Game Changers Film Review: Part 1

Have you seen the Game Changers documentary yet? This is the most recent health and diet documentary to hit Netflix by storm, but are they saying the truth or just spouting more vegan propaganda? Let’s dive in!

Hi everyone Floyd Meyer here. I want to start out by saying that there are ethical reasons for not eating meat. I get that, but we are going to be discussing the health and performance arguments for being plant-based. Instead of going through the movie point for point like I am sure many others will spend their time doing, today I am going to start by breaking down a couple of the specific athlete examples that they gave for why plant-based diets are best for performance, next week I will discuss more of the medical science, finally I will give an overview of what I believe the main points of the film are, and what we can take away from it.

The main character of the film is James Wilks and he is a “Combatives expert”. He got injured training and so he started to look into the diet as a possible way for him to heal faster. In the film, they detail multiple different athletes in different sports who are “plant-based” and they attribute their success to their diet.

The first athlete they discuss is Nate Diaz, who ironically recently lost his fight to Jorge Masvidal. But in the film,  they are specifically talking about Nates fight with the notorious Connor McGregor. They say that McGregor ate mostly meat prior to their fight. In fact, they state that the week leading up to the fight Connor was eating up to 2 steaks a day.

Now Nate Diaz, by contrast, eats a plant-based diet and has so for many years. Nate has incredible cardio and regularly completes triathlons in addition to his MMA career. The filmmaker goes on to explain that the differences in their diets are the main contributor to the outcome of their fight where Nate Diaz, the plant-based athlete, comes out victorious.

Obviously, this is pure propaganda from the vegan and vegetarian community. There are a million and one other things that differentiate these 2 fighters from style, to training, to mentality, to body composition. But even better is that they actually fought 2 times. Once in March of 2016, which is what they reference in the movie, but then later again in August of that same year! The first time Nate Diaz won the fight and the second time Connor won.

Next, they move on from MMA and dive into the world of ultramarathons. They examine the very accomplished ultra-runner Scott Jurek who they say started to perform really well once switching to a plant-based diet. While yes, Scott is very accomplished in the world of ultra-running his diet might not have much to do with his success.

In 2017 the winner of the Moab ultra-marathon which is a 238-mile race was Courtney Dauwalter.  Courtney finished the Moab 240 race in 2 days, 9 hours, and 59 minutes. She was faster than any of the men in the pack, beating the second-place finisher by more than 10 hours. So she literally could have finished the race, gone home, showered, slept 8 hours, and then went back to watch the 2nd place finisher cross the line. And according to her appearance on the Joe Rogan podcast her diet consists of nachos and a multi-vitamin. (watch her full interview here) So yes maybe a plant-based diet helped Scott but obviously, it is not necessary to be a vegetarian or vegan to win endurance events.

Now we get to my favorite part of the movie where they discuss Strongmen. I love watching strongmen competitions like World’s Strongest Man. I regularly follow elite competitors like Brian Shaw, Robert Oberst, and Eddy Hall. They are always posting great content on their diets, workouts, and of course their competitions. So when they started talking about Patrik Baboumia, a completely plant-based powerlifter and saying he was one of the strongest men in the world I was interested.

They said that Patrik was training to “carry the heaviest weight ever carried by a human being” at 555 kg or 1224 lbs! Now that is an extremely heavy lift, but I decided to take a look at what the Yoke carry in the world’s strongest man competition was this year. This year in the WSM in one competition they did both a 450kg yoke for 6 meters, a 595kg yoke for 2.5 meters, and a 168kg farmer’s walk for 15 meters, back to back to back.

So no, while it is an impressive lift, Patrik did not lift “THE heaviest weight ever carried by a human being.” Many meat-eating athletes have lifted significantly more than Patrik. This is not to discredit his accomplishments. He is obviously an extremely strong person and it does demonstrate that you do not absolutely need meat in your diet in order to be strong. If you continue to lift heavy weights and take in sufficient amounts of protein from animals or plants you can be very strong.

Just for comparison, I have listed Patrik’s personal lifting records to Robert Oberst’s and Brian Shaw’s who are both regulars on the WSM circuit.

Patrik Baboumia

Bench: 474 lb (215 kg)

Squat: 815 lb (370 kg)

Deadlift: 794 (360 kg)

Robert Oberst

Bench: 650 lb (290 kg)

Squat: 950 lb (430 kg)

Deadlift: 880 lb (400 kg)

Brian Shaw

Bench: 525 lb (238 kg) × 2

Squat: 903 lb (410 kg)

Deadlift:1,025 lb (465 kg)


There you have it, 3 examples of high performing athletes who eat a “plant-based diet”. They are all very accomplished athletes but to say that their diet is the main reason for any of their success is a stretch at best. I am glad that they are showcasing top-level athletes eating so many vegetables, but people can thrive on many different diets. To say that eating vegetarian or vegan is optimal for athletic performance across the board is just not accurate.

Plant Based 1 Infographic.png

Next week we will be diving more into the medical science of the film, and I will give away my top takeaways so make sure you are subscribing and following so you don’t miss out. If you want to know what the best diet actually is, Keto vs Vegan vs Carnivore then make sure to watch my previous video. And if you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments below. Again this is Floyd Meyer reminding you to Eat Better so you can Do More!



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