Virat Kohli on turning vegetarian - 'I've never felt better in my life'

India captain says he decided to give up meat to 'cut down the uric acid' in his body

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India captain Virat Kohli said he is feeling fitter than ever before after turning vegetarian in 2018 and revealed he was forced to change his diet because of fitness and health issues.

Talking to former England captain Kevin Pietersen during a live Instagram video session, Kohli explained why he decided to give up meat altogether.

"I wasn't a vegetarian until 2018," Kohli said. "When we came to England, I left eating meat just before that Test series."

Kohli said his long-standing back issue was what made him change his eating habits.

"In 2018 when we went to South Africa I got a cervical spine issue. One of the discs in my cervical spine bulged out and it compressed a nerve which was running straight till the little finger of my right hand.

"It gave me a tingling sensation, I could barely feel my little finger on the right hand. It was hurting like mad, I could hardly sleep. And then I got my tests done.

"My stomach was too acidic, my body was creating too much uric acid. Even though I was taking calcium, magnesium, one tablet was not sufficient. My stomach started pulling calcium from my bones, and my bones got weaker. That's why I got this issue. That's why I stopped eating meat completely to cut down the uric acid."

The star batsman said turning vegetarian raised his energy levels and improved his recovery process considerably.

"I've never felt better in my life, to be honest. It has been two years, and it is the best decision of my life. I have never felt better waking up. I have never felt better when I have to recover after a game. If you make me play three games a week, which are intense, I am at it 120 per cent every game. I can recover within a day after a Test match and go for another Test.

"It's so much better than being on meat. I felt like 'why didn't I do it before?' I should have done it two, three years earlier. It has completely changed everything. You start feeling better, you start thinking better, your body is lighter, you are more positive, you have energy to do more."