Countless studies have shown that a plant-based
diet is perfect for meeting an athlete’s calorie and protein demands. In fact,
these soccer players are part of a long list of top-notch athletes who’ve
reaped the benefits of a plant-based diet, including NFL players David Carter
and Colin Kaepernick
, bodybuilder and strongman
competitor Patrik Baboumian, NBA star JaVale McGee, and tennis
champ Serena Williams
1. Sergio Agüero
The Argentine player went vegan
after his doctor
recommended it last year in preparation for Agüero’s participation in the 2018
World Cup in Russia.
The Spanish side of the Arsenal of England ditched
animal products at the beginning of the season for health reasons and attributes the overall improvement of his physical
to this decision: "At first I wanted to try it for a
couple of weeks to detoxify my body and those things, but I felt so good after
that I've been doing it for more than six months."
The talented Argentine player switched to a
vegan diet during the season to be in top condition for the World Cup games. He
reportedly consumes many fresh fruits and vegetables. By leaving animal
products off his plate, Messi has improved his performance
, managed to lose
about three kilos, and reduced his risk of muscle injuries.
Klingenberg is an American soccer defender who currently
plays for the Portland Thorns in the National Women's Soccer League and the
United States women's national soccer team. In 2016 the professional athlete
went vegan and hasn’t looked
: “I've never felt fitter; I've never felt stronger. I've actually
lifted more in the weight room."
The Boca Juniors Colombian midfielder went vegan
at the beginning of 2018 for ethical reasons. When asked about his decision to adopt
a plant-based diet, Perez replied
: "For me, the world belongs to all living beings. That’s the reason for my decision and the respect I have for animals." (MFA's translation)
The Norwich City FC player from England went vegan
after suffering from ulcerative colitis, and since ditching animal products
he’s noticed improvements in his overall physical performance.
Although Martin went vegan for health reasons,
he’s now more aware of the ethical
: "With the passage of time it has become [an ethical
decision] because when you investigate and stop eating animal products, you
realize how bad they are treated and you wonder what right we have to eat
Morgan is a forward for the Orlando Pride, an Olympic
gold medalist, and a FIFA Women's World Cup champion. In early 2018, the animal-loving athlete
tweeted that she had adopted
a vegan diet.
The striker for the AFC Bournemouth Premier
League club and the English national team was inspired
to go plant-based by the
documentary What the Health
which shows the many health problems linked to eating animal products. Defoe credits
his vegan diet with preventing muscle injuries and providing more energy.
Heather Mitts is
a former professional soccer defender. She played in the Women's Professional
Soccer League for the Philadelphia Charge, Boston Breakers, Philadelphia
Independence, and Atlanta Beat. She is also a three-time Olympic gold
medalist and played in four matches in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, where
the U.S. national team finished second. A proud vegan activist, Mitts
often shares information about animal rights on social media.
The English soccer player switched to a
plant-based diet earlier this year and believes it’s key to maintaining his overall
well-being: “I feel that my new lifestyle is key to my state and my overall
outlook on life. Strengthening how I view things on the whole.”