WHY PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES ARE GOING VEGAN
When you think of food for athletic performance what comes to mind? If you think of animal-based proteins and other animal products, including lean meats and eggs, you aren’t alone. Many people think that these are the only foods that can nourish your body and promote athletic performance. But these aren’t your only options. In fact, they aren’t even the most nutritious or beneficial ones.
The number of vegan athletes is on the rise, which proves that you can reach peak performance with a plant-based diet. From bodybuilders to figure skaters, more athletes are embracing vegan lifestyles – and they’re finding that it’s enhancing their athletic performance and improving their health.
Here we have compiled a list of a few vegan athletes, and explain all the vegan diet benefits to show how a plant-based diet can help you be your best.
Although you might not realize it, the world of sports is full of vegan athletes, including everyone from long-distance runners to vegan bodybuilders. These aren’t just any athletes, though. The list includes many World Record holders and Olympic athletes, proving that you can be a top-tier competitor while eating a vegan diet.
After reading about these athletes, you may be tempted to start looking for vegan snack ideas and want to incorporate vegan diet foods into your daily life.
STAYING STRONG: PATRIK BABOUMIAN, STRONGMAN
If you think that it’s impossible to be strong on a vegan diet, think again. Patrik Baboumian eats a plant-based diet and he won Germany’s Strongest Man, 105kg category, in 2011. He set a World Record one year later, after lifting a 150.2kg beer keg overhead. He was also named Vegan Athlete of the Year. Clearly, he’s no weakling.
The same year that Patrik was named Germany’s Strongest Man, he also went vegan after eating vegetarian for several years. Although he was originally inspired to eat vegan due to his love of animals, he’s also noticed fitness benefits.
After setting another strength-related World Record in 2013, Patrik told the crowd that he is stronger than ever before after adopting a vegan diet. He also explained that people can find plenty of plant-based vegan protein sources, so there’s no reason not to adopt the diet for health and fitness.
BEAUTY AND GRACE: MEAGAN DUHAMEL, FIGURE SKATER
A vegan diet and plant-based nutrition can also provide the endurance and strength to help athletes excel in the beautiful sport of figure skating. Meagan Duhamel is a decorated Canadian figure skater who has skated in singles and pairs competition in her home country and abroad. Most recently, she attended the 2018 Winter Olympics, where she took home gold in the team event and bronze in the individual pairs. In addition to receiving awards for her skating, she was also named Vegan Athlete of the Year 2016.
A vegan since December 2008, Meagan has had some of her strongest years of figure skating performance since transitioning to a plant-based diet from consuming meat and other animal products. Although she has been a skating phenomenon on the ice, she lists going vegan as one of her proudest accomplishments.
Meagan explains that weight control is one of the biggest benefits for her as a figure skater. Her skating partner also praises her vegan diet for giving Meagan a seemingly endless supply of energy.
ENDURANCE AND SPEED: DENIS MIKHAYLOV, ULTRA-DISTANCE RUNNER
Think that plant based foods and a vegan meal plan can’t keep you fueled for a run? Russian-born Denis Mikhaylove proves that this is far from the truth.
After deciding to take up a career in health and fitness, Denis’ career as an ultra-distance runner began to take off. He took home four top five finishes in races with distances ranging from 25K to 50K in 2011. The next year he won a 100 mile race in Virgil Crest – and he has only continued his winning streak. He even set a World Record for the 12-hour treadmill challenge in 2015.
Denis credits his athletic success to his entirely vegan and almost completely raw vegan diet. After making the switch in July 2010, he never looked back. He said that what started as a desire to improve his athletic performance turned into so much more, allowing him to focus on self-improvement and become the best possible version of himself.
MYTHS ABOUT ATHLETICS AND VEGANISM DEBUNKED
Incredible athletes like Patrik, Meagan, and Denis prove that a vegan diet doesn’t hinder athletic performance. It instead seems to enhance it by improving strength and endurance while helping athletes maintain their weight. Both male and female vegan athletes can benefit from veganism.
Curious to see how a plant-based diet works for you? Try incorporating vegan hiking foods or plant-based snacks. Plant-based proteins can be an excellent source of fuel that will keep you full while also being the healthiest option for you. Once you see the health benefits and the delicious options with plant-based foods, you’ll be hooked.
All Munk Pack Oatmeal Fruit Squeezes and Protein Cookies are perfect vegan snacks. You’ll keep your energy up and appetite satisfied. Best of all, they are also Non-GMO Project Verified, certified gluten free, and kosher. We work closely with our suppliers to ensure that we use only high-quality, non-GMO, gluten free and kosher ingredients that adhere to each organization’s regulations.
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