Doubt that a vegetarian diet will provide enough nutrients, protein, and energy to maintain a professional athlete? This list might make you think again! All these athletes mentioned below are supporting a vegetarian lifestyle and in doing so they are doing better than ever. A plant-based diet that offers benefits such as reduced inflammation, better recovery time and overall better health is exactly what these athletes want.
PledgeSports has compiled a list of world-class vegetarian athletes who are at the top of their game – and have a completely vegetarian lifestyle to thank for it.
Venus Williams – tennis player
Venus is an American tennis player who has surrounded the world with her immense tennis potential for the past 20 years. He has multiple Grand Slams in both singles and doubles. With 5 Wimbledon titles and 4 Olympic golds, he is an athlete’s powerhouse. But did you know that since 2011, Venus is now one of the most successful vegetarian athletes to follow a vegan diet after she was diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome. His tennis career almost came to a halt, although a vegetarian diet has now helped him with joint pain and fatigue. She began following a raw vegan diet, which typically involves eliminating all animal products and foods cooked above 118 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tony Gonzalez – NFL Player
One of the most famous NFL vegetarian players is Tony Gonzalez. He is an American football tight end and actor who played 17 seasons in the National Football League and is a current analyst on Fox NFL’s pregame show. After an unplanned meeting with David Pulaski once on a flight, Gonzalez noticed a gap between their plates and when asked why he soon gave up the meat and diary for an entirely vegetarian feast.
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David Hay – Boxer
David Hay is a British boxer with world titles in two weight categories. In 2008, he won three of the four major boxing world titles at cruiserweight. What might surprise you is that David follows a strict vegetarian diet plan and is one of the few famous boxing vegetarian athletes. Many people say don’t go vegetarian because you will lose protein but if a professional boxer can look so good then what are you missing? Hi previously announced that they have a full-time chef who helps them prepare this vegetarian meal every day allowing them to get all of their minerals and nutrients. David Hay is one of the most successful vegetarian athletes of his time!
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Nate Diaz – UFC Fighter
Nate Diaz is a mixed martial artist currently competing in the UFC – the largest mixed martial arts organization in the world. If Nate can wrestle and punch in the ring for 25 minutes and show no signs of fatigue then his diet must be working. After becoming a vegetarian at the age of 18, Nate has said that – “I think you are a smarter and more intelligent fighter. [when you go vegan]. Me and my brother are on top of the game and have been for a long time. Diaz is the most successful vegetarian athlete ever to step into the octagon.
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Heather Mills – skier
Now known as “the fastest handicapped woman on the plant,” vegetarian skier Heather Mills has led an incredible life. Since starting his early life as an entrepreneur, Mills has become a multiple downhill skiing champion. While she has used a raw vegan diet before, Heather now eats a complete vegetarian diet. As a world leader in her sport, she plans to move on and achieve more. “My plan is to make the world a better place with vegetarianism and that includes showing that healthy vegetarians can be the best in the game.”
Kendrick Farris – Weightlifter
Can you be one of the most successful vegetarian athletes and lift heavy objects? Kendrick Farris has proved that you can. Farris is an American Olympic weightlifter and finished 11th in his weight category at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Who says a vegetarian can’t lift heavy weights? Faris continued, “We shouldn’t get so stuck with ‘protein, protein, protein.’ Because you can get a higher amount of protein, and most of it just passes through the body.”
The diets of some of the top athletes in the world and the diets of some will amaze you!
Scott Jurek – long distance runner
Scott Jurek is an American ultramarathon runner and one of the first vegan athletes known to the public, the winner of 16 prestigious ultramarathon titles. Scott has been a vegetarian since 1997 and practices and advocates a 100% vegetarian diet and claims that it is important in supporting endurance, recovery and health. On deciding to go vegan in college, Jurek said: “It was definitely a long-term decision, not one made for short-term performance gains.”
Jermaine Defoe – footballer
Renowned for his insane goal scoring rate of over 150 Premier League goals, Defoe is one of England’s finest assets. When his girlfriend convinces him to try vegetarianism, he feels that he has successfully adopted the lifestyle change. “I don’t find it difficult to give up, because I know scoring a goal gives me the feeling I feel,” he said.
Patrick Baboumian – bodybuilder
Babaumian has been a vegetarian since 2005, and became a vegetarian in 2011. It’s no big secret that a lot of people still think that you can’t make a profit on a vegetarian diet. Patrick has competed in several weightlifting and bodybuilding events and emerged victorious in each. In 2013, he broke the world record for the yoke walk by carrying 550 kg (1212.54 lb) for the 10 m distance, breaking his own record in 2015 by carrying 560 kg (1234.59 lb).
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Lewis Hamilton – Formula 1 driver
Four-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton is now a healthy eating driving machine and a relatively new member of the list of vegan athletes after first adopting a vegan diet in 2017. after talking to CNN, Hamilton continued that “It’s crazy. I’m not putting on excess weight, because with this new plant-based diet, I can have more carbs that you’d normally think diet-wise, but I Not going to complain, I love pancakes so that’s great. Hamilton is one of the most successful vegetarian athletes of all time.
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