If you think there aren’t any great vegan athletes, think again! Many athletes are going for plant-based diets to keep them strong and healthy. Ironman triathlete Brendan Brazier, wrestler Daniel Bryan, the “World’s Toughest Mudder” Juliana Sproles are just a few of the athletes who have cut animal products out of their diets. Plus, there’s our list of 10 brawny and buff vegan men.
One vegan hockey player is challenging the stigma of being a vegan man and athlete. Mike Zigomanis of the Toronto Marlies says there are lots of athletes who don’t eat meat, dairy, eggs or any animal products, and they don’t fit the stereotypical image of a “vegan.” According to Vegetarian Star, Zigomanis says “It’s a stigma, I guess, when you’re a vegan and guys kind of label you. Hockey’s a big, macho sport. And when people think of vegans … what do you think of when you think of vegans? You tell me. Long hair. Tie-dyed T-shirt.”
He adds, “There’s one representation. But there’s bodybuilders, there’s MMA fighters, football players, basketball players. Triathletes, a lot of them are vegan. All the ultra-marathon runners are vegan.”
Zigomanis has even become a “nutritionist” of sorts for his teammates, who love their fast food. His coach Dallas Eakins shows support for his veg diet, saying “We’re going to respect everybody’s healthy diet, and it’s something he believes in. He seems to have had a handle on it. He hasn’t been any different than he has been in the past. He’s an extremely fit guy, someone that we rely on heavily every night, and it seems like he hasn’t missed a beat.”
It sounds like that vegan diet isn’t holding him back. You might want to give it a try!