Pro Health

Professional plant-based athletes

Although many people think that a plant-based diet is incompatible with physical high-performance, many well-known athletes have demonstrated that the reverse is true. Here are a few examples to inspire you.

Track and field

Sprinter and long-jumper Carl Lewis first became vegetarian in 1990, shortly after which he switched to a fully plant-based diet in order to control his body weight. He ran his best race during the 1991 World Championship in Japan, earning him the world record in the 100-metre sprint. Lewis ascribed his success to his vegan diet.  


There are a number of vegans in the world of ultra-running – where runners complete distances even longer than that of a marathon (42.2 kilometres). Scott Jurek won the ‘Hardrock 100’ seven consecutive times, each time running a distance of 161 kilometres across steep mountain paths. Jurek currently holds the US record for the 24-hour World Championships and has written a book about veganism and ultra-running, entitled Eat&Run. Another top-achieving vegan runner is Catra Corbett, who has run over 250 ultra-marathons.


Former tennis star Martina Navratilova won the US Open Ladies’ Double at the age of 49, claiming that moving toward a more plant-based diet helped her continue to play professionally well into her 40s.


German bodybuilder Patrik Baboumian is known as the strongest man in Germany, and is one of the few individuals capable of lifting 200 kilograms above his head. He’s been vegan for a number of years and actively dispels myths about veganism and athleticism.

So whether you want to enjoy speed, endurance or strength training, it’s all possible with a plant-based diet. Learn more about vegan athletes at

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