The Gladiator Diet: How Vegetarian Athletes Stack Up

The Gladiator Diet: How Vegetarian Athletes Stack Up
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Comparing the diets of the Roman gladiator “barley men” and army troopers to the modern Spartans of today.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Recently, the remains of dozens of Roman gladiators were discovered in a mass grave. The clue to their identities were the rather distinct types of mortal injuries they found, like being speared in the head with a trident. Using just their skeletons, they were able to reconstruct the death blows, show just how buff they really were, and even try to reconstruct their “diet of barley and beans.” You can look at carbon isotopes and see what kinds of plants they ate; “nitrogen isotopes…reflect [any] intake of animal protein.” You can also look at the sulphur in their bones and the amount of strontium, leading commentators to submit that the best athletes in ancient Rome ate largely plant-based diets.

Then there were the legionnaires, the Roman army troopers, famed for their abilities, also eating a similar kind of diet, suggesting “The best fighters in the ancient world were essentially vegetarian.” So, if the so-called “perfect fighting machine[s],” the great sports heroes of the day, were eating mostly grains and beans, should that tell us anything about sports nutrition and the preferred diets of elite athletes? Well, most of the Greeks and Romans were “basically vegetarian” and centering their diets around grains, fruit, vegetables and beans, so maybe the gladiators’ diets weren’t that remarkable. Plato, for example, pushed plants, preferring plant foods for their health and efficiency.

So yes, “the Roman gladiators were known as [the] ‘barley men.'” But is that because barley gives you “strength and stamina”? Or was that just the basic food that people ate at the time, not necessarily for performance, but because it was just so cheap?

Well, if you look at “the modern Spartans,” the Tarahumara Indians, the ones that run races where they kick a ball for oh, 75 miles just for the fun of it, running all day, all night, and all day, maybe 150 miles if they’re feeling in the mood. What do you get if you win? “[A] special popularity with the [ladies] (although how much of a reward that would actually prove to be for a man who had been running for two days [straight] is questionable,” though maybe their endurance extends to other dimensions). “Probably not since the days of the ancient Spartans has a people achieved such a high state of [extreme] physical conditioning.” And what did they eat? The same kind of 75 to 80 percent starch diet based on “beans, corn, and squash.” And, they had the cholesterol levels to prove it, total cholesterol levels down at an essentially heart attack-proof 136. And it’s not some special genetics they have—you feed them enough egg yolks, and their cholesterol creeps right up.

Modern day Olympian runners eat the same stuff. What are they eating over there in Kenya? A 99 percent vegetarian diet centered mostly around various starches. But as in all these cases, is their remarkable physical prowess because of their diets, or in spite of their diets? Or have nothing to do with their diets? You don’t know…until you put it to the test.

“In spite of well-documented health benefits of [more plant-based] diets, less is known regarding the effects of these diets on athletic performance.” So, they “compared elite vegetarian and omnivore…endurance athletes for [aerobic fitness] and strength.” So, comparing oxygen utilization on the treadmill, and quad strength with leg extensions. And the vegetarians beat out their omnivore counterparts for “cardiorespiratory fitness,” but their strength didn’t differ. Suggesting, in the very least, that vegetarian diets “do not compromise athletic performance.”

But this was a cross-sectional study. Maybe the veg athletes were just fitter because they trained harder? Like in the National Runners’ Health Study looking at thousands of runners: vegetarian runners were recorded running significantly more on a weekly basis; so, maybe that explains their superior fitness. Though, maybe their superior fitness explains their greater distances.

Other cross-sectional studies have found no differences in physical fitness between vegetarian and non-vegetarian athletes, or even worse performance, as in this study of vegetarian athletes in India. Of course, there could be socioeconomic or other confounding factors. That’s why we need interventional studies to put different diets to the test and then compare physical performance, which we’ll explore next.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: rudall30 via 123RF. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Recently, the remains of dozens of Roman gladiators were discovered in a mass grave. The clue to their identities were the rather distinct types of mortal injuries they found, like being speared in the head with a trident. Using just their skeletons, they were able to reconstruct the death blows, show just how buff they really were, and even try to reconstruct their “diet of barley and beans.” You can look at carbon isotopes and see what kinds of plants they ate; “nitrogen isotopes…reflect [any] intake of animal protein.” You can also look at the sulphur in their bones and the amount of strontium, leading commentators to submit that the best athletes in ancient Rome ate largely plant-based diets.

