An up-and-coming boxer from the UK is battling the misconception that top athletes need meat to succeed in sport.
Ace Adams, from Catford in south London, turned vegan in August 2018 after years as a pescatarian.
The 28-year-old super-middleweight was inspired to make the change after watching The Game Changers, a Netflix documentary about athletes who have thrived on a plant-based diet.
Most athletes rely on meat and dairy for their protein intake, but more and more are spurning animal products for their health, the environment, or animal welfare.
Adams told The Independent: “When I decided to take the plunge I was nervous as I didn’t feel there were many alternatives around.
“But now I find it so much better because there is a wider range of food and drinks. I’m still able to get protein in my body.
“I treat my body like a temple. There are health benefits to being vegan and it helps animals also.”
Adams, who turned pro in 2019 after a successful amateur career, says other fighters who hear about his diet are interested in how it benefits his performance.
He said: “The reaction has been positive. It gets people interested in how I sustain my energy levels. Some people fear what they don’t know so they ask questions. It’s very positive.”
“More and more boxers are eliminating meat from their diet. David Haye is vegan, and Mike Tyson and Timothy Bradley are vegan when they train.
“Years ago it was all about eating steak and drinking egg yolks like Rocky but there’s a different outlook now.”
German powerlifter Patrik Baboumian, told The Independent last month believed his veganism has vastly improved his performance.
Ace is a spokesman for the food company Good Hemp, which recently conducted a study with the University of Aberdeen’s Rowett Institute that found the plant’s seeds is one of most sustainable alternatives to protein. The research was published in the European Journal of Nutrition last year.