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Formula 1 racer, Lewis Hamilton, has been vegan since 2017. Despite doubt and criticism, the seven-time F1 championship winner is now tied for most championships ever won. Although doctors originally warned him it would be difficult to meet his nutritional needs through a vegan diet, Hamilton knew they were wrong and proceeded despite their warnings. Now, the vegan F1 racer is considered by many to be one of the greatest athletes the sport has ever seen.

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Rather than experiencing depleted energy levels, Hamilton found the opposite to be true. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Hamilton explained how after adopting a vegan diet he experienced more sustained energy and clearer skin. He is one of a handful of athletes proving that veganism is a sustainable diet, even for professional athletes with high protein needs. Other professional athletes who follow a vegan diet include Venus Williams, Kyrie Irving, and Justin Fields.

One of Hamilton’s driving reasons for adopting a plant-based diet was concern for the environment. Hamilton points out how much Pollution is inherent in the consumption of animal products. Cattle, especially, have an extremely high environmental impact, points out the vegan F1 racer. Additionally, he cites the cruel practices used in animal husbandry as a reason for his vegan diet. A family history of heart disease and diabetes clinched the decision for him. 

Vegan athletes such as Hamilton must follow a regimented diet whether or not they are plant-based. Calorie, carb, and protein needs are high. However, plant-based foods are more than capable of meeting all of these nutritional needs. Meat substitutes, legumes, tofu, tempeh, quinoa, and many more have high levels of protein to Support muscle growth and recovery. If you are interested in a vegan diet, check out this grocery guide for newly plant-based eaters.

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