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Here's Why You Should See 'Game Changers': A Documentary On Plant-Based Elite Athletes

Should you really go plant-based to perform your best? You decide.

Game Changers, a documentary on the advantages of being a plant-based athlete became the biggest documentary to have ever been downloaded in iTunes in just a week. It is produced by no less than Titanic and Avatar producer James Cameron, The Terminator and current California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic, Real life speed racer Lewis Hamilton and China’s biggest movie star, Jackie Chan.


In true Terminator style, it debunked all common misconceptions about eating meat-free as an elite sportsman, and tackles important points surrounding going plant-based:


1. The myth that plant protein has insufficient Amino acids compared to animal based sources

Every single plant contains all of the essential amino acids in varying proportions .While it is true that some plant foods are lower in certain amino acids than others, our bodies break protein down into individual amino acids so that the appropriate proteins can be built at the necessary times (an excerpt from the documentary Game Changers).


It is true that the chain of amino acids in meat is more similar to us and thus quicker to integrate but plant protein is superior in a sense that it is not acidic, which means it doesn’t cause inflammation, which, not only is the root cause of all diseases but is also the reason for injuries and prolonged down-time in between trainings for athletes. 


The advantages of plant-protein include: reduced inflammation, decreased recovery times, improved blood flow, and reduced body fat. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics adds that plant-based diets can meet or exceed protein requirements and are appropriate for all stages of life, including for athletes.


For more information on how to build more muscle using none-animal protein, check this.



2. Inflammation: What really sabotages athletic performance 

Animal foods are inflammatory whereas whole plant foods actually fight inflammation in the body which leads to a quicker recovery time after training and also prolongs endurance during game-time. 


Inflammation also plays a key role in the onset and development of chronic diseases.  This explains why those who are in a Whole Foods Plant Based (WFPB) diets don’t suffer from heart disease, hypertension, Type 2 Diabetes and are lower at risk in contracting cancer.



3. Animal cartels 

There is an important section in the film which shows attempts of the meat industry to try and create confusion about the health hazards of their products, comparing their tactics to those of the tobacco industry no less, who used to pay athletes and doctors to advertise smoking and tried to present their industry sponsored research demonstrating the supposed safety of cigarettes. Now, we have athletes promoting Big Macs and paid lobbyists for the meat industry writing prestigious medical journals doing similar campaigns to discredit the benefits of giving up meat. 



4. Dairy is not a health food

Walter Willet, M.D., Ph.D—the second most-cited scientist in all of clinical medicine and the head of nutrition at Harvard's School of Public Health warns against the health claims of milk and dairy as it: increases bone fractures, increases risk for cancer, especially prostate, is directly linked to liver cancer, is full of saturated fat and is linked to heart disease, aggravates irritable bowel syndrome, is a major cause of mucus which causes sinus problems and acne. 


Dairy-free Mac 'n Cheese #EatLikeAGameChanger | @gamechangersmovie


World Health Organisation on the dangers of red meat:

1. Processed meat is being compared to tobacco in terms of being carcinogenic. 

2. Red meat is directly linked to colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancer.

3. Casein can cause Type 2 Diabetes. 


Eating the Future

Perhaps the biggest debate for the plant-based diet is its impact on the environment. Animal agriculture is responsible for over 90% of the destruction of the Amazon and globally uses 83% of agricultural land.


Only 4% of humanity’s water usage is actually spent in the home. By contrast, 27% of humanity’s “water footprint” is consumed by livestock. Think of this the next summer when we once again experience our now annual water failure, and the increasingly unbearable heat outdoors.


The meat industry is responsible for 15% of global man-made emissions. That's tantamount to ALL the emissions from all the transport in the world (including planes, trains, cars, vans and ships.)



