THE WORLDS BEST VEGAN ATHLETES
Great vegan athletes who set world records or became world champions.
Across the spectrum of sports, athletes have attributed the below to a plant-based diet:
* improved endurance * increased strength * lack of injuries * faster recovery * low inflammatory levels
* reduced stress * better focus and concentration * reduced cholesterol * better heart rate *
Lewis Hamilton, Formula 1 driver
Five-time Formula One World Champion
Often considered the best driver of his generation and one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport
Credits his overall racing success to his vegan diet. Initially adopted a plant-based diet for his health, but has recently placed more thought into the ethical side of the diet.
Scott Jurek – Ultramarathon Runner
Named one of the greatest runners of all time
- Winner of 16 prestigious ultramarathon titles
- Three times named Ultra Runner of the year
- Set at least ten course records
- Broke the records from 24 hour running (USA) and the 2189 mile Appalachian trail
Vegan since 1999.
Credits his diet for not only the length of his career, but also his recovery time and lack of injuries.
Venus Williams – Tennis Player
- 7 Grand Slam singles titles
- 14 Grand Slam Women’s doubles titles.
- 5 times Wimbledon winner in women’s singles
- 4 Olympic gold medals
2nd highest-earning female tennis player of all time.
“I started for health reasons after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. I wanted to maintain my performance on the court, but fell in love with the concept of fuelling your body in the best way possible. Not only does it help me on the court, but I feel like I’m doing the right thing for me.
Kendrick Farris – Weightlifter
America’s strongest weightlifter.
Gold medal at the past two Pan American weightlifting championships.
Originally went vegan for ethical reasons.
“It took me a while to really cope with the fact that I had been deceived (by the meat and dairy industry). My performance was better simply because I wasn’t doing harm to my body, so recovery was happening faster.”
Meagan Duhamel – Figure Skater
- Four-time world champion and Olympic medalist pair skater.
- Two-time Four Continents champion.
- Winner of every major championship (both national and international) in the 2014-2015 season.
- Seven-time Canadian national champion (2012–18).
“I think being a vegan athlete gives me a huge advantage, I am able to recover and train with more intensity than most of my training mates. I also managed to stay completely injury-free while competing at the highest level into my 30s, which is extremely rare (if not unheard of) in figure skating. I credit so much of my health and sport success to my plant-based lifestyle.”
Carl Lewis – Olympic Sprinter
Voted Olympic athlete of the century.
- 9 Gold and one silver Olympic medals.
- 10 World Championships medals, (eight gold).
- Unbeaten in long jump for 65 competitions and indoor record holder for decades.
“I’ve found that a person does not need protein from meat to be a successful athlete. In fact, my best year of track competition was the first year I ate a vegan diet.”
Barny du Plessis – Bodybuilder
The world’s first vegan bodybuilder and Mr Universe 2014, amongst other national and international titles.
Went vegan after retiring from bodybuilding in 2013 due to health concerns.
After going vegan and a radical improvement in his health, he returned to win Mr.Universe in 2014.
“Since becoming a vegan, my training has been amazing. I wake up feeling good, I’ve got more energy, my recovery’s really good and I’ve got no aches and pains. Best of all, I’m not contributing to the suffering of animals.”
Heather Mills – Skiier
Gold medalist in disability winter sports.
Five world records broken in three months.
Experienced a miraculous recovery from a serious infection that medicines and antibiotics could not heal, as a result of excluding meat and dairy from her diet.
“My plan is to improve the world with veganism and that includes showing that healthy vegans can be the best in sport.”
Hannah Teter – Snowboarder
Three-time Olympic medalist, including Gold.
“I feel stronger than I’ve ever been, mentally, physically, and emotionally. My plant-based diet has opened up more doors to being an athlete. It’s a whole other level that I’m elevating to.”
Jermain Defoe – Footballer
Seventh best goal scorer in Premier League history, scoring over 150 goals in the league to date.
Credits his performance to his vegan diet.
On giving up meat, eggs, and dairy: “I don’t find anything hard to give up… because I know the feeling scoring goals gives me.”
Austin Aries – Wrestler
- One of only five wrestlers ever to win the Triple Crown.
- TNA World Heavyweight Champion and Grand Champion.
- Three-time Impact World Champion.
- Two-time ROH World Champion.
Has found people don’t understand that protein requirements for muscle building can come from other sources besides animals.
“We’ve been misguided to live in the extreme where every time you sit down you eat animal products.”
“At the core, eating other creatures doesn’t appeal to me”