Vegans at the top of their game
Achieving sporting success at the highest level on a purely plant-based diet
The Ironman is known as the oldest and most challenging triathlon of our times. Endurance athletes from all over the world come together in Hawaii each year to see how they measure up over a total race length of 4km swimming, 180km cycling, and 42km running. In addition to the already considerable sporting and mental demands put on the triathletes due to the sheer distances involved in each of the legs, they also have to deal with the energy-sapping climactic and geographical conditions in Hawaii: unpredictable, gusty crosswinds, uneven paths, extreme temperatures which can reach more than 85 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius), and high air humidity levels. All this means the triathletes need to be extraordinarily fit and have extremely good stamina and endurance – as well as mental strength and willpower – to be able to complete the Ironman successfully.
An iron will and a plant-based diet
One sportsman who has not only completed the Ironman, but has also won it, is Canadian Brendan Brazier. And what makes his sporting achievement so unusual is that the Canadian professional triathlete (1998-2004) has been a vegan for the past 20 years. During the course of his career, Brendan Brazier has brought many innovative impulses to the world of vegan nutrition.
While we do not have any kind of advertising agreement with him or any of the other sportspeople mentioned here, we hope to show in this article how many high-level sportspeople now eat a plant-based diet.
Ironman Brazier isn’t the only one living a plant-based success story. Other successful athletes, from “Germany’s strongest man” to Bundesliga footballers to “King of Formula 1” Lewis Hamilton, follow a plant-based diet, too.
The advantages of a plant-based diet
German strongman Patrik Baboumian decided to follow a plant-based diet for the sake of animal welfare. He eats a protein-rich diet including plant-based protein powders, soy products and tofu dishes. It’s also important to him to eat a colorful mix of fruit and veg, as well as carbohydrates from rice, pasta and potatoes. You can eat a diet like this by buying products from Velivery.
Another proponent of animal rights and vegan food is Formula One icon Lewis Hamilton. The vegan top-level sportsman sets an example not just as an exceptional F1 driver, but also with his positive mindset and his unwavering desire to make positive change in the world. Time and again, he uses his reach to draw attention to abuses in the meat industry, and to shed light on the advantages of a vegan lifestyle.
Vegans on the water and on the tennis court
German professional surfer Valeska Schneider didn’t start surfing until after she had finished school, but is now one of the best riders of waves in the world. In her documentary “V like Victory”, Valeska promotes a plant-based diet and gives insights into life as a vegan professional sportswoman. This superwoman likes to start her day with a mix of oats, raisins, cinnamon and nuts.
Tennis ace Novak Djokovic has also switched to a purely plant-based diet. The professional sportsman feels that he gets everything he needs from his diet of a varied, vegan mixture of seeds, pulses, nuts, fruit and vegetables. The customers at his vegan restaurant “Eqvita” in Monte Carlo are also treated to purely plant-based creations.
Bend it like a vegan
Former professional footballer Timo Hildebrand, who was goalkeeper for the German national team, stands for a vegan success story on the football field. To convince other people of how flavor-intensive and easy to digest vegan delicacies can be, the footballer opened the vegan restaurant “vhy!”. It stands for sustainability, creativity and delicious vegan food, thus showcasing the best attributes of a vegan lifestyle.
But not everyone has to be a world-class athlete. A vegan diet can also be a valuable support for people who enjoy sport as a hobby, as it improves their wellbeing at the same time as helping animals and the environment, and letting them live a sustainable lifestyle.
The diet which will allow your performance to thrive
Ironman Brendan Brazier is also a proponent of this idea. He developed a completely vegan diet, the Thrive Diet, which has been a success story and has helped many other sportsmen and women to reach peak performance and even win Olympic medals. The Thrive Diet isn’t just aimed at professional sportspeople – it’s aimed explicitly at anyone who wants to improve their lifestyle.
The basis of the “Ironman diet” is a balanced variety of plants which, thanks to a large amount of protein and high nutrient density, guarantee that optimal levels of all essential nutrients are provided every day. Additions such as the superfoods maca, chlorella or hemp protein round off the nutrition plan.
As you can see, there are many vegan sportspeople at the top of their game who can inspire us to improve our diets, too.