This is not going to be a review of the recent faux documentary The Game Changers per se. As others (linked below) have already done an excellent job of showing what a pseudo-science mess this agenda driven film is, I have nothing else to add they don’t cover. What I will do is supply three reviews of the film I recommend to get the facts on this much hyped film. Those who are interested in my general position on vegan nutrition should read my extensive article: Vegan Diets: The Raw Truth.
I will say it’s quite disappointing to see just how easily manipulated people are by this film and as HL Mencken is credited with saying:
” Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public”
As for Arnold being involved and some how bringing credibility to it, I have met him various times over the years and we have some mutual friends. He was a great bodybuilder, all around cool guy, and iconic movie star to be sure, but he’s no nutritional scientist by any means. “But Arnold is involved!” means nadda to me as far as credibility for the information contained in that film. The best vid I have seen so far debunking the science and many misleading claims in the movie is HERE. Granted, that vid has bias for meat based approaches (e.g., carnivore, keto, etc.), but no extreme statements or claims made from what I heard, and that’s all I ask really. I could have lived without the lame attempts at humor, but it does not ruin an otherwise well done science based debunking of The Game Changers.
If one wants to get deep into the weeds on a scientific breakdown, Layne Norton does a solid job of that HERE and surprisingly, Men’s Health does a solid review HERE and just out via Christian Thibaudeau, a lengthy break down HERE. If that vid and those three articles, along with my article, do not convince people The Game Changers is pseudo science agenda driven nonsense, then they’re hopeless.
Will Brink is the owner of the Brinkzone Blog. Will has over 30 years experience as a respected author, columnist and consultant, to the supplement, fitness, bodybuilding, and weight loss industry and has been extensively published. Will graduated from Harvard University with a concentration in the natural sciences, and is a consultant to major supplement, dairy, and pharmaceutical companies.
His often ground breaking articles can be found in publications such as Lets Live, Muscle Media 2000, MuscleMag International, The Life Extension Magazine, Muscle n Fitness, Inside Karate, Exercise For Men Only, Body International, Power, Oxygen, Penthouse, Women’s World and The Townsend Letter For Doctors.
He’s also been published in peer reviewed journals.
Will is the author of the popular e-books, both accompanied by private members forum access , Bodybuilding Revealed & Fat Loss Revealed.
You can also buy Will’s other books on Amazon, Apple iBook, and Barnes and Noble.
I have two of will brink’s books, BBR and FLR. Also have Venuto’s book. I have read many other print “bodybuilding” books. I am not a rookie with nutrition but not an expert either. I watched both Forks Over Knives and The Game Changers (TGC) movies. I liked both but was wondering why none of my other sources really mentioned a vegan approach in detail, especially with respect to fitness and adding muscle. I read through the biolayne link for “the game changers” rebuttal and found it really good. It did not inform me of anything new but reinforced what I already did. Between the two plant based movies, the underlying thing I came away with was that a plant based diet will reverse heart disease and will save the planet (leaving this topic alone for now). This all seems to be based on books by Dr Esselstyn, Dr Ornish, and T Colin Campbell. I have not read any books from these people but I have seen/read summaries of them. If you do searching online for how to reverse heart disease then the results shake out to be either a vegan diet or a low carb diet. And by low carb diet, I mean a diet w/o fast digesting, high glycemic carbohydrates. You can eat all of the meat/saturated fat/butter/lard and veggies(most) you want. Also includes nuts but limited fruits. Some will adhere to no oils beyond a little olive oil. Vegan diet meaning no animal products at all. I will also add in a “paleo” diet as this is a moderation between the two endpoints of vegan vs low carb. So which one works? I don’t know.
What I walked away with in watching the movies and listening to the vegan doctors was that animal proteins were bad for the human body and had a role in causing CVD or cancer. Therefore if you ate plant proteins all is well, right?. Proteins are nothing but amino acids. In order to build muscle you need to have a good supply of amino acids. I don’t think the source of amino acids should matter, as a plant amino acid should be equal to an animal one based on chemistry (outside of amounts present between sources). Is not an amino acid an amino acid? In TGCs movie there is the attempt for vegan athletes to mimic animal proteins with plant proteins. So if all amino acids are the same chemically, whats the difference between the diets and potential CVD? If you provide a body with the same amino acids, then the results should be the same, right? I would like to know if heart disease develops with massive plant based amino acids dosages? In TGC movie there is a body builder Jon Venus who says he has never had meat in his life. He does have a good physique and I am not knocking him at all but I would be interesting in seeing him being scanned for CVD. It would be nice to know CVD rates for vegans from a good reputable source. But alas, it seems that good science is not posisble these days.
As an aside, no matter which diet you pick it seems humans are susceptible to CVD. Its a statistical game of who gets it and when. It builds up over time and there is a reason it is called the silent killer. I do have to say with Arnold promoting TGC movie, he would have never agreed to changing his diet when he was in Mr Olympia mode. After his heart procedure, it probably scared him enough to make some changes. There is definitely a toll to be paid on extreme lifestyles like the bodybuilding he did.
Loved the info . Will be sharing with friends. With all the weight loss ideas out there, this is just makes sense . This will help me with my weight loss. Thank you, Barbara
I came away from game changers trying to Follow the money trail of who stands to benefit from people eating vegan. The lettuce industry? The black beans industry I don’t know. But it’s very clear to me who stands to benefit from your review conveniently linked to your nutritional products you’re selling . That’s like the tobacco industry saying “can you believe those government people trying to fool the public that it’s safer not to smoke?” And then turn around and give you a discount on the cigarette club for men.
The money trail as to who funded it and benefits from it, is in fact covered in one of those reviews, so I suspect like many a feelz over facts vegan, you didn’t actually read it… Cameron and his wife Suzy Amis Cameron – the same gal who appeared on Oprah recently to encourage her fans to go meatless once/day – are founders of Verdiant Foods, an organic pea protein company that funded the phony documentary and are pushing pea protein. Finally, I don’t sell any nutritional products, so your comments are really ignorant, but typical.
Will, as always, I appreciate your time and effort in researching many of these timely issues related to health, nutrition and physical well being. Then, providing a well reasoned overview, along with supporting references, to permit us to draw our own conclusions. You are usually spot on (could have said “always” but am reluctant to use absolutes). Thank you!
Glad the info helped!
true enough…equally aren’t people who claim you ‘absolutely require meat to grow muscle..or even survive’… spouting .pseudo science agenda driven nonsense ?,
these all strike me as beliefs with religious fervor, minds made up, don’t bother with facts, it’s faith
devout vegans, keto-evangelists, Paleo adherents, carnivore-worshippers , vegetarians, etc
As for saving the planet, here’s some food for thought (pun intended):
According to the Savory Institute NET TOTAL GHG’s produced (lbs CO2-eq / lb of end product)
Conventional beef (US) +33
Pork (CA) +9
Chicken (US) +6
Beyond Burger +4
Impossible Burger +3.5
Soy Bean (US) +2
White Oak Pasture raised Beef (GA, US) – 3.5, YES negative production of CO2. It actually sequesters more CO2 than produced.
Moral of the story: regenerative farming superior to any currently used methods. Do away with mono-crop production (for feed) and get the cattle back out on the managed grassy plains. Let the chickens and all others out to run around as they would in nature. Better for them, better for us and better for the planet: win, win, win!
As always Will, good stuff!
Good info, thanx. Did you read my article on veganism linked ? That’s a big picture view on the topic with some discussion and links on environmental impacts.