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WNBA Star Te'a Cooper Shares Swimsuit Photo of "Swim Week"

Why she switched to a vegan diet.

WNBA star and free agent Te'a Cooper has clearly learned to love swimsuit photoshoots since appearing in Sports Illustrated. Cooper, 26, enjoyed some downtime by hitting the pool, and shared the photos on her Instagram. The athlete can be seen posing in the water in a vibrant red bikini, completing the look with a beautiful blue necklace and dark sunglasses, her hair pulled into a ponytail. "Te'a SWIM WEEK 💦🫶 @target," she captioned the post. "My girly," commented fellow player Angel Reese. Here's how Cooper stays fit, beautiful, and on top.


Vegan Diet

Cooper cooks her own meals as much as possible. "I recently just tried going vegan for a few months and it was great," she says. "I felt great. My body felt great. I had a lot of energy. It's just refreshing. This past year, I just started cooking regularly. I cook breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, so I'm just now getting into that. I guess you can really tell the difference more if you aren't an athlete, but I really did feel the effect of eating vegan foods in the off-season. Energy-wise, during the day, when I'm not doing anything and I'm not sleepy without practicing stuff, I think that's when I felt the difference more. It's a huge difference, honestly."


Sports Illustrated Model

Cooper is a Sports Illustrated model, and while she was surprised to be asked to take part, she was thrilled in the end. Being with her fellow athletes at the shoot in St. Thomas helped make her feel more comfortable. "When I got the call, I initially [thought], 'Did they call the right person?'" she joked."It kind of felt like I was getting ready for a game. It was really comfortable. I was super excited to just be with them and see them be out of their element, too. They are so empowering. They just really make you comfortable in your own skin."


Embrace the Roller Coaster


Cooper believes in embracing the journey, both ups and downs. "Everything's not always gonna be up — it's a roller coaster," she says. "Sports teaches you the beauty of the ups and downs… I think for mental health purposes, enjoy that roller coaster. So, you know, things happen, but it always has a way of working out. So no matter where I am in life, I just feel like it's gonna work out. Unfortunate things happen, but it's like I've been there before, been down before, so I'm gonna be up soon, and I just kind of stay humble and stay in the middle and just stay steady, honestly."


Fashion Forward

Cooper loves how the WNBA players are becoming known for their fashion as well as their skills. "I took the game day 'fits very seriously," she says. "I would say embracing your own style and confidently walking in your own style [is important]. How you see yourself and what you put out there — the evolution of you and just seeing your style grow — I think is the most interesting aspect of it. I love fashion and I definitely want to be on a runway someday!


Self-Care Is Self-Love

For Cooper, self-care is about a healthy lifestyle. "I think really, a lot of things are mental," she says. "People think eating healthy is like you're on a diet or you're trying to lose weight when really it can be a lifestyle. Like you just wanna be cleaner, you just wanna be healthier mentally, physically, emotionally, and some of that has to do with your food. I think just focusing on yourself and making sure you feel good is the best advice I can give. Everybody's story is different and everybody's emotions are different, so my advice won't help somebody who's not me—but just taking care of yourself could help everybody."

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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