As more people become aware that eating meat, eggs, and dairy “products” causes cruelty to animals as well as health and environmental hazards, we’re seeing an increase in the number of athletes who are fuelling up on plants. You’ve probably already heard about some of the many vegan cricketers, bodybuilders, tennis players, and track stars, but now, we’re turning our attention to plant-powered stars on the footy field. No matter which code you follow – rugby league, rugby union, AFL, or even NFL – there’s a vegan player leading the way.

Erin Phillips

She’s the ultimate athlete, excelling in both AFL and basketball – all the while powered by plants! Last year, she received both the AFL Women’s Best and Fairest medal and its Players’ Most Valuable Player Award after an outstanding season with the Adelaide Crows. And although she officially announced her retirement from playing basketball earlier this year, she’s continuing in the sport in a coaching position for the Dallas Wings.

Retirement never tasted so sweet!! Thank you so much @bectheicon and my whole @adelaide_fc family for my DELICIOUS vegan cake. #sweetaffairscakes

A post shared by Erin Phillips (@erinphillips131) on Jan 16, 2018 at 2:28am PST

Brad Fittler

Brad is the coach for the State of Origin New South Wales Blues team, but thanks to his plant-strong lifestyle, he still looks fit enough to take a spot on the field.

“I’m vegan, I love it,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald. “I’m enjoying it …. My energy has been really good.”

Great morning at training #gotheblues 📸 @chukstagram

A post shared by Brad Fittler (@bradfittler) on Jun 20, 2018 at 10:15pm PDT

Kelly Benson

Hailing from Queensland, Kelly has played on the State of Origin Queensland Maroons team and for Australia at the university level. At the moment, he is signed with reigning premiers Macquarie Scorpionsand also runs the Newcastle Vegan Eatery at the Newcastle City Farmers Market.

“It’s been an amazing journey, totally changed my whole life from my mental clarity to my physical wellness,” he says of his vegan lifestyle.

Saving life’s and scoring tries 😉 (Ft. #TheRoomie @mattg79series 👬)

A post shared by Kelly Benson Ⓥ🌱 (@kellybenson95) on Jun 21, 2018 at 12:43am PDT

Brenden Santi

Earlier this year, the rugby league team Townsville Blackhawks prop Brenden Santi sustained a wrist injury. During his rehabilitation, he watched some documentaries, including What the Health, which persuaded him to start eating vegan. He immediately felt good and believes the switch helped him in his recovery:

“The biggest question I get asked is: do you miss meat. Answer is … No. Genuinely no, even surprised myself. You adapt, find alternatives. After that it’s simple. I still go shopping, I still eat balanced meals, I still eat and watch my protein and calorie intake like I used to before – simply they’re just different sources now. Knowledge is power, I certainly feel more powerful. I have made the change permanently, I am a proud beginner vegan.”

I’ve had a lot of people message me. The answer is yes. Yes, I’ve changed to a plant based diet – Have been for 11 weeks now. Why ? 14 weeks ago, I dislocated my wrist. I wasn’t allowed to train for 11 weeks. All I could think about was coming back overweight and unfit at a point of the season I couldn’t afford to be. My girlfriend is a vegan and would cook me vegan meals, that I used to add meat to. I then started to do some research on it. Watch some videos, documentaries (What The Health especially, look it up. I highly recommend, it’s on Netflix!), look up vegan athletes, their experiences, diets..I didn’t think you could sustain an elite career without meat. Seeing the results people had and hearing of the progress they made and also how they were feeling.. I just decided to give it a go. I liked it, felt good, clear minded and I believe it helped me recover quicker. The more I learnt, the easier it got. The biggest question i get asked is: do you miss meat. Answer is… No. Genuinely no, even surprised myself. You adapt, find alternatives. After that its simple. I still go shopping, I still eat balanced meals, I still eat and watch my protein and calorie intake like I used to before – simply they’re just different sources now. Knowledge is power, I certainly feel more powerful. I have made the change permanently, I am a proud beginner vegan 🌱 ✊ #manifest #universe #vegan #vegansinaustralia #beginnervegan #lifestyle #energies #veganathlete #veganrugbyleague #plantbased #inspire #leadbyexample

