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Veganism and Endurance Sports : Challenge and Success

Veganism and Endurance Sports : Challenge and Success

If you’ve ever had the notion that vegan diets ARE NOT compatible with high endurance sports, think again. Vegan athletes at the highest level of sports have sustained world class results while maintaining their commitment to veganism. 

Carl Lewis, Scott Jurek, Serena Williams, Tony Gonzalez, and Arian Foster are just a few of the many vegan athletes that have risen to the top of their profession. So many endurance sport athletes have had a great deal of success following a vegan diet.

To give you a better idea of why veganism and endurance sports are compatible, and why you should make the switch to become a vegan, let’s take a deeper look at just what the journey looks like.

The Health Factor

In the world of endurance sports, cardiovascular health is absolutely essential. Since your heart is working at an alarming rate on a regular basis, you need to limit any potential issues that can come with not having a healthy heart.

By committing to a vegan diet, you’re able to avoid the saturated fats in meat and dairy products that are proven to cause issues with cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health.

The bottom line is that veganism and athletics go hand in hand because of the heart health benefits that the lifestyle provides.

The Challenges

One of the major arguments against a vegan lifestyle for endurance athletes is that the diet will not give them enough energy to consistently sustain a high level of performance. You will hear that you will need the saturated fat and high protein levels found in meat.

The thing is, gaining energy from food isn’t all that complex. It simply comes down to the fact that endurance athletes must eat more calories on a daily basis in order to accommodate for their training regimens.

It’s a simple concept that is necessary whether you are a vegan athlete or someone who has a diet filled with meat at every meal.  More calories are necessary, that amount depends on the level of training that you commit to on a daily basis. It’s really that simple.


Possibly the greatest proof that you can succeed at the highest levels of endurance sports as a vegan athlete is Scott Jurek. Jurek is an ultramarathon runner that is known as one of the most dominant runners in the world.

He’s won dozens of marathons throughout his lifetime. In 1999, Jurek competed in and won the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run. To do it, he beat five-time champion and endurance sports legend Tim Twietmeyer.

Jurek even wrote a book, titled Eat & Run, about his life of combining veganism and athletics. It’s one that is well worth your time if you’d like to take a deeper look into how athletic greatness can be achieved through a vegan diet.


Success in endurance sports can be achieved through any diet you choose.

The argument being made here, however, is that the cardiovascular health benefits that a vegan diet offers make it the optimal choice for any endurance athlete.

 Just ask Scott Jurek...