I dont know about you, but over the last month many more people in my life have been starting vegan diets. People who previously would turn their noses up at vegans, are now championing plant based eating! One of the big reasons for this is the new documentary on Netflix called The Game Changers.
Since the documentary was released on Netflix searches for ‘vegan diet plan’ on Google have soared by 500%! ‘Vegan body builder’ searches have risen by 600% and ‘high protein vegan meals’ have risen by 250%. The CEO of Greggs even announced recently that it convinced him to go vegan himself!
So what is the documentary that is causing all this fuss?
What Is The Game Changers About?
The documentary follows a UFC fighter, James Wilkes, who in a search for how food could help speed up his recovery from injury discovered a whole world of elite athletes that were vegan and performing better than they had their whole lives. He talks to scientists, special ops soldiers, action stars historians and some of the biggest names in sports and finds that everything he thought about protein was a lie!
The whole world knows the narrative that big strong men eat lots of meat to get their protein up and build muscle. However as he delves into the facts, he discovers that animals are just the middle men and the protein we need is in the plants that they eat. Animal protein can actually leave us more sluggish and gives us less energy.
One of the most shocking moments for me, and the one that turned my meat loving boyfriend to being obsessed with vegetarian eating, was when they looked at the blood of some elite athletes. First, they gave three athletes a meal, one with chicken, one with beef, and one with no meat. The next day, they gave them all plant based meals with no meat. They took their blood after each meal and then showed them their bloods. The blood after eating meat was murky and after eating plant based foods was clear. It was shocking to see and realise how much the food we eat affects every part of the body!
There is a wrong perception of vegans that they are weak, skinny and pale. However, this documentary smashes that stereotype. Wilkes meets one of the worlds strongest men, and many football players who are muscly, strong, at the peak of their careers, and eating a fully plant based diet. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger appears, saying that had a wrong perception of the connection between meat, manliness and strength his whole life. Since going plant based, his cholesterol is better than it has been his whole life, at 70! Dotsie Bausch, olympic medalist and national cycling champion, talks about how she started a plant based diet around the time that a woman her age would usually be ending their cycling career. However she went onto be the oldest Olympic competitor in history for her cycling discipline, and said that she found after she went plant based she saw her performances get better and better.
Beyond the Athletes, Wilkes also meets New York firefighters who try a seven day vegan challenge. Firefighters are very high risk for heart problems and heart attacks due to the intense nature of the job. After the 7 day challenge, they all had a dramatic reduce in their cholesterol and blood pressure.
“Someone asked me, how could you get as strong as an ox without eating any meat and my answer was, have you ever seen an ox eating meat?” Patrick Baboumian, Worlds Strongest Man
“When I made the switch to a plant-based diet, I qualified for my third Olympic team, I broke two American records. I was like man, I should have done this a long while ago!” Kendrick Farris, Weightlifter
This documentary has bold claims, and its worth remembering that there is often more to the data and science behind the claims. However, most scientists can agree that a dramatic reduction in meat is good for us – and once a week is enough.
Have you seen the documentary? Do you think it will convince you?