You’ve probably heard by now that last week, the Women’s US Soccer team blasted their way to a 4th world championship with a 13-0 win over Thailand. While skill and a rigorous training schedule, plus a lot of determination, have a lot to do with it, Alex Morgan, co-captain of the team, has another advantage – she’s vegan!
In a recent interview with Time, Morgan revealed that switching to a vegan diet has been key to her success on the field. She first adopted a vegan diet, “because it didn’t feel fair to have a dog I adore, and yet eat meat all the time,” she told Reuters. She soon discovered that eating a plant-based diet improved her energy during practice and games. On World Vegan Day, she announced on Twitter that she’d never felt better after eating vegan for a year.
Morgan joins many other athletes in discovering the vegan advantage. In sports as wide ranging as football, basketball, tennis and weight lifting, several top sports stars freely acknowledge the advantage that going vegan has given them. See our article on strength and endurance for more examples.
John Salley, a former professional basketball player and four-time National Basketball Association championship winner—urges athletes to go vegan for optimal performance.
A proud native of Brooklyn, New York, John found a love for basketball at an early age. He accepted a Basketball Scholarship to Georgia Tech to play for legendary head coach Bobby Cremins. During his career, he played for the Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, Chicago Bulls and the LA Lakers.
He learned about the importance of healthy eating for his performance early in his career, and has been fully vegan since at least 2008.
“Being a vegetarian to me was my edge, the way I was going to be ahead of the guy I had to play against. He couldn’t beat me as long as he was harboring tons of flesh in his stomach at that time.” John Salley
John has been a staunch advocate for vegan diets, particularly as a health measure for athletes and to prevent harm to animals. He appeared before the US Congress to advocate for vegetarians options to be served in public schools as part of the Child Nutrition Act discussions, and has promoted Farm Sanctuary’s Walk for Farm Animals.
“I want to let everyone know you don’t have to be a wimp [to go plant-based] or have a bad attitude about it, and it tastes as good as the stuff that they told you was good for you,” Salley said. “Now you have something that is a good product and the same taste, but no animals have to die. I’m an advocate for life.”