Millions of people worldwide are vegans because of their love for animals or simply because they prefer the food (check out our vegan recipes to see how amazing it can be). Some of those vegans are athletes, and even though many experts believe such a diet could negatively impact their athleticism, most of the athletes have benefited from a much healthier lifestyle that has improved their ability to shine on the big stage. Which athletes are enjoying their vegan lifestyle?
David Meyer – Brazillian Jiu Jitsu
This martial art has traditionally been dominated by South Americans, but vegan David Meyer of the USA has won World Championship Gold twice. He’s also won a Gold in the American Cup twice and in the American National Championships – and Pan Am Games.
David continued to compete at the top level into his 50s. David also started a pet rescue website which helps 1500 animal shelters across North America find homes for animals.
“My motivation is entirely to not harm animals. I have experienced that it’s an extremely healthy way to eat, it gives me more energy, it’s better for the environment. I’m morally committed to not harming animals.”
Ricky Williams – NFL
If you’re a big football fan you’ll know who ex-NFL player Ricky Williams is and how much interest he has in vegetarian food. He’s one of the few athletes in the world that even owns vegan-based restaurants to show his love and desire for a healthier lifestyle.
Heather Mills – Disability Winter Sports
During part of one year, Heather set no less than five World Records in various disability winter sports including bobsleigh, downhill skiing and ski jumping. She describes herself as the fastest disabled woman on earth following her 167km speed skiing record.
She is also known for her humanitarian work helping amputees, and has developed vegan recipes. She owns and runs V-Bites which sells vegan food for home use and has vegan restaurants.
“I am in love with food; I always have been. Eating is such a huge pleasure in my life. In order to heal my infection all those years ago I embraced a living raw food diet which is rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins.”
Venus Williams – Tennis
Venus is still at the top of her game in tennis and is going to continue to compete at Wimbledon this year, for her 20th time. She hasn’t always been a vegan and it wasn’t until 2011 when she was diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome when she decided to start a vegan diet.
Carl Lewis – Track Athletics
With 9 Olympic Gold medals, Carl was one of the best-known athletes of the 1980s. He also set a world record for indoor long jump set in 1984 still stands. Carol adopted a vegan diet to assist him in sports and continued it into his retirement.
“I’ve found that a person does not need protein from meat to be a successful athlete. In fact, my best year of track competition was the first year I ate a vegan diet. Moreover, by continuing to eat a vegan diet, my weight is under control, I like the way I look.”
Mike Tyson – Boxing
We all know who Mike Tyson is, right? He’s probably one of the greatest boxers of all time and he’s still one of the most popular men in the boxing industry. He’s made some strange choices in life such as getting a tribal tattoo on the side of his face, but he knows becoming vegan was one of his best moves.
Robert Parish – NBA
Mr. Parish became a part of NBA history in 2003 when he was inducted into the hall of fame, and he feels a vegetarian diet gave him the diet needed for extensive training workouts. Standing at 7ft tall, Robert will be long remembered as one of the best players to grace the court thanks to his 21-season dominance in the game.
Whether you’re studying for your nurse practitioner doctorate degree using one of the doctor of nurse practitioner programs at Bradley University or you’re already in full-time employment, maybe going vegan like the above athletes wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all?
Are you a vegan? If so, tell us what prompted you to make the switch.