Facts and Fiction: Debunking The Game Changers Vegan Documentary
So many people have asked me, a keto meat-eater, what my thoughts are on The Game Changers documentary and here they are. If you haven’t already heard of the film, The Game Changers is a 2018 documentary that explores the health benefits of a vegan, vegetarian, and plant-based diet. It has received extensive media coverage due to its big-name producers like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jackie Chan, and James Cameron. It also features elite athletes like Patrik Baboumian, Lou Smith, Derrick Morgan, and Morgan Mitchell. While the intent of the movie was to dispel myths about health and athleticism on a plant-based diet, it was heavily biased and riddled with scientific errors.
In this video, I go through 10 of my biggest arguments against statements made in this documentary and provide factual and scientific research to back up my claims, which are outlined below.
1.The Romain gladiators: The claim that Roman gladiators ate primarily vegetarian means very little. They were convicts and prisoners of war, purposely fed fattening foods.
2. Vegetarians are stronger: The example of the Connor McGregor vs Nate Diaz fight was extremely biased. McGregor was scheduled to fight an opponent at a lower weight class and that opponent pulled out of the fight on the week of. Conor was cutting for a 155lbs fight and at the last minute, stopped cutting and had to put on weight to fight Nate at 170lbs. They didn’t mention that in their 2nd fight, McGregor beat Nate at 170lbs.
3. Plant-based diets are superior for endurance athletes: While highlighting plant-based ultra-endurance athletes, there is no comparison to meat-eaters. Zach Bitter is a great example of an endurance athlete, who holds the 100-mile American record and who also happens to follow the ketogenic diet.
4. The average plant-eater gets 70% more protein than needed: This value is based on the RDA—a value indicating the minimum amount of protein needed to survive. Not to mention, total protein content means very little without context. For example, each protein source provides different amino acid profiles.
5. Cloudy blood after meat consumption: This is meant to be a visually shocking demonstration but it does not explain how it is normal for fat to be visible after consumption. You have circulating triglycerides in your blood just the same as you have circulating glucose after a carb-rich meal.
6. The only diet that has ever been shown to reverse heart disease is a plant-based diet: This statement is based on poorly controlled research. The study cited shows individuals have improved cardiovascular health after switching to a plant-based diet, but they also quit smoking, started exercising, began a stress management program, and consumed less fat (meaning they probably reduced total caloric intake).
7. Our brains are starving for glucose: Dr. Mark Thomas makes the claim that our brains only use glucose for energy, and they are starving for it. This is scientifically untrue. The human brain can use ketones for fuel and has actually been shown to prefer ketones over glucose in many cases. Research shows ketones provide rapid energy and has been explored for therapeutic benefits in neurodegenerative diseases and brain injury.
8. Meat consumption reduces erections and firmness of the penis: This study is poorly controlled and is correlational. No other factors are taken into consideration other than whether the participants ate meat or plant-based burrito.
9. Carb-consumers gain more muscle mass: Look at the research from Dr. Jacob Wilson, Rachel Gregory, the Auburn Group, and Jordan Joy (just to name a few). It has been proven time and time again that you can build just as much muscle mass on a low-carbohydrate diet.
10. Meat is a greater contributor to carbon emissions than transportation: These statistics are startlingly incorrect. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has produced data showing agriculture as a whole only accounts for nine percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, whereas transportation accounts for 29%. Cattle-based farming only accounts for a small portion of this 9% and has very little impact on overall environmental health. Instead, we should be focusing on limiting unnecessary transportation and electricity emissions.
Thank you for watching. If you haven’t seen the video I made before I watched The Game Changers documentary, you can check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cNWlZlIE6w