It is no secret that the interest in plant based diets is rising at an encouraging rate, with the health benefits of following a plant-based diet becoming truly apparent.
It is no surprise therefore that world famous athletes are also cottoning on to this trend and following either a plant based diet or announcing that they are fully vegan, whilst using their fame to bolster the cause and on occasion highlighting the various animal rights issues that become apparent after educating oneself on the benefits of following this type of lifestyle.
To use a few of these athletes as an example, lets begin with the latest sporting headlines as an introduction;
Lewis Hamilton is possibly one of the most well known sportsmen that has educated himself on the benefits of a plant based diet and made changes to his lifestyle accordingly. Hamilton isn’t shy about promoting the cause and on his instagram account recently shared a post from the charity Mercy For Animals encouraging his fans to “go plant based”. Hamilton was a pescartarian before he went plant based and cut out red meat a few years ago, but now, as his social media account would suggest, seems to be committed to a plant based way of eating.
Marathon runner Fiona Oakes found recent success when she ran the Tromso Half Marathon in Norway, smashing the world record. Not only did she break The Guinness World Record, she did it in “20 + mile an hour winds, rain and freezing cold”, dressed as a cow.
Our next vegan success story comes from professional free runner Tim Sheiff, who recently won Ninja Warrior 2018. Tim attributes his success to his diet telling the The Derby Telegraph that “A vegan diet is very important to me and my training and it has got me this far in this series of the programme”. Tim not only won the competition, but completed the course in 55 seconds, setting a show record for the fastest time run. He also won the 2015 Ninja Warrior.
Focussing on the boxing and MMA world now, American MMA fighter Abel Trujillo attributes his fighting titles to his plant based diet and follows the vegan lifestyle due to his love and compassion for animals. As well as Abel, boxer David Hayes announced a few years ago that he was going vegan stating in an interview with The Telegraph newspaper that “I’m now fitter than I’ve ever been. I punch harder than ever. I’m more determined. I’m faster…”. Hayes has now been vegan four over four years, which is a reflection in itself on how beneficial a plant based diet can be for athletes and sportsmen alike.
With the World Cup kicking off last Thursday, it only seems fair to take a look at the vegan footballers taking part in the competition this year in Russia; England plant-based players include Jermaine Defo, Jack Wilshere and Fabian Delph. Sergio Aguero is representing Argentina and Hector Bellerin is playing for Spain (to mention but a few).
However, veganism isn’t just limited to individual players – there is an entire football team that dedicates itself to veganism; Forest Green Rovers FC is the first vegan football club with renewable electricity tycoon and millionaire owner Dale Vince turning the club 100% vegan in 2015, including all the menus. Not all the players are vegan, but that could be work in progress…