Nate Diaz is coming off the biggest win of his career after beating UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor at UFC 196. Diaz’s popularity has shot up to the highest point of his career along with his pay for the fight with “The Notorious.”
Nate along with his older brother Nick say that his diet has played a significant role in his success. The Diaz brothers are among a few elite athletes in the world of MMA that are vegan. The totally animal-free diet is rare amongst the majority of other MMA fighters.
“If anything, meat’s gonna slow you down,” Diaz told Men’s Journal.
“People are jumping on slowly but surely,” he admits, adding, “but I think it’s cool. I think you’re a smarter and more intelligent fighter. Me and my brother are at the top of the game and have been for a long time. We’re obviously doing something right. Besides knowing how to kick somebody in the head, you should know how to feel good tomorrow.”
Nate started getting away from meat and animal products at the age of 18 following in the footsteps of older brother Nick. Now at the age of 30, the younger Diaz brother says that Nick “changed his diet, found Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, and decided that’s what he wanted to do.” Nate added, “I just followed the leader.”
“I stopped eating dairy when I was about 17 for a fight,” Diaz recalls. “And about a month went by that I didn’t eat cheese or milk, and then after the fight was done I got a big bowl of Fettucine Alfredo, and I was like, ‘Finally, I get to eat what I want.’ Then I went home and was sick and had a headache and was in and out of the bathroom for a week. That shit really messed me up. So after that cleared up, I was like, ‘OK, I don’t need that anymore.’ I felt better and realized I work better without that stuff.”
Regarding the high-intensity training that comes along with being a top-level MMA fighter, Nate says that the proof is in the pudding, which of course does not contain any animal products.
“I like to promote the vegan industry,” Nate enthuses. “I hear a lot of criticism from people saying you need meat to be strong and for recovery, and it’s a bunch of bullshit, because I train harder than everybody. It’s so easy to argue with these people. I’m like, ‘Dude, have you done a tenth of what I’ve done?’ ”