There is a growing demand for plant-based diets in the pro sports world, as many athletes are ditching meat and dairy to improve their performance and maintain longevity. It is now common for athletes to follow vegan and vegetarian diets.
The Oklahoma City Thunder player Chris Paul stopped eating meat in 2019 when he was 34, and the switch helped him return to the NBA All-Star game for the first time in four seasons. After returning to the NBA Finals the following season, Paul helped lead the Phoenix Suns to victory. Earlier this year, Paul launched his plant-based snacks called Good Eat’n, which includes tortilla chips and mini doughnuts.
Venus Williams follows a strict vegan diet. In an interview with Health.com, the 42-year-old women’s tennis icon said she had been diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome and was told the raw vegan diet might help relieve her symptoms, such as extreme fatigue and joint pain. Her goal was to maintain her tennis performance, but she also fell in love with the diet for her well-being.
Since he was 18, Nate Diaz hasn’t eaten meat or dairy. He was the first UFC fighter to adopt a plant-based diet. A welterweight fighter told Men’s Journal he cut all meat from his diet when he was 18. He eats fish outdoors, but he only eats vegan when he is training for fights. Diaz believes he is at a distinct advantage over other fighters who don’t eat plant-based.
The US Women’s National Soccer Team star, Alex Morgan, became a vegan in 2017. The 33-year-old striker said the diet helps her recover faster, and feels less tired following intense training sessions. Since then, she’s become leaner and fitter than ever. She also mentioned to Insider’s Gabby Landsverk that her top anti-inflammatory foods are berries, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens. Alex Morgan believes that her plant-based diet speeds up recovery.