Nate Diaz, the UFC fighter who pulled off an upset victory against featherweight champion and fan-favorite Conor McGregor earlier this month, spoke to Men’s Journal about his plant-based diet for the first time since the big win. “I like to promote the vegan industry,” Diaz said. “I hear a lot of criticism from people saying you need meat to be strong and for recovery, and it’s a bunch of bull, because I train harder than everybody.” The 30-year-old follows a trend gaining traction among professional fighters—Alex Caceres, James “Lightning” Wilks, CM Punk, and Diaz’s own brother Nick Diaz are all UFC names who have gone meat- and dairy-free to improve their performance. Diaz also shared how he ditched dairy at age 17, eliminating it from his diet for a month in preparation for a fight. When the match was over, Diaz dug into a “big bowl of fettucine alfredo,” thinking to himself, “Finally, I get to eat what I want.” The ensuing week of illness, headaches, and frequent bathroom trips was enough for the fighter to cut out dairy for good. “After that cleared up, I was like, ‘OK, I don’t need that anymore.’” Diaz said. “I felt better and realized I work better without that stuff.”
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