Vegan Athletes who Dominate their Sports

Throughout the sporting world, vegan athletes are no longer an anomaly. Check out this profile of eleven prominent pros from eight different sports who follow a vegan diet.

For a number of reasons, the NFL once seemed to be the one sport that posed an insurmountable barrier to  vegans. But during the 2018 season, more than a dozen members of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans 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.

Perhaps the most impressive showings by vegan athletes are in the fields of ultra-endurance competitions, including running, cycling, and swimming. Rich Roll is a long-time vegan who could well be the most impressive ultra-endurance athlete of any era. 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—a distance of more than six marathons!

Nutrition Needs for Vegan 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 enhance their athletic performance. If you want to adopt a well-planned vegan diet, check out our How to Go Vegan article, as well as our Vegan Nutrition Guide.

You don’t need to become an elite vegan athlete to experience the benefits of exercise and basic fitness. Our comprehensive Vegan Fitness Guide will show you a number of easy and exciting ways to become more physically active.


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