A Vegetarian Diet is Fit for Champions
A vegetarian diet gives athletes the strength, speed, and stamina they need to leave their carnivorous competitors in the dust.
Minnesota Twins pitcher Pat Neshek, Atlanta Hawks Guard Salim Stoudamire, Ultimate Fighting Champ Mac Danzig, and Kansas City Chiefs tight-end Tony Gonzalez, have excelled on a vegetarian diet.
Olympian Carl Lewis has said that his best year of track competition was the first year that he ate a vegan diet. Bill Walton and Robert Parish, two of the greatest basketball players of all time, were vegetarians, and John Salley, another professional basketball star, is a vegan. So is ultra-marathon man Dom Repta, who has run 100 miles in just under 20 hours. Vegan runner Scott Jurek has won the Western States Endurance Run, a race of 100 miles, seven years in a row, setting a course record.
A healthy vegetarian diet helped propel two-time Olympic gold medalist Edwin Moses over the hurdles. Tennis superstar Martina Navratilova, Heisman Trophy-winner Desmond Howard, and Dave Scott, a six-time winner of the Ironman triathlon, have also touted the benefits of a vegetarian diet.
Strength trainer Mike Mahler has reported that, “Becoming a vegan had a profound effect on my training. … [M]y bench press excelled past 315 pounds, and I noticed that I recovered much faster. My body fat also went down, and I put on 10 pounds of lean muscle in a few months.”
Four-time Mr. Universe Bill Pearl, powerlifting champion Bill Mannetti, and Stan Price, the world-record holder in bench press, have all reportedly eaten a vegetarian diet. These powerhouses aren’t alone—some of the strongest animals, such as apes, elephants, and giraffes, are vegetarian as well.
To learn more about vegetarian athletes, see the evidence section below.