Vegan Athletes who Dominate their Sports

Many world-class athletes thrive on well-planned vegan diets.
Last Updated: September 15, 2018

Throughout the sporting world, vegan diets are gaining acceptance among top athletes. While professional athletes who eat vegan diet are still fairly rare, the situation is rapidly changing. Check out this profile of eleven prominent pros who follow a vegan diet.

For a number of reasons, the NFL once seemed like the sport that vegans would be least likely to crack. But for the 2018 season, more than a dozen members of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans have embraced a vegan diet. Standout wide receiver Griff Whalen includes the words “100% #vegan athlete” in his Twitter bio. And Colin Kaepernick tweeted the hashtag #NotBadForAVegan to accompany a training photograph. It seems by now certain that the surging popularity of veganism among NFL players is unstoppable.

Perhaps the most impressive showings by vegan athletes are in the fields of ultra-endurance marathoning, cycling, and swimming. Rich Roll is a long-time vegan who could well be the world’s most impressive ultra-endurance athlete. His many feats included doing five Iron Man distance triathlons over a five day period.

Scott Jurek, a vegan since 1999, set a world running record by covering 165.7 miles in a 24-hour period (That’s six marathons!)

Nutrition Needs for Athletes

When it comes to sports nutrition, the primary special need for athletes is simply the need to eat more food. This shouldn’t be surprising, since more intensive training regimens certainly require extra calories. Additionally, weight lifters and other athletes doing heavy strength training must also boost their protein intake slightly.

Everyone from a professional athlete to a weekend golfer stands to benefit from a well-planned vegan or vegan-leaning diet. And it’s reassuring that vegan diets can deliver the goods to anyone who wants to achieve elite athletic performance. If you want to be like your favorite athlete and adopt a well-planned vegan diet, check out our How to Go Vegan article, as well as our Vegan Nutrition Guide.