5 current and former tennis players who follow the vegan diet

Only a handful of tennis players are currently vegan

Over time, games like tennis have become more professional, which has seen many people switch to vegan diets in order to stay healthy and succeed at the highest level.

Studies have shown that there are many benefits to giving up dairy products, meat and eggs. This has led many top athletes to abstain from these animal products and go vegan.

Novak Djokovic attributed his successes on the pitch to switching to a vegan diet. (Getty Pictures)

Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, especially in food. It is an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of animals while a follower of the philosophy is known as a vegan.

Changing diets is not easy, especially for athletes. The need for muscle and mass can be provided by protein, which is mainly provided by meat. However, veganism seems to be spreading all over the world, and many people in sports are embracing this lifestyle.

While many top athletes are now changing their old ways by going vegan and still excelling, let’s take a look at some of the vegan tennis players.

1) Venus Williams

Seven-time Grand Slam singles winner Venus Williams, now 41, adopted a raw vegan diet after being diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome in 2011.

Venus Williams, 39, has been on a vegan diet for some time now and still manages to play competitive tennis at the highest level.

She converted to veganism after the advice of her doctors, who suggested she would be relieved of some of her symptoms such as extreme fatigue and joint pain. Venus a few years ago during an interview with Health Magazine revealed her reasons for converting to veganism.

“I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and wanted to maintain my performance on the court. Once I started I fell in love with the concept of fueling your body in the best way possible. [through raw, vegan food].

“Not only does it help me on the pitch, but it feels like it’s doing the right thing for me,” Venus explained.

Williams, while speaking to Women’s Health, also gave insight into how her day is going and what she eats. The former world No. 1 explained the difficulties of following the vegan diet at the start of the change. However, shaking seems to be his priority, especially on the courts.

“I’m taking him to court with me,” she said. “When I’m ready to fill up and I lose energy before I get to that, I take sips. This way I can last the whole practice.

She was also generous enough to share one of her favorites shaken.

2) Serena Williams

Venus’s sister and fellow gaming legend Serena Williams is believed to be on a mostly vegan diet after seeing her sister sick. Together, they both tried lots of raw foods and smoothies.

After watching her sister Venus fall ill, Serena Williams also opted to follow a vegan diet, although she doesn’t practice it rigorously. (Getty Pictures)

However, the record 23-time Grand Slam champion does not follow a rigorous or strict vegan diet. In an article published in Hungry Forever, Serena reportedly said:

“I think it’s really silly to cleanse your system sometimes just to get rid of all the junk and stuff like that that’s just in your system and let the plant soil really clean you out. So I’m a big believer in that.

Serena, like her sister, was more than happy to share what she likes to eat inside her new diet. She also named avocados and beef as two items she just doesn’t like. However, she mentioned that she wants to have a healthy lifestyle and it played a role in her diet.

“I want to have a healthy lifestyle and, as you know, [I’m eating] lots of greens and mostly plant based lately, just super healthy stuff.

3) Martina Navratilova

A champion of the game of tennis with 18 Grand Slam titles to her name Martina Navratilova is a household name to everyone. She busted the myth that athletes need to eat good meat to be successful in performing regularly

After converting to veganism at the height of her career, Navratilova was able to extend her career and continue to compete at the highest level. She is also a strong supporter of PETA – (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

4) Novak Djokovic

Djokovic switched to a vegan and gluten-free diet after collapsing in the middle of a match. The Serbian, after winning the Wimbledon title in 2019, has revealed his performance on the court has improved since switching to plant-based diets.

“I eat plant-based. I think that’s one of the reasons I’m recovering well.

However, it looks like Djokovic doesn’t want to be labeled as a vegan even though he uses plant-based foods. His wife, Jelena, said she was not the reason he changed his diet. Nevertheless, the Serbian is one of the best in the world, and maybe his diet can extend his time on the pitch.

5) Nick Kyrgios

Not a name many would expect in the list. Yet tennis’ “bad boy” recently went vegan following a disaster.

Kyrgios was devastated by the loss of animals during the bushfires in Australia earlier this year.

Nick Kyrgios recently went vegan (Getty Images)

He has participated in fundraising campaigns and says it was his love and passion for animals that drove him to become a vegan.

“I no longer eat meat or dairy products. It’s not for my health, I just don’t believe in eating animals,” Kyrgios said, speaking to Athlete’s voice blog.

“Seeing the pictures of these animals suffering from the fires only reinforces why I chose this diet. When I see these terrible pictures, I can’t understand eating meat.

While Kyrgios has often been called out for his statements and actions on the pitch, there’s no doubt he deserves some credit for changing his diet and going vegan.

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