What happens when a vegan steps into the ring and goes toe to toe with a meat-eating fighter? Boxer Cam Awesome knows, after the vegan pugilist took the national title over in the United States with a victory against Paul Koon.
British fighter Lawrence Okolie also knows -- the athlete twice knocked down Isaac Chamberlain in 2018 on the way to a solid victory.
Bryant Jennings knows as well. Do you see what we're getting at here?
With the right plant-based diet supported by vegan protein powder supplements, there's no reason why athletes who turn away from animal products should also turn away from success.
It's time to re-frame the debate on veganism. Sure, there are great words we can use to describe a vegan lifestyle: "fresh" is one, "clean" is another, while "natural" is likely to be another.
But what about "powerful"? What about "formidable?" These words are less common.
Take a look at our list of some of the most impressive vegan athletes from around the globe, and let's discover a bit more about what they eat. By focusing on the foods we explore here, and supplementing this with a high quality vegan protein powder, you too can smash your training targets while still staying true to your diet.
Remember, this is your handy one-stop resource. We'll summarise some of the most common food types enjoyed by these vegan legends so you can apply them to your own diet.
What Do Vegan Athletes Eat?
In the world of tennis, it doesn't get much bigger than the Williams sisters. These two totemic siblings have been blowing us away with their skills ever since they arrived on the world stage in the 1990s. Forced to rethink her diet after being diagnosed with an auto-immune condition, Venus has embraced a vegan approach for several years. She stands by the following:
- Potatoes with salt and pepper seasoning
Morgan Mitchell loves a plant-based diet almost as much as Australia loves her. The former national champion 400m runner and Olympic hopeful has since switched it up to focus on the 800m, but still maintains a vegan lifestyle. Here's what she eats as she adapts to this new and exciting discipline on the track:
- Maple syrup
- Peanut butter
- Rye bread
- Fruit smoothies & vegan protein powder
- Tofu burger
- Vegan cheese
There are the greats, and then there is Carl Lewis. A superstar synonymous with all things track and field, Lewis topped world rankings and smashed records in 100m, 200m and the long jump throughout the 80s and 90s. What's more, he single-handedly furthered the cause of awesome vegans in the process. Here's what was powering him:
- Fruit juice
- Roasted eggplant and other vegetables
- Tofu salad
- Garden burger
We've discussed a few awesome vegan athletes, but how about one actually called Awesome. Enter: Cam Awesome -- boxing champion, fitness expert, and vegan idol. All of this makes him a perfect choice for our list. This is a man who not only needs carbs and protein, but he needs a great deal of both if he is to keep up his awesome physique. Here's what fuels him:
- Tofu blends
- Brown rice
- Green vegetables
- Vegan sausage
- Almond milk
- Iron supplement
Puny is not a word that anyone ever used to describe Azad Singh. The British personal trainer and body-builder is serious about his physique, and also his diet. Like Cam Awesome from across the pond, the brawny Brit needs serious levels of protein and calories each and every day. Azad is living proof that a vegan diet can, and does, provide this. Here's what you can expect him to be chowing down on on a daily basis:
- Oats and bran flakes
- Almonds, nuts, and dried coconut
- Vegan protein supplement
- Rice, beans, tofu, olive
- Oats, chia seeds, berries
- Banana protein shake
Austin Aries is a pro wrestler. Austin Aries is also a vegan. If anyone knows that these two things can definitely go together, it's Austin. He has shared the secrets of his diet with the world in his book, but here's just a small taster of what he enjoys every day.
- Oats and berries
- Chia seeds or flax seeds
- Cinnamon and cardamon
- Lentil pasta
- Black salt
- Toasted bread
Joe Holder knows all about what it means to train hard and train smart. This is also reflected in his diet, which is meticulously planned, stuffed full of powerful nutrients, and completely devoid of animals or animal byproducts. Holder passes on his wisdom in the form of The Ocho System, which he founded, and in his work as a Nike master trainer. If you want to eat like him, here's what you need:
- Red oak leaf lettuce
- Vegan pea protein
- Berries and banana
- Ashwaganda root and chlorella
- Fruit (low sugar) and nuts
- Quinoa, pita bread, arugula, radish, and spaghetti squash
- Dandelion green smoothie with vegan protein, acai, and goji berries
- Almond milk and butter
- Brown rice
Putting it Together: (The Common Ground Between Each of These Vegan Heroes)
So, we've explored what some of the top vegan athletes eat to keep themselves fit, healthy, and in shape. But what we really need is a kind of universal list -- a list of the foods that all athletes, or at least a number of athletes, swear by. This is the stuff that you can really depend on, stuff that you really know is going to give you what you need.
- Banana -- Banana is great for recovering after a workout, but there are a number of other potential benefits too, including improved digestive and heart health.
- Rice -- Rice is a fantastic source of energy, and it may even have anti-aging properties.
- Tofu -- Stunningly versatile, tofu is something of a must-have on any vegan diet.
- Vegetables -- Vegetables is a broad category, with lots of different benefits as you might expect. Eggplants and squashes bring substance and texture, while leafy greens offer the vitamins that vegans need to be at their best.
- Beans and nuts -- More forms of plant-based protein, beans and nuts are fine additions to this list.
- Vegan protein powder-- A quality protein powder ensures you get the purest form of vegan protein into your body without ingesting too many carbs and fats along with it
It sounds counter-intuitive but variety can actually help you build consistency. Check out White Wolf’s range of vegan protein powders with flavours that will keep you on track and help you maintain your lifestyle eating plan.
Photograph of Carl Lewis, Olympic gold medal winner and vegan athlete. (Image credits: The Daily Crisp)