There’s a lot that people don’t know about the Diaz brothers. Even though they are household names in the UFC, they still remain somewhat of a mystery to many onlookers of the sport. One of the things many fans may not be aware of is that both Nick and Nate Diaz are vegans and adhere to, for the most part, a raw food vegan diet. The Nick Diaz diet consists of unprocessed, raw plant foods which have not been heated above 40 degrees Celsius. Many proponents of the diet feel this maintains natural enzymes critical in building proteins.
Nick, the elder Diaz brother by two years, has been an influential figure on Nate in many ways. He encouraged Nate to get into the sport, helped hone his MMA skills, guided him on the best path he knew and also imparted dietary wisdom upon him. And while Nick has been known to be abrasive before fights when he is getting into a war mentality, and comes across clumsy with words in front of the cameras, the one thing that he can wax poetics magnificently in is fighting. And he has found that his dietary choices have been beneficial to endure the intense training required to be successful.
“I try to eat raw vegan, I’ve been doing that since I was 15, 16-years-old, so I’m used to it,” notes the 29-year-old Diaz brother, who has been consuming food in this fashion for nearly half his life. “It definitely helps me not feel like s__t, you know, and I got to train all week long.”
Taking the lead of his elder sibling, Nate has been eating in the same fashion for around nine years.
“I’ve been vegan since I was 18 years old,” comments the younger Diaz, who was the winner of “The Ultimate Fighter 5″ reality series. “(I’ve) been eating raw for the last year and a half, not full complete raw, but as much as I can.”
Having gone through this dietary lifestyle for nearly a decade, Nate has become more savvy as to the kinds of foods he can consume.
“Pretty much year round I try to eat raw food as much as I can; there’s raw food restaurants, so it’s not just broccoli and lettuce, there’s entrées and stuff.”
There have been some vegan fighters who have cropped up over the years. In 2007 we wrote about Mac Danzig’s vegan diet. Additionally, retired fighter and TUF 9 winner, James Wilks, found that adhering to a whole food, plant-based vegan diet enhanced his performance capabilities.
It may not be everyone’s cup of V8, but the Diazs’ success makes it an interesting diet to ponder. The Diaz brothers have such incredible cardio, compete in triathlons and never seem to fade for a second in fights despite pushing a frantic pace; incorporating greater sums of raw food into one’s diet suddenly becomes a more appealing option. They both train very hard and do everything possible to ensure they fight at their very best and achieve victory. As stated before, the Diaz bros may not have gone to school to buy houses (as Nick Diaz once famously stated), or be winning any Toastmasters public speaking contests any time soon, but the one thing that they both know how to do better than 99.999999% of the population, is fight.