Is the soccer player of the future 'plant based'?

Video credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 6, 2020 - Duration: 01:53s

Is the soccer player of the future 'plant based'?

The modern soccer player needs to be a finely turned athlete to make it to the top of the game and diet is becoming an increasingly important part of those marginal gains.

Several aspiring Premier League stars are turning vegan in order to be the best.

Adam Reed reports.


Is the soccer player of the future 'plant based'?

Soccer players need to take fitness very seriously if they’re to make it in the modern game.

Whether it be the influence of dieticians, sports scientists or foreign coaches and team mates, today’s Premier League players are realizing how important health and nutrition really is.

And for some in England that now means giving up meat altogether and adopting a plant-based diet.


Class="kln">Norwich City defender Caleb Richards has gone a step further by putting his experiences and thoughts on his diet into an e-book "The Transition - an athlete's guide to a meat-free diet".

"Because we had quite a good understanding of nutrition it was quite easy.

We didn't just jump straight into crazy dishes with all lentils and mad stuff, we started quite easy with Quorn, not fully vegan just eating meat-free stuff, then started adding a few chickpeas and different types of protein sources elsewhere.

And then we did it kind of gradually so it wasn't hard, it was quite an easy transition." The 21-year-old decided to try two weeks without meat and said he noticed immediate benefits.

He has even had some of his Norwich Under-23 team mates, like central-defender Ciaren Jones, join him in the experiment.

Jones was shocked at the effects the diet change had on his recent recovery from injury.

"I was meant to be out for eight weeks but then I was only out for six weeks in total.

And when I was coming back from my injury I was getting quicker results than I was when I was fully fit." They’ve been helped by the fact several members of the club's first team squad are also vegan and the club's canteen provides meat-free options.

Other high-profile soccer players who’ve moved to meat-free include

Class="kln">Arsenal's Spanish defender Hector Bellerin and top women's player, Alex Morgan, of the World Cup-winning U.S. team.

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