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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Photo: Grayskullduggery


Jim Ven
Jim V2 years ago

thanks for sharing.

Jo S.
Jo S3 years ago

Thank you Mac.

Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne R5 years ago

Thanks for the info!

Heidi W.
Heidi W.6 years ago

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.

Duane B.
.6 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Nicole Bergeron
Nicole Bergeron6 years ago

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?

Dale Overall

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.

Dale Overall

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.

Diane L.
Diane L6 years ago

Wow,'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?

Dale Overall

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.’