Jermain Defoe (born 7 October 1982) is an English professional footballer who plays as a striker for Premier League club Sunderland and the England national team.
Defoe has revealed that adopting a vegan diet to remain young in body and mind is a key to his come back to make England’s World Cup squad. He said, “Years later I’m back in the squad at 34 and scoring goals for my country again. I’m just delighted.”
He has never touched alcohol, will not eat chocolate and drinks daily spinach, kale and nettle smoothies, and he is now trying to cut meat, fish and dairy out of his diet.
It’s certainly not uncommon for competitive athletes to try a vegan diet. He said, “Everyone wants to feel fresh in the game – there’s no better feeling – so I just make sure I’m doing the right things and trying to tick every box: cryotherapy, massage, eating the right things … I’m trying to turn vegan,” Defoe said. “That’s a funny one because, when I go to my mum’s, she’s got every kind of meat you can imagine out on the table… I eat a lot of fish, so it’s not easy but I’m trying and I feel good so I’ll continue to do it.”
“I think I’ve managed [to adopt veganism] successfully…I don’t find anything hard to give up, as such, because I know the feeling scoring goals gives me. So, while getting in an ice bath isn’t nice, I just think: ‘You know what? I’m going to do this and be rewarded.’ It’s hard but in another way it’s easy because all I want to do is play well and score goals.”
“It’s just the way football has gone. The demands on the players are so high with the intensity of the games these days. But with the sports science, if you do things right and look after yourself you can keep going.
“The key thing for me is recovery and how you look after yourself after the games to give yourself the best opportunity to perform in the next game. I seem to have got that to a tee. There’s a lot of things I do away from training and playing that help me to perform on match day.”
Best wishes Defoe!