What is the film about?
“The Game Changers” is a featured documentary on Netflix that takes a deep dive into the world of plant-based diets and how they affect professional, high-performance athletes.
James Wilks, a combat arts expert, takes us on his journey to a plant-based diet that began through an injury. His job required him to teach government agencies and other foundations combat fighting techniques, yet he suddenly found himself unable to teach for six months. This is what instigated the journey down the plant-based realm of things. Wilks began to devote all of his time to studying nutrition and recovery, which led him to a game-changing idea: eating plants.
For years, there has been an unspoken stigma that in order to build mass, succeed in sports, and continue to excel at a high level, meat needs to be a part of the equation. Does consuming high meat diets really equate to strength and mass? “The Game Changers” turns that claim on its head with real-life experiments and examples of the best of the best in fitness and sports choosing a plant-based diet to perform just as well, if not better than those of us fixated on protein from animals.
Why is this film important?
Plant-based diets are often given a bad reputation. People think about intense veganism, restriction, and judgment when they think of a plant-based diet. Many people also assume that there is no way that a person can accumulate all of the required nutrients and protein they need in a day by only consuming plants.
It is interesting to think about the ways that this mindset has been implemented and reinforced in our brains for the past decade. Looking back on history, we see that our ancestors consumed a mostly plant-based diet, as well as the most fierce warriors and competitors in history, Roman Gladiators. Why is it that we think we need meat in order to succeed and survive?
As research has discovered, time and time again, eating meat is not the end all be all of the high performance in our bodies that many are in search of. Of course, all bodies are different and have different needs, meaning that a plant-based diet is not necessarily the best choice for every single person. Food and wellness is not a “one size fits all” model. The message behind “The Game Changers” is reinforcing the idea that bodybuilders, athletes, and regular healthy people (like you and me) can actually elevate their performance while receiving all of the nutrients they need through a plant-based diet.
What are the main takeaways from the film?
The film follows several Olympic, professional, and high-profile athletes like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kendrick Farris, Bryant Jennings, and Dotsie Bausch to name a few. Some of these athletes have been partaking in a plant-based or vegan diet for years, while others are just now seeing the benefits of cutting meat out of their daily routine.
Many of these athletes found that switching to a plant-based diet resulted in more stamina, the ability to break their own records, as well as world records, lower cholesterol, better blood quality, and even better blood flow.
Experts and nutritionists discuss the game-changing health benefits that adopting a plant-based diet can do for the body. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger notes that he used to eat a ridiculous amount of meat, but, that is all marketing. The media and advertising tell the world that to be a man, to build mass, and to succeed, meat has to be a part of the equation. The athletes featured in this film would beg to differ.
There is a great quote from the movie that ties it all together. Patrik Baboumian, German Strongman, reflects on someone asking him, “how did you get as strong as an ox without eating meat?”. To this, he responded, “have you ever seen an ox eating meat?”