A vegan or plant-based diet excludes all meat, seafood, dairy, eggs, and anything else containing animal products. Since all these foods contain protein, it’s a common myth that vegans do not get enough protein. This can’t be further from the truth, and I’m sharing 8 successful athletes who clearly show that you can get plenty of protein, strength, and vibrance on a vegan diet.

Venus and Serena Williams, Tennis

If you live on this planet, you probably know Venus and Serena Williams as prominent tennis players, but what you might not know is that these talented sisters get energized without any animal products. Both Venus and Serena have each won four Olympic gold medals. Venus holds 7 Grand Slam Women’s Singles titles, while her sister Serena holds 22.

In 2011, Venus was diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome (an auto-immune disorder that causes extreme fatigue), so her doctor recommended a vegan diet. Her sister, Serena, and Venus together adopted this vegan diet and saw major improvements in energy and performance. They eat a variety of vegetables, green juices, beans, nuts, and raw and sprouted foods. There’s no fatigue in these gold medal-winning power athletes!

David Carter, Football

David Carter is a defensive lineman who has played on several NFL teams, including the Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, Dallas Cowboys, and Arizona Cardinals. In his NFL career, he has 29 tackles and 1 sack. If there was ever the misconception that vegans can’t build or maintain a lot of muscle, David Carter smashes it.

He is a vegan activist, so he spends much of his time promoting the vegan message. Check out his instagram @the300poundvegan, where he shows he’s definitely passionate about the ethical side of veganism. His website, the300poundvegan.com, honestly has it all. It is extremely resourceful if you want to know more about veganism and this guy’s epic lifestyle.

Rich Roll, Ultra-Athlete

Rich Roll is an ultra-distance endurance athlete, which means he has competed in triathlon-like events of ungodly distances. For example, he participated in the Ultraman World Championships, a race that involves a 6.2-mile swim, a 261.4-mile cycle, and a 52.4-mile run. He won 1st place in the swim race and finished 7th overall, beating many professional athletes. Perhaps the most impressive part is that he had only been training for two years prior!

Throughout all of his training and competitions, Rich Roll has been a vegan. He says, "I have found that I am able to repair my body and recover well from workouts and am able to bounce back fresh day in and day out. Believe me, if I felt like I really needed to eat meat or dairy over the last 3 years, I would have. I just never felt like I really needed to.”

Mike Tyson, Boxing

This former professional boxer was the youngest to win the WBA, WBC, and IBF heavyweight titles, at just 20 years old. He has also been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.

Although Mike Tyson has had his ups and downs in his life, he has recently been doing very well, which he attributes to becoming vegan. After suffering health complications from drugs, high blood pressure, and arthritis, he says that once he became a vegan, those problems went away. He claims, “It gave me the opportunity to live a healthy life.”

Tia Blanco, Surfing

Tia Blanco is a 19-year-old professional surfer. She has been surfing from a very young age and has won countless awards in her young lifetime. In the World Surfing Games, for example, Tia has won the title of Women’s Gold Medalist for 2015 and 2016.

She has been a vegan since 2013, and is very outspoken about her diet and lifestyle on social media. “I did a lot of research about diet and saw what they did to animals on a documentary called Behind Glass Walls,” she said. “I also read The China Study and watched Forks Over Knives. What I found was pretty horrific and informative at the same time. I knew from that point on I was going to switch to a vegan diet." On Tia’s Youtube channel, she posts “What I Eat in A Day” videos, where she shows her deliciously healthy fruit smoothies, quinoa dishes, sushi bowls, curries, etc. Check her out on Instagram, too: @tiablanco and @tiasvegankitchen (for recipes).

Patrik Baboumian, Strongest Man in Germany

The professional weightlifter, bodybuilder, and strongman competitor Patrik Baboumian holds the world log lift record (in the 225lb division). This guy has benched 463lbs, and has squatted and deadlifted 794lbs. He holds the German heavyweight loglift record (his heaviest log lift is 419 lbs). He has also won the title of "Strongest Man of Germany.”

Patrik Baboumian is a proud vegan who is very outspoken about the ways veganism helps save the planet’s environment. "We have areas in the world where there is not enough food for people, and I think it's obscene to use all these resources we have to produce something your body doesn't actually need," says Baboumian. He smashes in the beans, lentils, peas, rice, potatoes, etc. to provide him with the calories and energy to become bigger and stronger.

Scott Jurek, Ultramarathoner

This ultramarathoner champion has gained world recognition for his plant-powered performances. In 2010, Scott Jurek ran 165.7 miles in 24 hours, a new US record for distance running, at the 24-Hour World Championships in Brive-la-Gaillarde. He has also won countless other races, including the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, the 153-Mile Spartathlon, and the 135-Mile Badwater Ultramarathon. The sheer endurance level of Scott Jurek seems superhuman.

He has been vegan since 1999, and claims that his incredible endurance, speedy recovery, and good health can be attributed to his diet. When training, he consumed 5,000-8,000 calories per day, all from nutrient-rich vegan foods. “It’s not hard,” Jurek says. “All I need is a high-carbohydrate diet with enough protein and fat.”