A lengthy feature this week on The Washington Post spotlighted vegan athletes, demonstrating that plant-based diets build strength. Writer Kirsten Harke spoke with football player David Carter, body builder Torre Washington, Olympian Carl Lewis, and several medical professionals to gain insight into how high level athletic performance is affected by a plant-based diet. Carter explained, “The biggest and strongest animals on the planet—elephants, gorillas, rhinos—are herbivores,” and confirmed that obtaining enough protein from plants is not a problem. “Protein is actually a fairly small percentage of what goes into a healthy diet,” sports dietitian Susan Levin said, before explaining that athletes require more calories, not more protein. James Loomis—Director of Washington DC-based vegan hospital Barnard Medical Center—also advocates that athletes switch to a plant-based diet, stating, “If we help develop healthy habits in younger athletes, it helps them in post-career.” A slew of vegan athletes—including Icelandic weightlifter Hulda B. Waage and German strongman Patrik Baboumian—are setting new records in their respective sports worldwide.
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