Professional soccer player Hector Bellerin—who plays for English club Arsenal and the Spanish national team—revealed last week that he has adopted a plant-based diet this current season. “At the beginning, I wanted to try for a couple of weeks to detox my body, but I just felt so great after it that I have kept going for more than six months,” Bellerin told Players Tribune in a recent video. “The most noticeable thing is the inflammation in my body after games and in the speed that my body recovers, compared to before.” Bellerin explained that while his teammates are skeptical of his dietary shift, he is enjoying an increased level of energy and ability to recover and hopes to set an example for other athletes looking to transition to a plant-based diet. “If this is a way for people to see you can be an athlete and a vegan, and that opens doors for other people,” Bellerin said, “then of course I would love to help.” Bellerin joins a growing list of professional athletes—including basketball player Kyrie Irving, baseball player CC Sabathia, and race car driver Lewis Hamilton—who are eschewing animal products to optimize their performance.
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