Give Going Vegan a Shot 🏀: 7 Ways Vegan Athletes Have an Edge

Women’s basketball is getting its flowers. 👩🏀🌼 If watching your fave college or WNBA players is motivating you to get in shape, remember this: You can get stronger, faster, and more athletic without eating animal-derived foods. 🐮🐷🐔💗 Here are seven reasons why vegan athletes always dunk on meat-eaters:

1. Many vegan foods have more protein than meat.

You can easily hit your daily protein goals by eating delicious vegan foods. 😋 With 15 grams per serving, black beans have more protein than a chicken drumstick. With 18 grams per serving, lentils have more protein than a hamburger. So many vegan foods pack a higher protein punch than animal-derived foods.

2. Sports drinks and performance enhancers are going vegan.

Research from Lumina Intelligence shows that 21% of the best-selling protein powders online in the U.S. were vegan—and that was in 2019. 😲 Since then, we’ve seen even more vegan protein and performance-enhancing products hit the court. 🌱💪

3. Vegan athletes have an edge when it comes to heart health.

A 2019 report stated that eating vegan can reduce heart risks for endurance athletes. 🤗 Researchers have also noted that eating vegan can boost athletic performance, thanks to better heart health and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. 🙌 The W’s really just keep coming.

4. Pro athletes are endorsing the vegan link to performance.

Who better to show the benefits of being a vegan athlete than vegan athletes! 😁 These pros don’t eat any animal-derived foods:

  • Diana Taurasi, a WNBA player for the Phoenix Mercury who’s considered one of the GOATs of women’s basketball 🐐
  • Rebekkah Brunson, an assistant coach with the Minnesota Lynx and the only person to win five WNBA championships as a player 🥇
  • Dalila Eshe, the head coach of the Yale Bulldogs women’s basketball team and a former WNBA player 😤

5. Eating vegan may help reduce inflammation.

Eating meat and having high cholesterol make inflammation worse, which can lead to pain. 😫 On the other hand, studies show that eating vegan may have an anti-inflammatory effect, which can help with smooth performance and recovery. 😅 It’s vegan food with the assist again. 🤩

6. Eating vegan helps improve blood viscosity.

Vegan foods are typically low in saturated fat and are free of cholesterol, so they help improve blood viscosity, or thickness. That means more oxygen reaches the muscles, which improves your athletic performance and helps you get those buckets. 👍

7. Vegans get more antioxidants and a higher oxygen max.

People who eat vegan generally get more antioxidants than meat-eaters, which can help prevent muscle fatigue and poor recovery. Plus, studies show that vegan athletes increase their “VO2 max”—the max amount of oxygen they can use during intense exercise—leading to better endurance. 🏋️

Now it’s clear: Eating vegan and being athletic go hand in hand. 🤝 Whether you’re tryna be the next WNBA all-star or impress your friends in a pick-up game, you never need to harm animals to boost your athletic performance. 😊


Want to see what being a young vegan athlete looks like? For inspo, follow this peta2 staffer through her typical day as a vegan Division 1 college athlete. 🏃‍♀️🍽️🌱

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