Lifelong Vegetarian Pro Golfer Proves You Don’t Need Meat to Stay on Top of Your Game

Shubhankar Sharma playing golf

Professional golfer, Shubhankar Sharma, has spoken out about his meat-free diet.

Sharma, who grew up in India and turned pro at sixteen, told Golf Digest he has never eaten meat in his life, a decision which has primarily been for religious reasons. However, the golfer believes you should listen to your body when it comes to diet, take the time to try new foods, and work out what makes you perform best. “Pay attention to what you eat and how your body reacts to it. Your body will let you know if you’re fueling it with things that it doesn’t want,” he noted. “You’ll feel yourself get tired and [slow] down and not [think] as clearly when you’re not eating well.”

For Sharma, a vegetarian diet seems to be working well, with two wins at the European Tour under his belt, as well as ninth place at the World Golf Championship in Mexico City. The sporting star is also rated 66th in the World Golf Rankings and has received a special invitation to the Masters.

Eating the right foods is a big part of staying on top of his game, and the golfer works closely with a nutritionist to ensure he’s getting everything he needs. “Spinach and broccoli are two of the most important [foods], I eat as much broccoli as I can get my hands on,” he said. Adding that, when he’s on the golf course, he turns to fruit to get him through. “I munch on dried fruits all day,” he noted. “Bananas are great, and energy bars are high in protein.”

Keeping up with his veggie lifestyle hasn’t always been easy, the golfer notes, especially when traveling for work, but he claims the secret is to be prepared.

“Not all the places we go understand,” Sharma explained. “I’ll say, ‘I don’t eat chicken or meat,’ but I’ll still get a plate of food with meat in it. But the European Tour has been great in helping me get the food that I need. I’ve also gotten smarter about it. I travel with pre-prepared vegetarian meals, so if I find myself in a situation where I don’t have any vegetarian options, I can just pop one of them in the microwave and I’m all set.”

Image Credit: Shubhankar Sharma