Lionel Messi: Did the football icon take up a vegan diet?

For professional footballers, diet is one of the most important factors when it comes to keeping fit – and Lionel Messi took up a new diet to do precisely that.

The Argentinian sensation is undeniably one of the greatest footballers of all time. Over more than 15 years, he has captivated fans with his spellbinding skills, rapid turn of pace and supreme eye for goal.

He set the Nou Camp alight for over a decade with his incredible performances. He bagged a sensational 474 goals in 520 appearances throughout his time at Barcelona, in addition to guiding the team to four Champions League trophies and ten La Liga titles.

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One question that is always asked about Lionel Messi is whether he is a vegan. Supporters are keen to find out his diet preferences and how he has used them to become as successful as he is.

Is Lionel Messi a vegan?

The Paris Saint-Germain man does prefer a healthy salad over a delicious sausage casserole during the season. However, there is no confirmation that Lionel Messi is a full-time vegan.

While some believe that a vegan diet is counter-productive for an athlete, some elements of a vegan diet aided the forward’s career. At the start of his professional venture, Messi indulged in pizzas and fizzy drinks in his downtime.

As he got older, he began to encounter some problems. On one occasion, he even threw up on the pitch. He needed to switch things up, and he did with the help of esteemed nutritionist Giuliano Poser.

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As per Medium, the Italian professional advised that the future Copa America winner make several fundamental changes. He banned the player from consuming pork, alcohol, dairy, processed foods and even his beloved pizza. Instead, Lionel Messi had to intake water and eat vegan options such as olive oil, whole grains, fresh fruit and fresh vegetables.

This transformation got Messi back on the right track and ultimately allowed his long-lasting prime to continue.

However, the Argentinian gave an interview in 2018, in which he confirmed he also eats fish. So whilst the new diet of Lionel Messi has had plenty of vegan elements, it appears that he is not vegan.

Messi looks back on his diet changes

Speaking to La Cornisa in 2018, Lionel Messi reflected on his journey and the philosophy by which he lives his life.

He said: “I don’t know what I ate, but I ate badly for many years. At 22, 23… [it was] chocolate, alfajores [South American filled cookies], fizzy drinks. Now I eat well: fish, meat, vegetables, salads. Everything is organised and taken care of. Sometimes a bit of wine, but that’s not a problem.

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“I really noticed the change when it came to vomiting. They said it could be a lot of things. Eventually, I changed, and it didn’t happen anymore. The best you can do to forget everything is to be with my children, wife, family. The rest is secondary.

“The arrival of my first son made me not just close myself off with football. I don’t like to lose, to draw, but I take it differently. It’s more than a result. Sometimes you can’t always win, there are surprises, you can’t always win, and once it’s over, there are other things.

“I talk about everything that happens with my family, my brothers. They are always there, and I tell them everything. At the time, [criticism] affected me, and the critics were bad to me. But that’s over.”

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