Ben Gordon has been around a long time. A former standout at UConn, Gordon is entering his 12th year in the NBA, and as the newest member of the Golden State Warriors, he will be playing for his fifth NBA team. His best years came early in his career with the Chicago Bulls, peaking during the 2006-2007 season when he averaged 21.4 points per game while shooting 45 percent from the field and 41 percent from beyond the 3-point line.
Now 32 years old, Gordon was looking for ways to increase his energy level as he prepared for the grind of another 82-game season—which should go well beyond that as the Warriors try to defend their NBA title. Gordon went vegan this off-season, chowing down on avocados and oatmeal and experimenting with juicing, along with consuming healthy smoothies prepared by a personal chef.
The result? Gordon dropped down to his high school weight of 185 pounds. He says he feels much lighter on his feet and has more energy. “I experimented with [going vegan] this summer and throughout the end of last season,” Gordon told Pro Basketball Talk. “As you get older, you try to see different things that work for you.”
As training camp neared, Gordon returned to eating meat and worked his way back up to 200 pounds. But his experiment with the vegan diet seems to have kept his energy levels super high.
Gordon isn’t the only NBA player who has gone vegan recently. Guys like James Jones, Amar’e Stoudemire and Glen Davis have all talked about how a vegan and vegetarian diet became a big part of how they prepare their bodies for the upcoming season.
Check out the video player above to learn the best sources of protein for vegan athletes.