Vegan Athlete Jaqueline Geihe Wins Gold at European Jiu-Jitsu Championships

Geihe’s victory challenges misconceptions about veganism and athletics in the martial arts world

Vegan athlete Jaqueline Geihe has emerged victorious at the European Jiu-Jitsu Championships, held by the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) on October 30. Geihe, a 25-year-old from Germany, secured the gold medal in the Adult blue belt Featherweight (56.5kg) category. This achievement not only highlights her skill in the sport but also challenges the prevailing stereotypes about veganism and athletic performance. Geihe’s success serves as a testament to the benefits of a plant-based diet for athletes, as well as the need to dispel misconceptions surrounding veganism in male-dominated martial arts environments.

Challenging Stereotypes in Martial Arts

Martial arts, including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), are often dominated by men, leading to misconceptions about the ideal nutrition for martial artists. The association between masculinity and meat consumption has perpetuated the belief that consuming animal products is necessary for athletic greatness. However, Geihe’s victory defies these stereotypes and showcases the potential of a plant-based diet in achieving athletic success. Geihe believes that her triumph will help dispel prejudices against vegan athletes and encourage others to consider the benefits of a cruelty-free lifestyle.

Veganism in Jiu-Jitsu

Geihe’s journey to veganism began in 2018 when she attended a Cube of Truth event by Anonymous for the Voiceless. The event exposed her to the harsh realities of animal exploitation and motivated her to adopt a vegan lifestyle. Since then, Geihe has been committed to avoiding any contribution to the cruel industry. She cites environmental and ethical reasons as the driving forces behind her choice, with the positive impact on her athletic performance being an added bonus. Geihe’s experience highlights the intersection of veganism and Jiu-Jitsu, challenging the notion that animal products are essential for success in the sport.

Male Vegan BJJ Practitioners

While martial arts gyms are often male-dominated, there are male practitioners who embrace veganism and excel in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Jorge Pastor, a vegan athlete, won gold in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Santa Cruz International Open, emphasizing the importance of love for animals and environmental consciousness in his training philosophy. David Meyer, an eight-time world champion, has been vegan since 2000 and attributes his ongoing success in BJJ to his plant-based diet. Meyer’s commitment to animal advocacy extends beyond the sport, as he works to find good homes for shelter animals through his foundation.

Plant-Based Fuel for Athletes

Geihe emphasizes that she obtains all the necessary nutrition for her training from plant-based foods. Tofu, tempeh, and snacks made with peanut butter are among her preferred pre-competition meals. When not cutting weight, she enjoys preparing lentil soup, which provides the ideal fuel for her training sessions. Geihe’s experience aligns with other athletes in various martial arts disciplines who have adopted plant-based diets to enhance their performance. Notably, UFC champions Nick and Nate Diaz follow plant-based diets during their fight preparations, and boxer Claressa Shields, dubbed the Greatest Woman of All Time, credits her success to a plant-based lifestyle.

Scientific Evidence and Benefits

Scientific research supports the benefits of healthy plant-based diets for athletic performance, particularly in competitive settings. These diets help lower body fat, which can enhance strength and power while allowing athletes to compete in lower weight classes. Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables can also aid in reducing inflammation and promoting faster muscle recovery. The growing popularity of plant-based diets among martial artists reflects the tangible benefits experienced by athletes who have embraced this lifestyle.


Jaqueline Geihe’s gold medal victory at the European Jiu-Jitsu Championships serves as a powerful example of the success that vegan athletes can achieve. Her triumph challenges misconceptions about veganism in the martial arts world and highlights the potential benefits of a plant-based diet for athletic performance. Geihe’s journey, along with the experiences of other vegan martial artists, demonstrates that compassion for animals and the environment can go hand in hand with athletic greatness. As more athletes embrace plant-based diets, the barriers and prejudices surrounding veganism in sports continue to crumble, paving the way for a more inclusive and compassionate athletic community.






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