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Ironman Triathlete Says Veganism is Diet Best for Athletes

Ironman Triathlete Says Veganism is Diet Best for Athletes

Brendan Brazier says that a properly planned vegan diet is the best choice for top athletes, and he would know.

Brazier is an ironman triathlete who has competed worldwide. For those of you who aren’t familiar, an ironman triathlon is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, followed by a marathon, all without a break. It’s one of the most grueling athletic events a person can compete in.

In addition to triathlons, marathons and ultra marathons, Brazier has written books on what he calls the Thrive Diet, one of which was a bestselling book in Canada, where he lives. He also created a line of drinks and energy bars for athletes based on those he prepared for himself for years while competing. Brazier has worked with celebrities like Hugh Jackman to get them into shape for roles using primarily or entirely plant-based diets.

All this, plus addressing Congress on Capitol Hill about the importance of diet on health, makes Brazier one of the leading proponents of a plant-based diet in the world.

Although he is one of few professional athletes in the world who maintains an entirely vegan diet, Brazier says all the athletes he knows eat a mostly plant-based diet, because it is the best diet for achieving top performance.

Brazier says he’s embarrassed to admit that he went vegan twenty years ago strictly because it helped him compete better. His reasons were completely selfish and he says he would have eaten anything if it would make him a better athlete.

We’re not used to hearing from top professional athletes about how veganism improved their performance, but these people are out there. People like Brazier, along with Scott Jurek, Robert Cheeke and Mac Danzig are all athletes who push themselves to extremes and who do so on a plant-based diet.

It’s hard to say how many other athletes are deterred away from transitioning to a vegan diet simply because of the perception that vegans are not as masculine, and how many of them are unwilling to try unorthodox ideas because they’re committed to more “traditional” diets.

As cultural perceptions about plant-based diets change and veganism becomes more mainstream, we can hope to lose the “sissy vegan” stereotype very quickly thanks to people like Brazier, who are incredibly successful athletes and advocates.

If you’re an athlete or just someone who wants to live a longer, healthier life, take a page from Brendon Brazier’s book and transition to a plant-based diet. It might be the best decision you ever make.

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482 comments

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6:24PM PDT on Sep 4, 2013

Thanks for the info!

1:19AM PST on Jan 20, 2013

Most of us agree that it is morally wrong to unnecessarily kill or hurt animals.

We now know that it is not necessary to eat meat, dairy or eggs to be healthy, and many studies (and athletes!) are showing us that it is actually healthier to be vegan.

The only justification we have for eating animals and their products is because we like the taste. How can taste be justification for taking a life?

That's why I am vegan.

7:33AM PST on Jan 18, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

6:28PM PST on Jan 11, 2013

I works for him and some other athletes but that doesn't mean that it is right for everyone. Everyone's diet is different and no one should have someone tell them to drop something unless they have had a bad reaction to it. Listen to how you body reacts and not the advice of a person that doesn't know your medical history.

Many past cultures, yes, fed their "athletes" a strict vegan/vegetarian diet, but one has to remember that those athletes where slaves that fought for amusement of others and meat was reserved for those that could afford it.

Why he said that he was "embarrassed to admit that he went vegan twenty years ago strictly because it helped him compete better" is beyond me. He has no reason to be embarrassed about something that made him healthier, sure he didn't do it for the reasons most do, but that is no reason to be embarrassed.

And wow, this article is old. first time seeing it though. Recycling them, maybe? Running out of new material?

5:38AM PST on Jan 11, 2013

Also in one of her long and all 'exclusive' comments (namely excluding all omnivores and those vegetarians eating eggs/other dairy). We won't even go to the Land of Honey (sans the milk of course) as vegans object to 'enslaving the bees' and refuse to eat honey as well. Anyway, Patrice D laments:

“Sorry for the errors, but I was so enraged that I didn't proof.”

Breathe...just try calming yourself and breathe, it may offer you time for compromise and tolerance for the viewpoint of others.

As long as we can read it don't be too concerned about errors. Aside from some of the grammar and spelling police who jump on every grammatical error or spelling mistake of others in the comment section...we all make mistakes. Worry not as we are merely commenting on Care2, not writing dissertations for Stephen Hawking.

5:27AM PST on Jan 11, 2013

Yes, just checked Diane L, first comment on this article is back in Feb. 18, 2011. Yes an oldie. First time I have seen it however! Am certainly glad that I did since it reinforces my view that some vegans can't get over themselves with their belief that they and only they understand compassion while the rest of us haven't seen "the light" and just don't understand that old time religion of veganism.

3:44AM PST on Jan 11, 2013

Wow, Dale............you're on a roll this morning! Yup, vegans are the only ones who make informed decisions. Just ask one of the more militant/radical vegans and they will be very quick to "enlighten" you about that one. They assume they are the only ones who understand how the environment works or how to "fix" the issues involved. Of course, when those of us who are not vegan bother to post actual facts, we're ignored or just told to "go away" or we're the crazy ones.

Just a personal little FYI, though...........this is such an old discussion, maybe we should just let it die out a natural death? Did you happen to notice when the last comment had been made? Seems Care.2 is having a slow news week again and resurrecting old stuff, huh?

2:52AM PST on Jan 11, 2013

Interesting article but no one diet can encompass the sum total of the human experience. However, for those who follow it if it works that is wonderful. I prefer some meat with a lot of plant based foods. However, I am not swayed by some vegans who feel that everything is all or nothing while those of us not following their path are totally blind, uninformed or whatever other slogan some love to throw at non-vegans be we omnivores or vegetarians. For example have read a number of comments such as Patrice D stating:

"Until you watch the videos and become informed and AWARE of how dairy cows and other food animals truly live and die, you cannot make a truly informed decision.”

Oh really? Many of us are perfectly informed and aware and we don't even need to yell in caps. "Truly informed". Such priceless words. No doubt only vegans are "truly informed" while the rest of the world is drowning in the quicksand and quagmire of ignorance until we are 'Enlightened.’

2:52AM PST on Jan 11, 2013

Or: "Can you understand that the dairy cow is pumped full of hormones to increase her milk production..." Why do vegans only parrot the cruelties of the factory farm and ignore organic farming? People 'understand' alright, we just are not on the same page. The factory farms of the USA isn’t the entire world.

http//www.ahimsamilk.org/
Here is this juicy morsel served with contempt: “Like all females, eggs are a HEN'S PERIOD! Next breakfast, scramble up a nice plate of hen's period and enjoy...”
Actually, I will enjoy since organic, free range eggs are delightful. Try learning some biology. Why is it that vegans are heavy on the insults dishing them out and serving them up like there is no tomorrow? Why so cranky? Supplements not doing enough for you?

2:51AM PST on Jan 11, 2013

Or this shining gem: “If you say you ARE AWARE of the animal’s plight and YOU CONTINUE to consume their flesh and/or byproducts - you are a cold and heartless soul in my opinion and I'm sure other vegans…" Those caps again as if we can’t read lower case. Try italics.
Cutting right to the quick! No other members of humanity other than the enlightened vegan have true compassion and a real heart! So very ‘insightful’! Or should that be inciteful? Inciting an internet full of non-vegans? Not an insightful way to address us all.
Everyone else on the planet simply doesn’t ‘measure up’ to the exclusive membership of the vegan family. Vegetarians are ‘not good enough’ and people who are omnivores are beneath contempt to this elite group, the cream (oops!) of the crop. Vegans comprise a minority of the planet and are hardly in a position to decide just who and who isn’t “worthy.” A lot of non-vegans are just as compassionate about animals and do not object to farming, but simply buy from non-factory farms be it meat or eggs.

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