Think you’re the only one ditching greasy bacon burgers in favor of that lentil quinoa salad? You might want to think again. As plant-based diets grow in popularity, more and more mainstream athletes are enjoying the significant health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
Now I know what you’re thinking; you’re thinking it’s not always wise to jump on the “what every celebrity athlete is doing” bandwagon. I would rather swap my Steak 'N Shake Double 'N Cheese Steakburger for some celery sticks, said no one ever. But here me out; these plant-loving mega-athletes may just be on to something.
Venus Williams (Tennis)
After being diagnosed with symptoms associated with an autoimmune disease, world famous tennis player Venus Williams started a plant-based diet. Venus claims her diet helps combat fatigue and muscle pain, giving her an edge over the competition.
Dave Scott (Triathlete)
Triathletes like Dave Scott have to command incredible endurance in order to succeed. Despite the myths around plant-based diets, Dave Scott raises the bar with an impressive six championships and multiple Ironman completions.
Carl Lewis (Runner)
ABC’s Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year and 9-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Carl Lewis, brought plant-based diets to the forefront in the World Championships in 1991, calling his first year vegan the “most successful year of his career.”
Martina Navratilova (Tennis)
Known as one of the greatest tennis players of our time, Martina Navratilova is a perfect example of how beneficial a plant based diet can be for an active lifestyle. Although there are reports that she’s recently added fish to her diet (a lean protein, recommended in Smart for Life® programs), Martina has racked up an impressive winning record on a plant-based diet.
Ricky Williams (Football)
From 250 pounds all the way down to a lean, mean, well-oiled 200-pound machine, Ricky Williams’ plant-based diet is to thank for his amazing athletic transformation. With results like that, he must have been eating our appetizing peanut butter chocolate protein bars!
Mac Danzig (Mixed Martial Arts)
Mac Danzig is destroying the stereotype that you can’t be a successful MMA fighter without meat. After winning season 6 of the Ultimate Fighter, Mac has gone on to enjoy a successful fighting career while meticulously maintaining his plant-based diet.
So the next time you hear the phrase “plant-based diet”, you don’t have to scream and run to the nearest five-pound package of bacon you can find. Instead, think about the above-mentioned athletes and consider having a salad. Maybe.
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