Credits: Eugene Onischenko/ Shutter-stock

Meet Vegan Athletes- Tough, Strong Vegans Defying The Carnivore Dominance

by | December 17, 2018

We were made to believe that for sports and vegan athletes, that animal protein is a necessary evil. Even those whose personal beliefs stood in the way of a carnivorous diet somehow had to warm up to the idea in order to ‘improve their diet and amp up the performance meter’. But not any more!

As believed earlier, a strong athletic body and vegan diet isn’t an oxymoron any-more. The National interviewed UAE’s three vegan athletes who are proving that you don’t need to exploit animals to be a top performer. 

Meet The Vegan Athletes 

Walter Penaloza, Vegan Marathon Runner 

vegan athletes
Credits: Walter Alejandro Penaloza/ Facebook

Born in Ecuador and raised in Switzerland, Walter Penaloza lives in Dubai and is a multi talented athlete. Penaloza (35) just completed Oman Trifecta after participating in the Spartan obstacle races (5 km, 15 km, and 25 km). Penaloza explains in the interview that it took him 4.5 hours to complete half a marathon when he was on a carnivorous diet, not to mention the sore body he had to endure for days post event. But recently it took him just four hours and fifty minutes to manage a full marathon without being sore the next day. Vegan since past two years, the athlete has been quoted as saying, 
“Before I always felt tired, heavy and sluggish. After going vegan, the effects were immediate and remarkable. My energy levels are very high, I feel a lot lighter and more peaceful. I also feel that my recovery and performance are improving every day.” 

As per his Facebook bio, the multi talented athlete is also a full time banker, health coach, Reiki-master, Yoga practitioner, Theta healer, Hypnotherapist and NLP Coach. Walter Penaloza also posted the amazing body transformation he underwent after embracing Veganism. Inspiring, isn’t it?

vegan athletes
Credits: Walter Alejandro Penaloza/ Facebook

Kevin Bradford, Vegan Triathlete

UAE’s another Vegan athlete who is defying all norms already. Kevin Bradford explains the initial skepticism he had about going Vegan and admits, “I assumed it would lead to a performance drop and I was looking to disprove that it was possible to perform consistently on a plant-based diet.” But all it did was reverse. As per Bradford, he can now eat as much as he wants without having to count calories. He has almost consistent weight with rare changes and the new plant-based diet perfectly complements his training and performance demands. In fact, the triathlete goes a step further and claims that in fact, his performance has improved after embracing Vegan living. 

Bradford has attributed his body transformation to a vegan diet. He says, with the shift he could finally let go off stubborn body fat he had accumulated over the years. His words of advice,

“Once you peel back the layers behind the products you consume, you may be shocked at what you find.” 

vegan athletes
Credits: Frontier Sports/ Facebook
Kevin Bradford (extreme right)

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Joanne Owen, Vegan Boat Racer

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Joanne Owen (standing 2nd from left), with her team.
Vegan Athletes 
Credits: The National

Joanne Owen is a dragon boat racer whose team, Dragonfire Dubai, won a Bronze medal at the dragon boat world championship that took place in Hungary this year. The vegan boat racer explains that she was dealing with several health issues and had been taking pills to suppress symptoms. She had to deal with depression, migraine, water retention, fatigue, muscle soreness, palpitations, asthma, thyroid, and even infertility. At one point she decided to undergo major diet changes and adopted vegan living. Owen claims, she no longer has frequent migraine or asthma attacks, her thyroid condition was cured and feels like a bundle of energy. She doesn’t experience fatigued anymore. She sums up her experience adding, “I worked alongside my omnivore teammates on the same rigorous regime with no dips in energy, endurance or power at all.”

Did this inspire you to embrace Veganism with open arms? Let us know in comments below.

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Mayuri Rajvanshi

Senior Editor | mayurii@raisevegan.com

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