There are many misconceptions about the affects of a vegan diet on the body. Most people assume that a person who consumes absolutely no animal products would have problems summoning enough energy or strength to tackle even the simple tasks required in daily life, and certainly not enough to be a successful athlete.
Despite the alarming amount of people, misinformed about veganism, who believe the diet will leave the body weak and depleted, more and more vegan athletes are turning heads entering the field, stadium, ring, track, and court.
Regardless of the sport, or player’s diet, an athlete needs to pay close attention to the following in order to maintain optimum health and fitness: vitamins and minerals, protein, fats, and carbohydrates. All of these things are found in a responsible vegan diet of vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, most often in a healthier form than receiving them through animal products.
The public often attempts to ignore or discredit the exorbitant amounts of data continuing to conclude that veganism is the healthiest diet, however, vegan athletes are irrefutable proof that a vegan can be energetic and well-nourished enough to compete with and often beat, athletes who swear by a meat based diet.
There are hundreds of vegans, including Scott Jurek, Weia Reinbound, Pat Reeves, Peter Burwash, and others, have pushed their bodies to extremes in a healthy way and become Olympic or world class athletes. Many of them have set records still unbeaten by the more common omnivorous athlete.
It may seem that there are few vegan athletes because the prospect of doing these incredible physical feats on an animal free diet is so improbable to many people, but the truth is that there are few athletes who are true herbivores because we live in a time when less than 1% of the world’s human inhabitants consume a cruelty-free diet.
As veganism becomes a more prevalent diet and life-style, more vegan athletes will appear, and continue to do amazing things, most likely eventually being known for their general level of ability higher than their peers of different ways of eating.
Not too long ago the idea of a vegetarian professional athlete seemed preposterous to most. Now non-meat-eating fitness gurus are becoming common and the new unusual thing is the vegan champion. Vegan athletes are starting to make their mark though, and raw foodists and fruitarians are entering the picture as well.
While some vegan athletes advertise their diet and are known for it, others are not well known as vegans. Some make an activist stand with their vegan approach to fitness, while others simply live a vegan lifestyle or eat a vegan diet because they are aware that it will improve their abilities if done correctly. The following are some of the most famous vegan athletes you might have heard of:
Jane Black, Brendan Brazier, Robert Cheeke, Mac Danzig, Robert Hazeley, Keith Holmes, Scott Jurek, Georges Laraque, Carl Lewis, Jack Lindquist, Mike Mahler, Martyn Moxon, Patrick J. Neshek, Feona Oakes, Pat Reeves, Weia Reinboud, Amanda Riester, Mary Stabinsky, Ed Templeton, Ted Trendy, Keneth Williams, Salim Stoudamire, Alexander Dargatz, Kenneth G WIlliams, Joel Kirkilis, Joni Purmonen, Willie Austin, Jim Morris, Rich Roll, Jeff Eggleston, Adam Myerson, Jason Sager, Bob Harper, and Robert Cheeke.
These people and many more have stepped up to the plate and shown the world that a diet of animal products is not necessary in order to have an fit, elite, and healthy body. Hopefully in the future the majority of athletes will have plant-based diets, in order to benefit not only their own athletic performance, but also their health and the planet.