When it comes to going vegan, there are now numerous reasons to justify making the switch. Following a vegan diet is no longer seen as more difficult than a traditional meat based diet with many meals taking just 20 minutes to prepare. And it’s now easier than ever to go grocery shopping for a plant based diet.
Yet another reason to consider making the switch is the number of top athletes who perform at the highest level while following a vegan diet. So without further ado, let’s take look at some of the top U.S. vegan athletes.
The tennis superstar’s choice to become a vegan came when she was suffering from a medical condition. Health.com reports that Williams changed her diet after being diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome in 2011, which causes joint pain and fatigue. It was so bad Williams had to withdraw from that year’s U.S. Open.
Fortunately it was not the end of her career. Williams has credited a plant-based diet with helping her get back to tennis. After changing her diet, Venus then went on to win Olympic gold in the women’s doubles (alongside her sister Serena) the following year, and continues to compete to this day.
Snowboarder Hannah Teter is one of the country’s top winter sports athletes. Teter became vegan after viewing the documentary ‘Earthlings’ in 2010. Since switching her diet she has stated that she has never felt stronger “mentally, physically, and emotionally” as a result. Her change in diet certainly hasn’t stopped her from succeeding in her sport. In Coral’s list of successful vegan athletes it outlines how Teter achieved bronze at the 2016 Winter X Games. It also notes how her personal mantra is the Gandhi quote: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Nicknamed the ‘Poster Boy of Vegan CrossFitters’, Ed Bauer has achieved a lot of success as a vegan. He also promotes the diet in all of his ventures: whether being a CrossFit coach, fitness model, or certified nutritionist. Alongside his CrossFit achievements Bauer is also a bodybuilder and even won the 2010 Bill Pearl High Desert Classic’s novice middleweight division just a year after getting into the sport. He is a true example of building a career and philosophy around a vegan diet.
This native Californian CrossFit athlete, similar to Bauer above, became a vegan at a young age. Ziegler is also undeniable proof that vegan athletes can be quite multi-faceted. On top of her fitness, Ziegler also balances a modeling and acting career. She maintains that her plant-based diet is extremely nutritional and protein efficient: “I have been training Crossfit, even completing an 8-minute plank, all while surviving on a vegan diet and maintaining all my muscle.”
Though the Mississippi-raised Delgado was raised vegetarian, it wasn’t until 2015 that the bodybuilder went full vegan. The decision was based on simply wanting to live his life in the healthiest way possible.
Delgado soon began to see the benefits, contrary to belief that his new diet would stunt his growth. In fact, just a year after turning vegan, Delgado earned his pro card by coming 1st in the Men’s Physique Class C at the National Physique Committee USA Bodybuilding Championships. He would then go on to rack up recognition at numerous International Federation of Bodybuilders pro events and still shows no sign of stopping today.