Reading Time: < 1 minute Leoni switched to a vegan diet for ethical and environmental reasons but soon spotted improved athletic performance Credit: Instagram
Reading Time: < 1 minute

Vegan professional athlete Tommaso Leoni was crowned champion of Italiani Assoluti – a leading snowboarding competition in Italy.

Since going vegan, he spoke to Plant Based News about how his health and performance have significantly improved.

Now, he’s set his sights on the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

Tommaso Leoni

Leoni is a member of Italy’s national snowboardcross team and has been practicing the sport since he was 13.

When he switched his diet from vegetarian to vegan, it was for ethical and environmental reasons. However, he soon saw boosted athletic performance and health improvements too.

This led him to compete in the Sochi Olympic Winter Games in 2014, as well as various World Cup competitions.

Protein myths

‘At first, I was a bit skeptical about being at the same time both athlete and vegan. This was for the several myths about lack of proteins, iron, and other essential nutrients deficiency.

‘But, after a while I discovered that my performance was great and I was feeling strong and energetic.

‘Also after injuries, I had a better and faster recovery, and this is just amazing!’, Leoni told PBN.

Now he encourages his 16,000 Instagram followers to go vegan too.

Leoni announced the news on his Instagram account

Vegan athletes

The meat and dairy industries have long pushed the concept that vegan athletes risk missing out on protein.

Leading scientists and experts have since been dispelled this. Moreover, vegan athletes in their droves are boasting enhanced health and smashing world titles along the way.

The likes of the hit documentary The Game Changers help spread the word, shedding a light on the powers of a plant-based diet.

A wealth of plant-based foods contain good sources of protein, such as lentils, beans, seitan, tofu, nutritional yeast, grains, and oats.

Emily is a News and Features Writer for Plant Based News. She has previously worked as a journalist in Devon, UK, reporting on local issues from politics to the environment.