A Number of NBA Stars Beginning to Turn Towards Plant-Based Diets
Once considered so outlandish and counter-productive, plant-based diets are increasing in popularity all throughout society. The health trend has also entered NBA circles.
Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Wilson Chandler, Al Jefferson, Garrett Temple, Enes Kanter, JaVale McGee and Jahlil Okafor are all examples of NBA players who, over the past year, have switched to vegetarian or even vegan diets.
“Been on more of a plant-based diet, getting away from the animals and all that,” Boston Celtics superstar Irving told ESPN during the preseason. “I had to get away from that. So my energy is up; my body feels amazing.”
The switch in diet has not gone unnoticed either as his head coach Brad Stevens has seen “great energy all year”, crediting the nutrition side to Irving’s lifestyle change.
Portland Trailblazers guard is in the same boat, as this past offseason, he decided to make a big change to his diet.
“I wanted to eat cleaner,” Lillard said this offseason. “Also I want to play lighter this year and be easier on my joints and feet. I’m getting older, you know what I mean?”
The NBA has seen an increase in weight by seven pounds per player from 2000 until 2013, but has since fallen by three pounds, contributing to the more fast-paced playing style fans see today. Irving himself contributed his quick playing style to his plant-based diet.
“It works,” Irving tells B/R Mag. “I mean, I’m not eating a whole bunch of animals anymore. Once you become awake, you don’t see that stuff anymore.”
As new health research continues to come up, the NBA does its part to provide its players the best diets available and many of its stars are already gravitating towards the new trend!