Veganism is becoming all the rage in the NBA.

Traditionally, football, hockey, and baseball always eat meat-heavy meals to have a diet high in protein, allowing them to work out and build muscle. Basketball players are a little bit different, though.

These days, a lot of NBA stars are going with a plant-based diet in an effort to have a healthier overall lifestyle that helps them cut weight and give them more energy. With raised concern for heart disease, high cholesterol, and blood pressure in society as a whole, our athletes are taking solace in the vegan lifestyle as well.

Today we’re going to look at a few vegan NBA players and why they decided to ditch meat in favor of this new athlete eating trend.

Damian Lillard

Dame is one of the league’s premier players, so why would such a promising career need a lifestyle change like veganism? It wasn’t to promote products like Beyond Meat or help anyone’s NBA bets.

In the summer of 2017, Lillard wanted to shed some weight to get quicker, play a bit lighter, and lessen the pressure on his joints. Knee and ankle injuries can and have derailed so many young NBA careers, so Dame wasn’t going to take any chances there.

He also cited his post-playing career for the diet switch. In an interview, he described being able to shed the weight of a meat-heavy diet when the season starts, but as you get older, that’s not always going to be easy. It should be noted that Lillard recently went back to meat after losing “too much weight“.

Jahlil Okafor

Okafor has always been reliant on a mostly plant-based diet, but recently made it 100% official. After suffering several setbacks early in his career from nagging knee injuries (see…), he dropped nearly 30 lbs, going from a hefty 280 down to 250.

It’s hard to go through rehab time and time again when you’re carrying that extra body weight. It leads you down a path where you can never get your joints healthy because of the extra stress being put on them. Carrying less weight just makes it that much easier.

Michael Porter Jr.

Michael Porter Jr. is one of the most exciting young talents in the NBA, even though we haven’t seen him suit up yet. He actually grew up in a vegetarian household, so Porter is used to a meatless diet, but he’s now vowing to go 100% vegan in order to maximize his playing ability.

It was his mother who convinced him to take this approach, enlisting the help of a pro-organic lifestyle chiropractic doctor that let Porter Jr. know that these healthy changes can lead to an elongated playing career.

Kyrie Irving

Kyrie’s brand is one of the biggest in basketball, so him going vegan will likely be an influential decision moving forward. It wasn’t until he was traded to the Celtics two years ago that he made the switch.

He’s not one to shy away from stating his opinions and he made it clear that his new diet has given him more energy and a better overall feeling about his body and ability to last through the season.

We’ll See More Vegan NBA Players Soon

These are just a few of the high profile vegan NBA players, but there are even more that have made the switch. Javale McGee, Enes Kanter, and Al Jefferson have all given veganism an honest go and players like Victor Oladipo are starting to phase out meat and processed foods.

At the end of the day, these players are trying to feel good and give themselves the best chance they can to succeed. Even the most voracious meat-eater has to give them credit for that.

Did you enjoy this article? Come back and visit us for more on EDM culture and lifestyle.