Still think you need meat to be strong? Think again. You’ve probably heard this before: a friend (or a friend of a friend, relative, etc…) tried a plant-based diet only to discover that they felt fatigued and weak. Their conclusion? Not enough protein. Protein is an essential part of any diet and while we may have been raised to believe that it is elusive in plant-based diets, that’s just not true. From beans and legumes to plant-based meats, a vegan diet has no shortage of protein — and there are also plenty of plant-based protein powders on the market to help the athlete in you thrive. Thanks to the awesome badassery served to us by plant-powered athletes like Kendrick Farris, Team USA’s only male weightlifter at the Rio Olympics. Let’s also not forget the likes of Patrick Baboumian, a German powerlifter who was not only named “Germany’s Strongest Man” in 2011 but has also broken multiple powerlifting records. Not to mention, Venus Williams has continued to play tennis like a complete and total boss while slamming dairy milk in a campaign alongside DJ Khaled, all while maintaining a vegan diet.

We could go on, but we think you get the picture — meat and dairy don’t make the athlete. Just like any other athlete, the vegan athlete achieves greatness through hard work, determination, and a relentless training regimen. Want just one more example? Take a look at Hulda B. Waage, an Icelandic powerlifter, who not only recently went home with a shiny new championship trophy, but also broke a new national record. And yeah, she’s vegan.

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Icelandic vegan powerlifter Waage broke a national record when she deadlifted 205 kilos — that’s nearly 452 pounds! Waage told Iceland Monitor that “you can be strong without eating meat and animal byproducts.”

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Waage also credits her success to her diet, saying that “I’ve reached the age when the body produces more swelling. I believe my diet helps with this and I recover more quickly after practices.” Plant-based diets just so happen to be high in anti-inflammatory foods, so we’re inclined to agree with her. Of course, all of her success doesn’t come without the help of a serious training regimen. According to Waage, she trains for powerlifting five times a week and also includes swimming, walking, and stretches in her workouts. We hope to see more record-breaking from this awesome vegan athlete in the future!

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To learn more about Waage, visit her official website and check out her Instagram to see snippets of her daily training.

All image source: Iceland Monitor

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