The performance of a vegan or vegetarian athlete compared to those who has a standard animal protein diet has been one of the fastest growing debates within the sports world these recent years. For that reason, the World Boxing Association (WBA) has decided to include the Veganism and Boxing forum as part of its 99th Online Convention.
The forum featured the participation of Bernard Hopkins, Dave Castro, Robert Gerrero and Chris Algieri, as well as Dr. Nina Radcliff, Shivana Inalsingh and the President of the WBA, Gilberto Jesus Mendoza. There was an intense and rewarding debate on this topic.
Algieri was a world champion and now works with athletes from different sports disciplines as a nutritionist. He states that both diets are different and that it is more difficult for someone to reach the maximum level with a vegan diet.
“I’ve worked with vegan and vegetarian athletes. Their decision is ethical, but we have to make sure they eat the proper amount of proteins to perform as athletes,” Algieri said.
Dr. Radcliff refuted his theory and cited an important example of a vegan athlete who has made it to the top: “People think you have to eat meat to be strong, but Patrik Baboumian is the strongest man in the world and he’s a vegan.”
Algieri stressed that it is not impossible to reach the highest level with a vegan diet, but he did admit that, according to his experience, it is a more complicated job.
Hopkins, who has been a vegan for three years, talked about the difficult process he had to face when he went vegan: “I became a vegan three years ago and went through transitions. I needed to talk to people to educate myself. Now I think differently about what it is to be an athlete,” Hopkins said.
Mendoza talked about the vegan lifestyle, which is his lifestyle, and about the benefits it has, as well as the conscious movement it represents. He asked Hopkins if he thought his career as a boxer would have been successful if he had been a vegan for decades.
“I don’t know if I would have been successful as a boxer, but I think my success was not based on food but on other aspects. I don’t know if I can answer that question,” Hopkins said. He also explained that he feels much better since he adopted a vegan lifestyle.
The renowned CEO of Crossfit Games, Dave Castro, also participated in the forum. He and Robert Guerrero talked about their work experience. They explained how they used CrossFit to complement Guerrero’s training and the benefits it offered from a physical point of view.
This Veganism and Boxing forum was one of the most interesting of the convention. There was a great debate and important ideas were discussed on this matter.