MMA Fighters Thriving off Plant Power

MMA Fighters Thriving off Plant Power

By Jamie Matthewman
September 5th, 2014

Have you read Scott Jurek or Rich Roll’s inspiring books?

If so you’ll know there’s a growing number of professional endurance athletes, advocating the benefits of a plant based diet for increased stamina and performance. But I was surprised to hear, it’s not only endurance athletes reaping the benefits of plant based nutrition.

There is also a growing number of MMA fighters choosing plants to power their performance. A sport requiring very different physical demands than triathlons or ultra running. I heard about this whilst listening to Rich Roll interviewing Brendan Brazier recently. You can listen to it here.

Brendan, was one of the first professional athletes and proponents of a whole food plant based diet, even though he was told this kind of diet would never cut it on the professional Ironman circuit.

Ignoring this, his own personal experimentation and research discovered that what sets a top athlete’s performance apart, isn’t just training or natural ability; nutrition is a big differentiator too. Brendan found out first hand, that a plant-based, whole food diet helped him recover faster and train harder – propelling him to become a top professional Ironman triathlete. Since then he’s authored one of the go to books on plant based nutrition and been on a mission spreading this message across Northern America, through his businesses Thrive and Vega.

MMA Fighters Now Choosing a Plant Based Diet

During the past 10 years his message has spread along way, and now Brendan works closely with many top professional athletes across many sports including NFL, NBA, golf, baseball etc. But one of the biggest sports embracing his approach is MMA.

As you know MMA fighting is often brutal. It takes a certain kind of guy to get in the ring and potentially put his life on the line. Among many things it requires strength and power, speed and agility and an immense amount of stamina.

These men are modern day gladiators, alpha males who I’d assumed would be some of the last athletes to embrace the power of plants, but that’s not necessarily the case. Brendan explained in the podcast, he’s working with a growing number of professional MMA fighters who are wholeheartedly choosing a plant based, whole food diet. Some of these fighters include Nathan Diaz, Jake Shields and now retired UFC fighter Mac Danzig.

Fuel for the Figher, a collection of MMA fighters and coaches who’ve had great results by making a positive changes in “eating closer to the source” (eating foods that come directly from the earth), report

“some of the world’s top fighters eat no meat at all and many others have seriously cut down, and we all agree that our strength and endurance has improved.”

But you don’t have to be a professional athlete to benefit, even I’ve noticed a massive improvement in my overall health, fitness and well being, since moving to a predominantly plant based diet. I still eat free range eggs and cheese from time to time, although I’m avoiding these more and more.

My transition to a plant based diet has been evolving over the last 7 years, but its during the last 12 months since I’ve made a bigger commitment to eating a mainly plant based diet – albeit with a few steps backward along the way!

I’m running faster, I’ve had no serious illnesses or colds and I generally feel noticeably happier, lighter and more energised than when I eat any processed foods and refined carbohydrates. So I can vouch for this too.

What about you. Have you recently decided to change your diet to be more plant based? If so what benefits have you noticed? How’s the transition going?

Jamie Matthewman

About Jamie Matthewman

Jamie is the founder, main contributor and editor of The Inspired Man.

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