Athletes have a long history of following high-carb diets. In recent years, however, low-carb diets like the keto diet are becoming increasingly popular amongst superstar athletes. From fat loss and lean muscle gain to greater endurance and quicker post-workout recovery, just ask LeBron James or Novak Djokovich and they’ll tell you all about the benefits of following a low-carb Keto diet.
Surprised to see such big names and legends of their sports going low-carb and high-fat? Keep reading to get the rundown on which of today’s top athletes have followed a Keto diet and witnessed amazing results!
LeBron James: 3-Time NBA Champion
NBA superstar LeBron James, who happens to be one of the best basketball players of all-time, made headlines after transitioning to a low-carb Keto diet and losing an astounding 25 pounds. Although he’s never suffered from a weight problem, a number of sources said LeBron was trying to lose weight to alleviate the pressure put on his aging knees.
LeBron is far from being the only NBA star to adopt a low-carb Keto diet. In addition to a couple of other big NBA names, which you’ll see below, Ray Allen, LeBron’s ex-Miami Heat teammate, also began following a sugar-free Keto diet in 2013. He lost 10 pounds in no time at all and benefitted from improved post-game recovery, which Allen said was his primary goal.
Amanda Beard: 7-Time Olympic Swimming Medalist
Amanda Beard, the youngest U.S. Olympic swimming medalist of all-time, switched to a Keto diet to lose weight after giving birth to her son. She continued following her low-carb diet and added kettlebell exercises to her daily workout routine to maximize her fitness and performance when attempting to qualify for her fourth Olympic Games in 2012.
Amanda failed to qualify for the Olympics a final time that year. However, she accredited her ability to beat out dozens of much younger competitors at the Olympic Trials to eating a low-carb Keto diet.
Apolo Ohno: 8-Time Olympic Speed Skating Medalist
Prior to competing in his last Winter Olympics in 2010, in which he smashed records and became the winningest winter Olympian of all-time, Apolo Ohno followed a strict low-carb diet that was very Keto-esque. The results speak for themselves as Ohno won his record breaking eighth Winter Olympics medal!
Eating Keto helped Ohno shed 16 pounds and trim down to three percent body fat for the games. Eating nothing but fatty fish, vegetables, and an occasional piece of fruit, Ohno experienced better strength, endurance, and focus to go for the gold.
Frank Mir: Former UFC Heavyweight Champion
Frank Mir is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion with a long career of bruising and tapping out opponents. After following a vegan diet for some time and feeling “softer,” Mir went Keto in 2011 and never looked back.
After going Keto, he quickly gained muscle and regained his strength. According to Mir, ketogenics also helped him enter the ring lighter, leaner, and more energized, which he credits for helping to prolong his career.
Kobe Bryant: 5-Time NBA Champion
The heir apparent to Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant will go down in history as one of the best basketball players of all-time. He had a long career of deep playoff runs and NBA Finals appearances on his way to winning five NBA championship trophies as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.
According to Kobe’s trainer, he went Keto for its many health and performance enhancing benefits. Kobe’s Keto diet included plentiful amounts of butter and grass-fed beef, which are two Keto Diet staples. He also eliminated sugars completely and kept his carbohydrate intake to a minimum. These dietary changes helped Kobe feel remarkably better all season long.
Novak Djokovich: 12-Time Tennis Grand Slam Champion
Since becoming a Keto dieter, the slender Serbian tennis star has racked up six tennis grand slam championships en route to becoming the world’s top ranked player! Novak credits his ascension up the ranks largely to his gluten-free Keto diet.
He began going Keto and gluten-free after tests revealed he had a gluten allergy. According to Novak, avoiding gluten, which the Keto Diet helps you to do, improved his recovery time and provided him with more energy and endurance. Prior to going Keto, he would often lose his energy as matches waned. Sometimes, he would even retire early due to fatigue. Afterwards, however, he’s been in matches over five hours long and managed to win the fifth set time and time again!
Shane Dorian: Professional Surfer and Multi-Time WSL Big Wave Award Winner
Shane Dorian is a modern surfing legend who turned pro in 1992 and retired in 2003 to focus on his true love: big wave riding. Rather than paddling through lineups in tour hotspots like Huntington or Bells Beach, you can now find Shane riding 60-foot monsters off the coast at breaks like “Jaws,” “Mavericks,” and “Todos Santos.”
To muster up the energy and strength to surf the world’s biggest waves day in and day out, he also lives the Keto lifestyle. Not only dies he skip carbs in favor of deer and boar he shoots himself with his own bow and arrow, but he consumes lots of vegetables and healthy fats as well. At 41 and still going strong, following this diet has helped Shane consistently outperform his peers, many of which are half his age!
Grant Hill: 7-Time NBA All-Star
Seven-time NBA All-Star Grant Hill strictly followed an all-natural, low-carb Keto diet for years, and he believes it helped him stay in peak physical form throughout his heralded 19-year pro career. Thanks to the performance-enhancing benefits of ketosis, Grant was able to compete at an elite level well into his 40s in a sport dominated by 20-year olds.
According to his website, Grant avoided any foods containing sugar or flour. Instead, he ate nothing but vegetables, occasional fruits, and tons of protein-rich foods like lamb, beef, and chicken. As a rule of thumb, he only ate foods that were “here a million years ago.” Thanks to his diet, Grant claimed he felt better at 40 than he did at 32!
Numbers Don’t Lie
The stats are in and the numbers don’t lie. These are just a handful of the elite athletes following the Keto Diet, and they have dozens of championships between them to help prove just how powerful ketogenics can be.
If you want to perform at the highest levels and win just like these superstar athletes, it’s about time you give this revolutionary diet a try. Follow the diets of these elite athletes and you too can look, feel, and perform at your absolute best!