A post shared by Brenden Santi™ (@santii_13) on Jun 14, 2018 at 2:37am PDT

You can be a plant based athlete. The best thing about being plant based is all that you learn. Learning about nutrition and what is in what, and why. Rugby league is a game that you have to meet certain standards in and atm for me, it’s fitness and putting on weight. At the beginning I wasn’t sure how to eat. I thought vegans only ate vegetables. But now to bulk up I’m eating things I never would’ve used to bulk. Oats Dates Peanut butter Banana Bread Rice Quinoa It’s just so much more easier than I thought it would be. To keep myself interested in my meals and not get bored, I’ve decided I’m going to learn one new recipe a week and document it here. This week, I learnt 3 by meal prepping inspired by @gazoakley of @avantgardevegan We’ve got breakfast – sweet quinoa fruit salad Lunch – vegetable pasta Dinner – Spanish 1 pot stew Snacks – bananas and watermelon with energy balls. Depending on my day I’d add a bowl of oats with banana, berries, nuts and seeds, or more rice to my dinner. All of the meals are balanced and full of superfoods. This week has been the best week of training I’ve had so far. Feeling fit, strong and powerful. My recovery time has been quicker then it’s ever been before. I’m actually in front of schedule, surprisingly happy with my form and I believe that’s partly from becoming vegan. I’m thankful I tried it out now! #vegan #vegansofig #vegansofinstagram #veganrecipes #veganfood #vegans #veganbreakfast #veganfitness #veganathlete #plantbased #plantbaseddiet #veganfit #vegansnacks #veganlifestyle #veganrugby #vegangain #veganbulk #veganmealprep #rugbyleague #veganaustralia #rugbyleagueaustralia #veganprotein

A post shared by Brenden Santi™ (@santii_13) on Jun 20, 2018 at 4:41am PDT

Anthony Mullally

Anthony Mullally is a rugby league superstar and vegan behemoth who plays for Ireland and the Leeds Rhinos. This guy is 6 foot 5 inches and 115 kilograms of unadulterated vegan power.

“After going vegan I felt loads better in terms of energy and recovery from training sessions,” he told Rise of the Vegan. “I found I didn’t even need to drink coffee in the morning before training because I had so much energy. I’m probably as strong as I’ve ever been so there’s definitely been no decline in strength or physical performance!”

#tbt too not looking so happy about playing in 40 degrees in Papua new Guinea! Unreal experience. #worldcup #australia #vegan #rugby

A post shared by Anthony Mullally (@mullally91) on Nov 16, 2017 at 6:38am PST

Mirco Bergamasco

Italian rugby league and ruby union player Mirco Bergamasco has been vegan for several years and credits plant protein with giving him the energy and strength to excel in his sports:

“Going vegan was one of the best things I’ve done, both for my rugby game and on a personal level. I’m strong and fit, my reflexes are sharp, my mind is awake, and my conscience is clear – I encourage everyone to give meat, eggs, and dairy foods the red card and see the difference for themselves!”

Griff Whalen

As a wide receiver in the NFL, Griff Whalen needs to be one of the most agile players on the field. He began looking into nutrition two years ago and found that a vegan lifestyle made him feel leaner and lighter.

“Any little advantage I can find, I’m going to do it. I felt like this really gave me an edge,” he told Baltimore Ravens.

And he’s not the only one in the NFL crediting vegan eating with athletic success – plenty of other top players are seeing the benefits.

These Players Aren’t the Only Winners – Animals Benefit, Too

By switching to a vegan lifestyle, these plant-fuelled all-stars are improving their health and performance. But they’re not the only ones reaping the rewards – they’re also sparing animals’ lives by standing up for those who face horrific abuse on farms and in abattoirs. They’re actively making animals’ lives better while also improving their own – and you can, too:

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Article source: PETA Files

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