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16th Jan 2019

Chris Smalling says going vegan has “provided lots of positives”

Wayne Farry

Smalling previously credited a vegan diet with helping him “recover quicker.”

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling opened up on Wednesday on how his vegan diet has helped him as a footballer.

Smalling previously discussed the benefits of veganism in terms of recovery, having switched to a plant-based diet on the advice of his wife Sam.

In a video with Manchester United which was posted on social media to mark the Veganuary movement, Smalling discussed adopting a fully vegan diet, and how it fits in with his life as a professional footballer.

“There are so many documentaries out there and so much more information,” he said, explaining how he came to the decision to go vegan initially. “I think it is hard to ignore some of the facts and that is definitely a big part of why I will stay vegan.”

Smalling then discussed how the diet works in terms of the nutritional requirements of being a footballer, and whether United’s chef provides him with enough options.

“He (the chef) knows my diet at home and that I get the right nutrients, it is an easy setup,” he said.

“Me and my wife come up with a list we have at home and bounce ideas off each other.

“At United, there is often a nice buffet of food and one or two are plant-based. Quite often, a lot of people who aren’t following that diet will try it as well because it is good food.

“Before I game I have pasta to carb-up before with a vegan Bolognese but there are so many ideas you never get stuck for what to have.”

Asked if many other footballers followed the diet, Smalling admitted that it was growing in popularity.

“I’ve spoken to Jermain Defoe at England when he was transitioning and quite a few other plant-based people who are following that diet. It is good, it is spreading, it is a healthy way to live.

“It is popular in America, in England and I think more sports people will (go vegan) and the public as well. When you start looking into it, it is hard to avoid a lot of the positives that come from it.”

As you can imagine, Smalling’s critics weren’t taking it at face value.

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