Smalling 'constantly getting stronger' since going vegan

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The 29-year-old says his hamstrings are in better shape and he is recovering quicker from fatigue after games since he cut out red meat

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling says he is "constantly getting stronger" since switching to a vegan diet.

Since he cut meat, fish, eggs and dairy out of his diet, the 29-year-old is feeling a wealth of benefits as he says his power has gone up and his recovery time down.

"We did a test of our hamstrings and I've increased by 35 per cent from the last test," he told Sky Sports. "On the [exercise] bike my power output has gone up.

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"I'm constantly getting stronger and getting better results."

The centre-back returned to the United starting XI on Saturday after missing two months with a foot injury and featured for the full 90 minutes as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men beat Fulham 3-0. 

And he does not expect to feel worn out in the days afterwards as much as he did before he stopped eating meat.

"Even before I went vegan, in terms of cutting out red meat, my tendinitis and recovery after games was vastly improved," he said.

"I had quite a few symptoms, but since I went fully vegan I don't feel it at all anymore.

"The second day after a game is often when I feel most fatigued, but my fatigue levels have gone down and, on the second day, I've felt a lot more recovered than previously.

"Even my skin, I had a lot more break outs before than I do now. I'm feeling a lot of physical benefits from it."

The England international's switch was helped along by his wife as well as some members of staff at United and he says some team-mates are developing an interest in it.

"I spoke to the nutritionist and head chef [at the club] about different options, a lot was influenced by [my wife] Sam and what we have at home," he added.

"The chef makes me a vegan section and often quite a lot of the other players are looking at it thinking: that looks good. And then by the end of the dinner a lot of it's gone. A lot of them are trying it.

"At home we try to plan what we cook in the week. When we go to the supermarket I'm often the one pushing the trolley and Sam's chucking stuff in. I like Thai food, Jamaican stews with yam, pumpkin and sweet potato."

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