It is well known that after a tough gym session, run, race or game the body needs protein to recover. It is pretty easy to come by — a quick chicken stir fry, a boiled egg or maybe a whey protein shake. But what if you are a vegan?
Veganism is not new but it is growing in popularity, with no end of celebrities and cookbooks endorsing it. The most recent survey last year showed that the number of vegans in Britain had risen 360 per cent in a decade to 542,000 people aged over 15, according to the Vegan Society. And market researcher Euromonitor International last year found Australia is the third fastest growing vegan market in the world.
It seems that the number of top-flight sports stars who are choosing to remove all animal products from their diet is on the rise as well. The tennis sisters Serena and Venus Williams are vegans, as is former world heavyweight champion David Haye. Jermain Defoe, the Bournemouth and England striker, has taken up veganism in a bid to extend his career, as did the American football star Tom Brady, who is still at the top of his game at the age of 40.
Lewis Hamilton, the Formula One triple world champion, is also attempting to eat only plant-based foods. “As the human race, what we are doing to the world … the pollution (in terms of emissions of global-warming gases) coming from the amount of cows that are being produced is incredible,” he says. “Some say it is more than what we produce with our cars, which is kind of crazy to think. The cruelty is horrible and I don’t necessarily want to support that, and I want to live a healthier life.”