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5 Plant-Based Athletes That Blow the Protein Myth Out of the Water


Unfortunately, most people are still under the illusion that you need animal protein if you want to be strong and healthy.

Thankfully, despite the obvious opposition the following five athletes are on a mission to bust the protein myth wide open and show the world that you can, in fact, be at the top of your game, while being fueled by plants.

I’m pretty sure that nobody is asking these guys where they get their protein…

1. Patrik Baboumian (aka Germany’s Strongest Man)

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Proudly sporting his “I Am a Vegan Badass” t-shirt, Patrik Baboumain made history at this year’s Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival when he carried an incredible 550 kilos for over 10 meters, setting a new unofficial world record. As if that wasn’t enough to prove that you don’t need meat to be big and strong, Patrik celebrated his impressive feat by letting out a roar to the tune of “vegan power”.

After going vegetarian in 2006 and vegan 5 years later, Patrik is driven by compassion and the desire to break stereotypes about meat eating tough guys. Mission accomplished Patrik!

2. Scott Jurek


Not many athletes have made such an impression on their sport like Scott Jurek, making him a shining example of what is possible with a plant-based diet. Based in Colorado, Scott is a vegan ultramarathon runner with a whole host of amazing achievements under his belt, from becoming the first American winner of the annual 246k Spartathon in Greece to setting the American record for the 24 hour run logging over 165 miles.

Described by Chris McDoughall in his revolutionary book ‘Born to Run’ as “the top ultrarunner in the county, maybe in the world, arguably of all time”, Scott has been a vegan since 1997 and is a passionate advocate of the cause, stressing its importance in endurance, recovery and health.

3. Mac Danzig

UFC 145: Jones v Evans - Weigh In

Competing at the highest level of Mixed Martial Arts, despite wanting to eat a plant-based diet, Mac Danzig believed that he couldn’t be a professional athlete without animal protein. As a result he continued to eat chicken and fish even though it conflicted with his ethics, but everything changed when he started working with a vegan trainer who helped him make the switch.

After going vegan in 2004 he went on a 12 fight winning streak, won the King of the Cage Lightweight Championships in 2005 and defended the title four times, won the Ultimate Fighter 6 competition in 2007 and was awarded Knockout of the Night when he beat Joe Stephenson in 2010.

4. Rich Roll


After being unable to climb his stairs at the age of 40 due to an excessive lifestyle of alcohol, drugs, poor diet and inactivity, Rich Roll realized his health was at risk and decided to adopt a whole foods plant-based diet and began to train.

His goal was to enter an ultramarathon, but after being unable to secure a place he did manage to gain entry to the Ultraman 2008, three day event and with only 6 months training he finished 11th overall and recorded the 2nd fastest swim. In 2009 he was named one of the “25 Fittest Guys in the World” by Men’s Fitness Magazine. Boasting the tagline ‘Plant Strong!’ Rich is an outspoken supporter of a plant-based lifestyle spreading the message wherever he goes.

5. Brendan Brazier


Ironman triathelete, and endurance runner, Brendan Brazier credits his plant-based diet for helping him recover from a serious road accident in 2003, after which he went on to become the Canadian 50k champion as well as set the record for the Bigfoot Half Ironman course.

Brendan is a big advocate of plant-based nutrition for sport, and proudly talks about the advantages of this lifestyle especially in terms of allowing you to train harder and recover faster.

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219 comments on “5 Plant-Based Athletes That Blow the Protein Myth Out of the Water”

Click to add comment
Steph Flynn
8 Months Ago

I am transitioning to a wfpb diet. I have watched Forks over Knives and What the Health. Both indicate that too much protein is bad. what is the optimal amount of protein that I should consume in a day?

Is there a balanced diet map that shows servings of grains, fruits, veggies and plant based proteins?

I imagine that getting this wrong will be as detrimental as my old diet. Help for a newbie

adrian lopez
22 May 2018

if you are trying to convert to a wfpb diet there are no restrictions on how much of whole food you can eat with exception to olives, nuts, and avocados. eat till you are full!! and enjoy the benefits

Rebecca Allen
1 Years Ago

Please check out Korin Sutton! He\'s Pro plant and a spokesperson of Heroes for Kids. Lovely man!

3 Years Ago

Great article! It\'s great to have guys like these out there paving the way and showing people what is possible!

I wrote a similar article that I hope you don\'t mind me sharing. It includes those mentioned above, but also a number of plant powered female athletes too! If you\'re interested, the link is here:



Amanda Williams
08 Jul 2017

great info may I use this to include on my socail media ?

Amanda Williams
10 Jul 2017

Please can I use this nfo for my social media page?

3 Years Ago

I would also like to mention the following athlete

Alexey Voevoda is Russian Arm-wrestling and Bob sleight champion who has turned Vegetarian. He claims that the plant based diet has been beneficial to hes sport.

brock wilson
4 Years Ago

Cna you get me any specifics on type, timing and volume? I own a gym with some vegan clients and I dont know how to best direct their efforts to put on muscle.

fay durrant
22 Oct 2014

did you get any replys to this?
IF your clients are still looking for help with this, let me know, I am a Personal Trainer and also a vegan.
hpay to offer advice.


29 Apr 2017


Karl Ess, vegan champ!!

Waleska Rodriguez
4 Years Ago

Carlo Blanco

Constance McQuoid
4 Years Ago


Nicole Hirsch
4 Years Ago

It would have been great to also include what foods they eat to get their protein.

Lana E Smith
4 Years Ago

Jonathan Smith

Andrea L Belanus
4 Years Ago

so sick of being asked that question...sheesh


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