The veganism trend is catching on in the realm of professional sports.

But why?

There are a number of reasons why athletes swear by a vegan diet, which typically avoids items like meat, dairy products, just about anything derived from animals and is largely plant-based. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, for instance, believes the lifestyle has helped him play into his 40’s.

U.S. soccer star Alex Morgan says it makes her “stronger” while helping with fatigue, although it took her a while to get comfortable with her new diet.

“I never thought it was possible I could be playing at an elite level as a professional athlete with a plant-based diet,” she told USA TODAY Sports. “Then I realized it wasn’t detrimental at all. What I learned growing up wasn’t all that true.”

Ex-Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving also is a vegan, but it took him some time to get there, as well.

“The rules aren’t as strict as everyone thinks,” he said, per USA TODAY Sports. “I’m an example of someone who ate really unhealthy — fast food or a quick TV dinner in the microwave — without educating myself on what I was putting into my body. Now I feel like I understand the truth — how certain chemicals in meat affect your body, and that now there are alternatives bridging the gap available.”

Hey, whatever works, right?

Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports Images