By 90Min
March 29, 2018

Arsenal's Hector Bellerin has revealed that he is one of a growing number of sportspeople to be following a strict vegan diet this season.

The 23-year-old informed his mass following on Twitter that he has turned his back on meat and has opted for a plant-based diet, one which he hails as giving him the energy and recovering ability he needs as a professional athlete. 

Speaking to the Players Tribune, Bellerin spoke of when he made the change in diet, saying: "Since the beginning of the season, more or less. 

"At the beginning I wanted to try for a couple of weeks to detox my body, but I just felt so great after it that I have kept going for more than six months.

"The most noticeable thing is the inflammation in my body after games and in the speed that my body recovers compared to before. I always had a little problems with my ankles when I had played very hard games they would get a bit inflamed and stiff, and now I don't even have to strap them to play anymore.

GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

"Getting rid of all the other food that I was eating and then going into this plant-based diet did take a few days to make me feel better, but after about three weeks I felt so good and I was waking up in the morning with so much energy."

Aiming to offer a helping hand to those interested in following his lead Bellerin offered an insight into the misconceived perceptions of being a vegan, but did reveal that his teammates are constantly baiting him with meat. 

He added: "If this is a way for people to see you can be an athlete and a vegan and that open doors for other people, then of course I would love to help.

"People say 'being a vegan means you can only eat salad' but actually there's so many things like legumes and dried nuts which provide a lot of protein, we are just not used to eating it.

"Players like Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny they always tell me, 'where's the meat on the plate? Why are you not eating meat?' They always try and put meat on my plate, but it's all in good fun," he added.  

Whilst Bellerin has made 36 appearances for the Gunners this season he has been criticised for a lack of consistency, and his change in diet has only stirred up some of the Arsenal faithful in laying the blame at the feet of the vegetables...


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