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Why Neeraj Chopra switched to non-veg

Source: PTI
October 31, 2023 20:28 IST
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IMAGE: Neeraj Chopra said vegetarian food is not easily available outside India. Photographs: Neeraj Chopra/Instagram

Star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra's foreign training stints in the last few years forced him to include non-vegetarian diet as vegetarian food is not easily available abroad.

He is also fond of having tea while in India, besides the popular Haryanvi sweet dish churma his mother prepares at home in Khandra village near Panipat.


"I realised that I need to eat them (non vegetarian food) while training abroad. You get a lot of vegetarian food in India but not outside. You have to take mostly supplements while training outside the country," Chopra said at a promotional event in Delhi on Tuesday.

"Supplements support the nutrition part (for an athlete), but natural diet is also very important so, I started taking non vegetarian food," said the 25-year-old Olympic and World champion.

Recollecting one of his foreign training stints, he said, "It was when I was training in Poland. I got rice, leafy vegetables etc. You can say that (it was) like the things buffaloes eat in villages.

"Combination of natural diet and supplements is very important, that helps in training and in recovery."

Chopra said he prefers simple food and has been taking care not to gain weight as had happened after the Tokyo Olympics triumph.

"I prefer simple lunch like veg biryani, daal chawal, dahi or raita, roti, paneer etc. I mostly eat vegetarian food while in India.

"I like to have tea. But I don't get tea for five-six months when I train abroad, so I take tea while in India, at home and so I complete the quota while in India."

Asked about his cheat meal, Chopra promptly picked churma.

"I can have little bit of sweets, it's free time now. I don't have sweets whole year (while training).

"But churma has desi ghee and so you can have it when you are doing proper workout but not otherwise."

He also advised athletes not to think that everything is over for them when they don't get success on the field.

"When you fail, you should not think that everything is over. Don't take sports as everything, it is only part of life. You have your family, your friends. Think that you will get something ahead. Don't carry the burden, if you fail you must try to learn from the mistakes and move ahead."

Asked about the moment when he stood on the top of podium during the Tokyo Olympics two years back, he said, "When I remember that moment, I always get goosebumps.

"When I was wearing the gold medal, national flag raised and national anthem was sung, thousands of thoughts came about how I started from a normal family in a village with no sports background. From my journey, I realised that anybody can achieve success if you have the passion."

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