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The most common question vegans get is "Where do you get your protein?" I can only assume that vegan athletes get this question more than other vegans combined. The good news is that protein is found in plant foods, so you don't need to worry about being protein deficient. Research even explains that it is possible to get the nutrients you need to sustain an active lifestyle. A major concern for vegan athletes is getting enough calories, which is important since plant foods are nutrient dense, rather than calorie dense. You do need to eat more calories on a vegan diet, but like any other diet, it needs to balanced with nutrients needed to be healthy and active.
This article describes 5 professional wrestlers whose performances improved once they excluded animal products from their diet. Wrestler Pete Dunne explains: “There are assumptions made by people that if you are a vegan you won’t get the right nutrition. In actual fact it’s ideal … What we do requires high energy so being a vegan is perfect for that. It doesn’t matter what type of diet that you are on, you can always hit the right macro nutrients.”
NBA player Wilson Chandler states: "Eating a vegan diet has changed my everyday living. I sleep better, I wake up in a better mood, I recover faster, I’m not so inflamed, not so achey...I feel better overall, in everything that I do. I can take in more information easier. My mind is just open." Other basketball players that made the swtich to a vegan diet include Jahlil Okafor and Damian Lillard.
Even ballerinas are changing their diets to improve their form and stamina. Keenan McLaren Hartman of the Nashville ballet states: "I'm able to sustain my technique without feeling like I'm going to crash."
All different kinds of people go vegan for all different reasons and it's possible to be vegan in any lifestyle. These athletes prove that you can accomplish anything on a vegan diet and be strong while doing it. If you are an athlete, professional, recreational, or anything in between, please know that you can improve endurance, recovery time and be healthy by eating a vegan diet. It won't diminish your performance or hinder your ability to reach goals. Check out this article to get information and tips to succeed on a vegan diet as an athlete.