What does Tia Blanco, Rachael Adams and Alex Morgan all have in common besides being Olympic contenders? They are also vegans! As we stay glued to our TV's getting updates on Olympic gold, athletes from all over the world are vying for the top spot on the podium.
Why are so many athletes switching to vegan diets?
Olympic skateboarder Amelia Brodka, told VegNews she “transitioned to a plant-based diet as a part of my effort to maximize my skate longevity, and it has made a world of difference in my overall wellness and ability to recover. I’ve definitely run into many skeptics who tried to talk me out of it but to me, the positive impacts on my health are undeniable!”
A group of dairy-free Olympians also are hoping to convince more people to go vegan through the “Eat Like An Olympian” campaign from July 23 to Aug. 8. Switch4Good, an advocacy organization campaigning against the dairy industry, and the benefits of going plant-based, launched the initiative. When people sign up, they will receive exclusive dairy-free nutrition tips, recipes, discounts, and other resources to help them eat like a champ.
As part of the campaign, the group is running exclusive Instagram Lives with fellow Olympians and plant-based changemakers on July 28. Participants can join five athletes alongside Switch4Good for myth-busting facts about athlete nutrition.
VegNews also found another pair of athletes to learn how they conquered the Ironman World Championship competition in Kona, Hawaii last year. Michael McDonald, who put in a year of training for Kona, said he found his recovery time is better after strenuous workouts and "joint pain, and muscle soreness is mild and short-lived.”
When asked how they fueled for the grueling sport (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and 26.4-mile run), McDonald said, “he ate a Vega Sport protein bar immediately after leaving the water. On the bike, I drank a liter of water and a liter of protein every hour and ate a Vega bar every 50 miles. On the run, I ate one Vega bar along the way and stopped at an every aid station for ice, which I clenched in my fist until it melted.”
Thad Beaty, who is the lead guitarist in the band Sugarland, also trained for the brutal competition in Kona with his friend McDonald.
Beaty said, “if athletes can lead the way, then the ‘Everyman’ and everyone will give it a shot. We have to change the narrative around what a standard western diet does to your health. Today I’m in a small town in Tennessee. There are literally zero options here. The people here are at ground zero of the health crisis. We need to spread this message beyond the mainstream and into the backcountry! We can do it!!”
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