Then there were the legionnaires, the Roman army troopers, famed for their abilities, also eating a similar kind of diet, suggesting “The best fighters in the ancient world were essentially vegetarian.” So, if the so-called “perfect fighting machine[s],” the great sports heroes of the day, were eating mostly grains and beans, should that tell us anything about sports nutrition and the preferred diets of elite athletes? Well, most of the Greeks and Romans were “basically vegetarian” and centering their diets around grains, fruit, vegetables and beans, so maybe the gladiators’ diets weren’t that remarkable. Plato, for example, pushed plants, preferring plant foods for their health and efficiency.

So yes, “the Roman gladiators were known as [the] ‘barley men.'” But is that because barley gives you “strength and stamina”? Or was that just the basic food that people ate at the time, not necessarily for performance, but because it was just so cheap?

Well, if you look at “the modern Spartans,” the Tarahumara Indians, the ones that run races where they kick a ball for oh, 75 miles just for the fun of it, running all day, all night, and all day, maybe 150 miles if they’re feeling in the mood. What do you get if you win? “[A] special popularity with the [ladies] (although how much of a reward that would actually prove to be for a man who had been running for two days [straight] is questionable,” though maybe their endurance extends to other dimensions). “Probably not since the days of the ancient Spartans has a people achieved such a high state of [extreme] physical conditioning.” And what did they eat? The same kind of 75 to 80 percent starch diet based on “beans, corn, and squash.” And, they had the cholesterol levels to prove it, total cholesterol levels down at an essentially heart attack-proof 136. And it’s not some special genetics they have—you feed them enough egg yolks, and their cholesterol creeps right up.

Modern day Olympian runners eat the same stuff. What are they eating over there in Kenya? A 99 percent vegetarian diet centered mostly around various starches. But as in all these cases, is their remarkable physical prowess because of their diets, or in spite of their diets? Or have nothing to do with their diets? You don’t know…until you put it to the test.

“In spite of well-documented health benefits of [more plant-based] diets, less is known regarding the effects of these diets on athletic performance.” So, they “compared elite vegetarian and omnivore…endurance athletes for [aerobic fitness] and strength.” So, comparing oxygen utilization on the treadmill, and quad strength with leg extensions. And the vegetarians beat out their omnivore counterparts for “cardiorespiratory fitness,” but their strength didn’t differ. Suggesting, in the very least, that vegetarian diets “do not compromise athletic performance.”

But this was a cross-sectional study. Maybe the veg athletes were just fitter because they trained harder? Like in the National Runners’ Health Study looking at thousands of runners: vegetarian runners were recorded running significantly more on a weekly basis; so, maybe that explains their superior fitness. Though, maybe their superior fitness explains their greater distances.

Other cross-sectional studies have found no differences in physical fitness between vegetarian and non-vegetarian athletes, or even worse performance, as in this study of vegetarian athletes in India. Of course, there could be socioeconomic or other confounding factors. That’s why we need interventional studies to put different diets to the test and then compare physical performance, which we’ll explore next.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: rudall30 via 123RF. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

80 responses to “The Gladiator Diet: How Vegetarian Athletes Stack Up

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  1. A good documentary should be coming out early 2019 called, “The Game Changers”, they also cover this topic. Around ten years ago, I was told about a tiny vegetarian high school that placed 2nd in state in cross country running, the entire high school had 30 something students. You can also read Scott Jurek’s book: “Eat and Run”, which is pretty inspiring.

    1. Scott Jurek is pretty amazing and for a time held the Appalachian trail run record, a run that takes more than 6 weeks. Many top athletes in a variety of sports ewt mostly plants.

  2. Thank you so much for posting this! NPR just broadcast (in their article “How Much Protein Do You Really Need?”) that more protein might be necessary as we age (that aging prevents us from processing protein as well as we processed it in our earlier years, so we need much more of it to feel energetic/have muscles), which of course is making the meat eaters stand up and point their steaks at me. So, I’m hoping NutritionFacts.org can verify the science on whether or not our protein needs change as we age. Thank you so very much! XO

    Their link: https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2018/12/03/669808699/how-much-protein-do-you-really-need

      1. Thank you so much! I really appreciate your help in finding this (it seems I did not use the correct search words to find this–oops!). Those seeking this info are going to be so happy to receive this video. Thanks again! XO

      2. People lose muscle mass as they get older mainly because they move less. Many athletes stay fit into later life.
        We need exercise, including strength training, not only for muscles, but also because it benefits the brain by raising BDNF.
        Good to know animal protein not needed.

    1. I just opened the study and went straight to who it is funded by. It is funded by “the beef checkoff programme” just googled who they are and they are a beef industry funded organisation who aim to fund research and marketing to drive consumer demand for beef….follow the money!

