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The Game Changers movie

The Game Changers is a 90 minute documentary film about the benefits to performance that some athletes report on when they eat a plant-based diet.

Originally debuting at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2018 a second edition was released in September this year and can be viewed on Netflix.

The “doco” follows UFC fighter James Wilks who, while recovering from an injury, traveled the world talking to elite athletes who follow the plant-based diet and references in scientific studies to support the health benefits of a vegan diet.

Athletes include Arnold Schwarzenegger, racing driver Lewis Hamilton, tennis star Novak Djokovic and many more, line up with executive producers Pamela Anderson, James Cameron and Jackie Chan to tell a riveting story of how you don’t have to eat meat and dairy in order to be strong and improve sporting performance.

Critics have expressed concern about:

  • the scientific validity of some of the facts alleged in the film
  • the lack of representation of women athletes
  • the lack of balance to the vegan argument i.e. there are equally a large number of olympian athletes who eat meat and dairy and are smashing Olympic records
  • that Homo Sapiens are not carnivores, but are not herbivores either. We do not have the large grinding teeth and our gastrointestinal tract is less complex than that of herbivores.

While I do have concerns about the high levels of dietary fibre; the adequacy of iron and calcium and quality of protein in plant based diets (particularly for young developing athletes), I found the movie compelling and fun to watch.

Whether or not we choose to be athletes and/or vegans, this movie does encourage us all to think about our long term health (and that of our planets) to be more active, to eat more fruit and vegetables, less saturated fat, less sugar and processed foods.

Overall the important thing for an athlete is finding the right balance, quality and quantity of nutrients to achieve a higher level of performance, with the diet of their choice but without sacrificing their long-term health in the process. So do talk to me if you would like to develop a sports plan or check on how your’s is going.

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