, he typically responds by stating the feeling of scoring goals is more important than enjoying the taste of animal flesh.
Chris Paul is one of the shortest players in the NBA yet he has some of the best handles in league history. Paul recently converted to a vegan diet after being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The diminutive point guard wowed audiences this past All-Star game with a spectacular alley-oop slam. Listen closely to Paul’s post-game interviews and there is a good chance you will hear the superstar credit his plant-based diet for his revitalized game.
Scott Jurek is undoubtedly one of the world’s top athletes. Jurek currently holds 16 ultramarathon titles. Jurek credits his vegan diet for his personal record of running an incredible 165 miles across a period of 24 hours. However, transitioning to full veganism was quite the challenge for this former meat and potatoes-lover. Jurek altered his diet after suffering a series of illnesses and other health challenges in college. The world-class runner also points to his parents’ history of chronic disease for his shift to a plant-based diet.
Colin Kaepernick once tweeted “Vegetables make you weak.” The former NFL quarterback has since switched his stance on veggies, making the shift to a meatless and dairy-free diet after being blackballed from the league. Though Kaepernick has not discussed his newfound veganism at length with the media, he has tweeted out the hashtag of “#NotBadForAVegan”.