There is a new class of fighter rising from the ranks – one who’s trying to bring the notoriously violent combat sports and the peace-loving lifestyle of veganism into coexistence. Is that even possible? Can it be done effectively without compromising your health and performance?
These are some of the questions that seem to echo in the minds of most fighters who may have an interest in veganism but are still afraid to make the jump due to some well-founded concerns. For decades, protein-rich foods such as meats have been linked with vitality in combat sports. Pro athletes across the history of fight games have been put on a higher pedestal by fans and experts alike due to their wild eating habits. From MMA fighter Connor McGregor’s dedicated, protein-rich diet to WBO junior welterweight champion Ruslan Provodnikov’s raw moose liver eating habits, it keeps getting more and more insane.
On the other side of the line, accomplished fighters like Chi Lewis Parry are growing proof that there exist alternative ways to fuel your strength and reach your performance goals.
When did you change your dietary plans?
“In 2018 I took the first steps in a new direction. For the better. I chose to follow a vegan diet.”
Did you face any skepticism regarding the change in your diet?
“Typically, in today’s climate, the word ‘Vegan’ is associated with an almost malnourished undertone.”
What has been the most astonishing breakthrough on your vegan journey?
“The idea that a person with a very active lifestyle can live and train as good, if not better than those of the carnivorous variety still blows my mind.”
What is your advice to the next generation of fighters based on your experience with veganism?
“I hear many different opinions and testimonies regarding Veganism but nothing can prepare you better than getting started yourself…(And) it’s easier than you think.”
Any words of motivation for the young athletes and fitness enthusiasts interested in making the jump to vegan?
“Take the first step towards a new ‘feel good’ healthy lifestyle and do good for the sake of our animal brothers and sisters and our planet.”
The most asked question from MMA fans about vegan elite athletes diet has been: “How do they get enough protein?” Sure, meat is high in protein, but it isn’t the only source of protein. Pro-fighters like Chopper Chi frequently switch out conventional sources of protein for the following vegan substitutes:
- The budget-friendly quorn as a substitute for chicken.
- The trustworthy soya in place of beef.
- Tofu as a versatile and tasty alternative to meat.
- Sweet almond milk or oat milk as a replacement for milk – works especially well in your cereal.
Other Stories of Success
Considered a legendary fighter, especially among the older generation of MMA fans, Nate Diaz, is another vegan athlete who sings high praises of vegan diets. A long-practicing vegan, despite his dietary restrictions, Nate Diaz embodies the high-volume punching prowess and explosive energy in fights possessed by some of the biggest names in MMA.
“I switched to a total vegan diet…no meat or dairy, and I feel stronger than ever and my endurance is only getting better,” he explained.
He’s had a prolific career, with numerous exciting cage fights against the likes of Anderson Silva, B.J. Penn, Evangelista Santos, and Robbie Lawler, to name a few.
While many MMA fans may still be skeptical about the benefits of veganism, there has been a growing trend in fighters switching to vegan. They claim it’s been overall healthier, gives them more energy, and makes them feel lighter. Vegan fighters like Chopper Chi are here to break the stereotype by setting the example that they too can rule the octagon.