Athletes have to be on top of their game 365 days a year, so it’s no surprise many women in sport are turning to a plant-based diet to improve their performance.
From reduced cholesterol to increased energy and performance, adopting a plant-based diet has many benefits for sports amateurs and pros alike. Meet the amazing female athletes helping to bust the ‘meat makes you stronger’ myth…
She’s one of the biggest names in tennis and one of the most well-known women in sport, but did you know Venus Williams has been eating a plant-based diet since 2011? Williams was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease eight years ago, so doctors advised her to start eating a plant-based diet to get back to her match-winning best.
Venus “fell in love with the idea” of adopting a plant-based diet and even convinced her sister, and fellow tennis-pro, Serena Williams to adopt a mostly-vegan diet. We’ll let their success speak for itself.
Meagan Duhamel is a World Champion figure skater who rose to fame after winning gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics. The plant-based athlete is also a six-time Canadian national champion and has been vegan diet since 2008.
Duhamel picked up a book about vegan diets in an airport lounge and was immediately inspired. She claims her plant-based diet helps her to train harder, focus more easily and recover quicker.
Steph Davis is one of the world’s leading rock climbers and is the only woman to have climbed a 5.11 grade route without safety equipment. Davis was also the first woman to summit the icy peak of Argentina’s Torre Egger and, as if that’s not impressive enough, she has also been skydiving and base jumping since 2007.
To stay physically and mentally fit, Davis adopted a simple plant-based diet, choosing to eat whole foods, whole grains and little processed foods.
Hannah Teter is an American snowboarder, Olympic Champion and World Champion. Having won two Olympic medals in her sport, along with six World Cup victories and one World Championship, Teter says her plant-based diet has allowed her to be stronger mentally, physically and emotionally.
Upon discovering the facts about factory farms, she quickly adopted a plant-based diet and has been reaping the rewards in her sport ever since.
Vegan bodybuilder and physique competitor Jehina Malik has led the way for plant-strong women all over the world. Malik has been vegan since birth but got involved with bodybuilding at the age of 19. In fact, she holds the impressive title of being the first ever IFBB pro athlete who has been vegan since birth.
Having previously had a skinny build, Malik wanted to break the stereotype that vegans can’t bodybuild – one glance at her Instagram feed will show you she has well and truly beaten that stereotype.
Feeling inspired? Whether you’re running a 5k at your local park or in training for something more serious, adopting a plant-based diet could do wonders for your performance. Why not take the Veganuary pledge this month and experience the benefits for yourself?
PAGE UPDATED JULY 2020