At the age of just 15, Brendan Brazier made the life-changing decision to become a professional athlete. And not just any professional athlete!
Brendan wanted to join the ranks of the Ironman triathletes. To do that, he’d need to be able to swim 2.4 miles, cycle 112 miles and run 26.2 miles (a marathon) in a single competition.
And as he relates in his book Thrive, Brian pursued his dream with a singular focus that would have been remarkable for a grown man, let alone a teenager. Working out 40 hours a week wasn’t unusual for him — and neither was eating 8,000 calories on his heaviest training days.
Before long, Brian began researching how other athletes trained. After discovering how similar their exercise programs were, he began focusing on diet. Specifically, foods that would help his body recover more quickly after one workout so it would benefit more from the next.
Acting as his own Guinea pig, Brendan experimented with many called “performance-enhancing diets.” As he describes it:
“I tried high-carbohydrate, grain-based, low-fat, low-protein diets and low-carbohydrate, high-fat, high-protein diets and several others that fell in between.”
When none of them proved effective, he turned to a plant-based diet — something almost unheard of among athletes in the early 1990s. After two weeks, he felt constantly sore, hungry and fatigued.
Despite this early experience and resistance from trainers and coaches to a strictly plant-based diet, Brazier decided to listen to his gut rather than the nay-sayers.
So he fully embraced plant-based eating. By the time he turned 21 in 1996, he’d developed the one-week meal plan and recipes that became the foundation of his Thrive diet. Two years later, he attained his goal of being a professional athlete!
In his words:
The speed at which my body was able to adapt to this type of all-encompassing training was my most impressive achievement. I attribute these exceptionally fast gains to the detailed attention I paid to my diet.
These days, Brazier has encouragement from many well-known supporters. An impressive list of notables, including actor Hugh Jackman (aka The Wolverine) have endorsed Thrive’s 10th-anniversary edition.
In the book’s Foreword, Jackman writes, “I am forever grateful to Brendan. I have noticed increased energy and more restful sleep.”
Six-time Olympian Rebecca Soni also has high praise for his methods: “Thrive has been one of my fundamental and most valuable tools in helping me dive into the world of proper nutrition, fitness and all-round wellness… a must read for anyone ready to take back their life!”
But they’re only two of Thrive’s readers who’ve benefited from the same tips Brazier has shared with countless athletes striving to reach optimal performance!