Famous vegan athletes

Lewis Hamilton — Formula 1

Venus Williams — Tennis

Colin Kaepernick — Football

Kyrie Irving — Basketball

Scott Jurek — Ultramarathon

Jermain Defoe — Soccer

Mike Tyson — Boxing

Fabian Delph — Soccer

Barny du Plessis — Bodybuilding

James Wilks- Mixed Martial Arts

Griff Whalen- American Football 


Almost vegan

American football star Tom Brady eats a mostly vegan, low-carb diet. According to Men's Health, 80% of the quarterback's diet is vegetables. Timothy Bradley, one of the boxers who beat People’s Champ Manny Pacquiao goes into a three month strict vegan diet to prepare for important matches. 


RELATED STORY:

This Vegan Burger Outsells Beef Burgers 5 to 1. Here's Why


Filipinos react to Game Changers

I was one of the last people to see the Game Changers simply because I didn’t think it would show something I already didn’t know. After numerous calls and messages from friends who claim that they’re were going to give-up meat after seeing it, I realised it was bigger than I gave it credit for.


After much urging from non-vegan friends no less, I finally decided to see it. I got why it appealed to my brothers much more than its equally successful predecessor, "What the Health" did. The film had so much action, and meat—pun intended.


I got in touch with National athlete for the Philippine Lady Volcanoes (Rugby) and fellow Century Superbods alumni Cassie Umali, to ask how going plant-based has affected her training as a competitive sports player and she shared that she credits her alkaline-forming diet to her faster recovery as she notes that a diet that’s carnivorous is prone to muscle fatigue. 


“I get even more energy for strength building and muscle endurance for a plant-based diet,” shared Umali. She added that she was even more inspired to pursue eating meat-free when she found out that the greatest scientific minds, notably Nikola Testa (and may I add Albert Einstein) were plant-based. 


In our e-mail correspondence, the national athlete went into deep lengths on how she attributes the plant-based diet to her inner-healing, that though she did not physically suffer from any ill prior to her dietary-shift, only when she gave up eating animals did she realize how transformative her new alkaline diet is to her mental well-being. 


Cassie Umali | @cassiumali



My good friend Joey Ong who runs his own advertising agency sums up Game Changer feels in his facebook post:


“Okay, so lately more and more people, your friends, colleagues and family have decided to take the lifestyle shift to dropping meat and eating more veggies because they saw the Netflix documentary, The Game Changers, and you seem to be so triggered by it. Honestly I do not understand why? There seems to be this natural need for people to just pull down rather than cheer other people on. If you think about it, most of these guys if not all are inspired, motivated and actually taking a healthy action in their lives. I have a cousin who's never been healthy but is now eating more veggies than before and looking after his health. I have a client who is in his healthiest shape now after taking the shift and changing his game. There is that trigger that was switched on by the documentary and most people's first reaction is to shoot down that spark. Fake yan. Fad lang yan. Hindi yan totoo. Na prove na ng doctors na one sided yan. May docu na against that. watch this or watch that. I do not get it. Why so negative? Isn't the person’s motivation because of the film real enough? Is it because you watched too many episode of Myth busters and you feel that you are saving your friend from the big mistake of eating more greens and changing his lifestyle? This doesn't make sense. Honestly I don't see anything wrong with people taking the big step to going green with their diet, this is actually an amazing move and science has proven that this helps your body 100%. Remember, most of these people have never considered going healthy, super loving the meat, the steak, the bagnets and liempos of our culinary repertoire and now they suddenly switched. Isn't that amazing? Because of a documentary which honestly does not 100% apply to their lives because they are not athletes, not MMA fighters but regular people inspired to make a change in their lives. Not everyone who supports this movement is a Vegan propagandist but simply people who saw something which was inspiring and applied it to their lives.


There is a need to test and experiment to see if certain lifestyle changes will work or not and I'm seeing more and more people experimenting and this is great. Let us cheer them on rather than pull them down because we expect them to fail or they got inspired by a one-sided documentary. I think the mere fact that they saw the film, got inspired by it, motivated by it to change their lives is good enough. Congratulations to you guys, you are doing something amazing! End the negativity and eat more greens, honestly it will change you not just physically but also mentally. Change your game."




Lead photos via netflix.com