|James Wilks, former UFC fighter, producer and narrator of The Game Changers.|
|Joe Rogan, "Those dirty vegan strength athletes use steroids! If they ate meat they would be able to optimize human performance." Also Joe Rogan, "I've been on testosterone since I was 40."|
Here are some examples.
Joe on vegan strongman competitor Patrick Baboumian. (Note: Patrick, weighing around 255lbs he has bench pressed 474lbs, squatted 816lbs, deadlifted 794lbs, log pressed 408lbs, carried a 1213lb strongman yoke for 10 meters and carried a 1235lb strongman yoke for 28 seconds. -These are just stats I found through a Google search, it's possible he has lifted more, for instance I seem to recall in a video where he stated he deadlifted, possibly for a triple, 800lbs.)
|Vegan strongman Patrick Baboumian performing the yoke lift and carry with 1213lbs for 10 meters.|
|Mac Danzig may have never won a UFC belt, but neither did any of the meat eaters he beat.|
Joe also mentioned something about "tons" of athletes who quit being vegan and had to be edited out of The Game Changers. By "tons" of athletes he's referring to one. Tim Shieff an American Ninja Warrior competitor who was vegan for around 6 years but claimed health issues as his reason for switching back to an omnivorous diet. While he blames his health issues on his "vegan" diet I would bet it has something more to do with the extreme 30 day water fasts and drinking his own, and other people's, urine. No athlete, vegan or not, will perform well on water fasts and urine.
|Is human piss vegan? Tim thought so. Seriously? Dude drinks piss? Call me insane but I'll stick with oat milk.|
What Mac, Patrick and all other vegan athletes are proving is that you can compete at the highest levels of your sport while eating a plant-based diet just as you can eating an omnivorous diet.
Speaking of strong plant-based athletes, in 2016 the ONLY US male weightlifter to qualify for the Rio Olympics was Kendrick Farris, a vegan featured in "The Game Changers" documentary. So using JRL the other weightlifters couldn't qualify for the Olympic team due to their meat eating diet, right?
|Vegan athlete Kendrick Farris was the only male weightlifter to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.|
Speaking of strong vegan lifters, I have to mention my friend Ali a vegan powerlifter who is literally one of a handful of women to break the 500lb bench press barrier. In addition she owns a few blocks of real estate on the legendary Westside Barbell Club Record Board.
|Catching up with my friend and 500lb bench presser Ali Crowdus at the legendary Westside Barbell Club.|
|Wait, you mean to tell me a vegan diet does not create an invisible force-field around you to prevent taking hits? I guess Cam's vegan diet is definitely to blame for the defense doing their job.|
Oh, and the combine harvesters killing more animals and wildlife than farming practices? Please. If I walk towards a wild animal it turns and disappears in the blink of an eye. I'm pretty sure a massive, loud farm machine isn't going to sneak up on wild animals when they aren't expecting it.
- A whole food plant based diet that incorporates a lot of fresh fruit, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and grains can offer athletes a tremendous benefit by reducing inflammation and promoting recovery.
- All athletes need to eat more protein than the average person but not as much as protein manufacturers want you to think.
- Animals used for food get their protein/amino acids from plants. Thus their muscle tissue when consumed by humans is simply a delivery system for the plant's amino acids.
- All plant-based foods contain all of the essential amino acids, just in varying amounts. Eating a wide variety of foods is important regardless of the type of diet you follow.
- There is no reason to worry about combining foods as long as you are eating your calories from a wide variety of plant-based foods daily.
- If an athlete consumes the requisite number of calories to sustain their activity and performance level, and those calories come mostly from whole plant-based foods, they will get all the protein, carbohydrates and fats they need along with tons of vitamins, minerals and enzymes.
- Everyone supplements, not just vegans. Go to any vitamin store or GNC and you'll see the majority of protein powders are whey and animal-based.
- B12 deficiency is an everyone thing not just a vegan thing. I know many omnivores who require B12 supplements or even shots.
- A diet does not make the athlete; skill, training and performance do. On top of that their diet simply needs to contain enough calories to sustain their performance. I've seen elite athletes perform well on junk food diets and I've seen elite athletes perform well on healthier diets. I'd rather look at those athletes in 20-30 years and see which are doing better.
- Your diet will not protect you from an injury, especially if you participate in a combat sport or a sport that exposes you to collisions and contact. However, a healthy diet will be much better for recovery and restoration than an unhealthy diet.
- To say that you cannot get stronger, build more muscle and perform optimally on a plant-based diet is complete and utter nonsense. I worked with a hip hop artist who put on 20lbs of muscle in 2.5 months eating a whole food plant-based diet, no supplements, pills or powders!
The vegan athlete is not a myth. I don't know why people have such a hard time accepting the fact that athletes can perform at the highest level eating a plant-based diet. Especially now that we are seeing so many athletes from all sports and levels of competition doing it. Not only are we seeing great athletic achievements there is plenty of research showing the health benefits of plant-based eating as well.
Personally I dramatically improved my health when I switched from a heavy meat-based diet to a completely plant-based diet. I've been vegan for 7 years now and have no intention on going back to an omnivorous diet. There is nothing you need to get from animal-based foods that you can't get from plant-based foods. Please don't take my word for it, and don't take the advice of a stand up comedian who's biggest podcast sponsor is a meat company. You alone are responsible for your health, fitness, and performance. Do your own research, read everything you can, experiment and draw your own conclusions.
Stay Strong AND Healthy!