India’s cricket captain Virat Kohli turned vegetarian last year, and four months ago he joined the ranks of vegan athletes. Now in the aftermath of India’s emphatic 3-0 whitewash defeat of South Africa in a Test series on home soil, Kohli has said that “he has never felt better in his life” as reported by India Today.
He has on social media said how much he has been influenced by the Game Changers documentary. “Being a vegetarian athlete has made me realise what I have believed all these years regarding diet was a myth. What an amazing documentary and yes I’ve never felt better in my life after I turned vegetarian” tweeted the batsman.
He used the term “vegetarian”. India has a long proud tradition of vegetarian food. Traditionally in India food is classified as either “vegetarian” or “non-vegetarian” so that term is part of the national lexicon. Cows are, of course, sacred animals.
Vegan diet has had a calming effect on Kohli’s temperament
However, in a recent article in the Times of India sources close to Kohli said that he actually decided to give up all eggs and dairy four months ago. His diet includes protein shakes, vegetables and soya. Kohli is “feeling stronger as his digestive power has increased. He isn’t missing meat, eggs or dairy” according to those sources who added that his diet has had a “calming effect on his temperament”. Being a vegan athlete clearly suits the cricketer.
Kohli has also transformed his fitness. He cricket isn’t doing too badly either. He obviously relishes the responsibility of being captain. In the Second Test at Pune he scored a monumental 254 not out in India’s first and only innings and was inevitably named Man of the Match.
The captain’s fitness transformation is clearly part of a cultural change taking place within the Indian cricket squad. Commentators were impressed in the Third Test against South Africa in Ranchi how much more threatening and relentless the Indian pace bowlers were compared to their South African counterparts. India’s total dominance over South Africa was remarkable – the three victories were very comfortable.
Perhaps James Anderson, England’s veteran fast bowler who is seriously thinking of becoming vegan, should take note.
Kohli’s wife, Anushka Sharma, is also “vegetarian.
The Indian cricket captain joins a long list of top sports stars who are vegan. Lewis Hamilton, Formula One world champion credits his vegan diet as a significant factor in his success.