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Neil Robertson has been following the same diet as Lewis Hamilton for the best part of a decade, although he was not inspired to do so by the Mercedes ace. Robertson, who will be playing in the British Open this week, is one of snooker’s most decorated stars having won at least one professional tournament every year between 2006 and 2022.
The 41-year-old has followed a vegan diet since 2014, following in the footsteps of Hamilton by doing so in an attempt to improve his health. However, he previously revealed that he was only inspired to change his lifestyle after speaking with fellow snooker star Peter Ebdon, who had been vegan for several years before Robertson joined in.
“I felt I needed to eat healthier to give myself the chance to get the most out of my career,” he told Great Vegan Athletes back in 2015. “I was pretty interested in the vegan diet for months before I decided to give it a try through speaking to Peter Ebdon who has been vegan for about three years now.”
Although Robertson never eats animal food products, he avoids describing himself as a fully-fledged vegan because he is unable to eliminate all other non-vegan products, with vegan snooker shoes proving difficult to source.
“Going completely vegan is something I could see myself doing in the future,” he added. “It certainly makes me feel like a better person for the change and knowing we can get everything we need on a plant based diet.”
Robertson also believes that following a vegan diet helps him to avoid food-related problems while travelling the world to play snooker, with many of his peers often suffering from food poisoning as a result of eating meat.
“It was down to how I was at tournaments, with travel, especially when you go to China,” he explained. “However you look at it, there is a lot of dodgy meat out there. There’s always half a dozen players ending up with food poisoning. I didn’t really want to be one of those players.”
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A growing number of top-level athletes are going vegan, with Robertson and Hamilton just two of the most successful plant-based sportspeople. The likes of Novak Djokovic, Alex Morgan and Venus Williams also follow vegan diets and have credited their lifestyle choices with inspiring their success in their respective fields.
Hamilton previously insisted that his veganism was a major reason for his sporting success and changing his energy levels for the better, telling Men’s Health: “I have more energy, I’m so much more productive. I wake up feeling way better, clearer in thought and fresher in my body.
“I recover quicker, I sleep better, my skin cleared up, I have fewer allergies. There are just so many impacts. I’m physically in better shape than I’ve ever been and my plant-based programme has played such a big role in that.”
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