    2. It’s worth remembering that ‘protein’ does not equate to meat,fish, eggs and dairy. In fact, the foodstuff highest in protein is soy protein isolate. And soy protein concentrate isn’t far behind.
      https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/nutrients/report/nutrientsfrm?max=25&offset=0&totCount=0&nutrient1=203&nutrient2=&subset=0&sort=c&measureby=g

      Spirulina and tofu are also also much better sources of protein (ie they have a higher protein content) than beef, lamb and pork.

      In terms of whole foods though, beans like soy beans and legumes in general are good sources of protein. What is more, they seem to be a much healthier protein option for older people since their consumption by older people seems to consistently predict lower mortality risk:

      ‘The FHILL longitudinal study shows that a higher legume intake is the most protective dietary predictor of survival amongst the elderly, regardless of their ethnicity. The significance of legumes persisted even after controlling for age at enrolment (in 5-year intervals), gender, and smoking. Legumes have been associated with long-lived food cultures such as the Japanese (soy, tofu, natto, miso), the Swedes (brown beans, peas), and the Mediterranean people (lentils, chickpeas, white beans).’
      http://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/APJCN/13/2/217.pdf

      1. Tom,

        This brings me back to Flashback Friday.

        I understand that the vegetable proteins are better for the kidney and I thought that, even if the plant products had more phosphorous and potassium that the body processed this better, too, when they were from vegetable sources.
        Spring said that getting enough protein while staying within range with phosphorous and potassium is harder for vegetarians.

        I lose the logic somewhere between the vegetarian protein, phosphorous and potassium are better, but they still can’t eat enough of them go get enough protein while on dialysis.

        Versus WFPB reversing kidney failure and reversing the need for transplant.

        My cousin needs surgery to have his veins become one big vein or something.like that.
        I don’t understand why they weren’t pushing him more toward the Rice Diet 2 years ago, but now I don’t know how to process the big picture.

        Is he going to die faster eating lots of meat or eating vegetarian? Maybe they have statistics on that?

        1. Does dialysis make the animal protein less bad for the kidneys?

          At what point does the vegetable phosphorous and potassium matter even if the body processes them better?

          Can’t it just be double boiled to lower it enough?

          1. Is it like those one way tunnels in Maryland heading to Or away from DC?

            Suddenly, the logic switches and you are driving the wrong way down a one way street.

            I wanted to go sit there all day because I didn’t understand what it would look like when the traffic changed.

            Probably a half hour of cops only or something?

          2. Deb

            I think that this is complicated and it should probably be left to the professionals who have both the relevant expertise and access to patient case notes..

            In general though, if people need protein, tofu delvers more than beef. Plant protein also contains less phosphorous than animal foods and what is more that phosphorous is less bioavailable than phosphorous from animal foods. Fruits and vegetables are low in phosphorous but they can be high in potassium.
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4361095/

            Unfortunately, tofu is high in potassium. However cabbage cauliflower, celery, apples, watermelon and alfalfa sprouts are low in potassium.
            https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/low-potassium-diet-foods#1
            and “Patients with potassium concerns should avoid potassium-rich plant proteins, such as seitan or tofu, and replace them with nuts or soy beans.”
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5409713/

            If you are serious about checking this out, you would have to go to the US National Nutrient Database and download the spreadsheet showing the protein, potassium and phosphorous content of foods –
            https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/nutrients/report?nutrient1=203&nutrient2=305&nutrient3=306&&max=25&subset=0&offset=25&sort=c&totCount=7524&measureby=g

            Then import the data into an Excel database and sort by highest protein content and lowest potassium and phosphorous contents to identify the most suitable foods. It’s a simple job for an Excel/database whizz but presumaby this is what CKD nutritionists have already done.

            Hope this helps but a WFPB nutritionist should be all clued up on thse things..

            1. My cousin has gone to several nutritionists and naturopaths and doctors and none of them have helped him at all and he is frustrated.

              1. He said that they often do Diabetes logic and not Kidney failure plus Diabetes logic.

                He was frustrated about it the whole time since the kidney problems started, but now he also has unmanaged Diabetes and has changed to Dialysis which changes some of the logic.

    3. Other, far wiser people than me, have chimed in about the question if this recommendation holds any water or not, but I wanted to add that I have absolutely no problem reaching 70g of protein/day on a plant-based diet, and I’m a relatively small woman (1,64m, 54kg) and usually do not eat more than 1.700 kcal a day. Someone who has larger caloric needs (taller person, more exercise), it would be even easier to hit the recommended 50-60g a day, or much more. So, just stuff some beans down the throat of someone bothering you about your protein intake!

    4. Thanks for the NPR information. While I do listen to NPR and some of their programs are wonderful, In my local
      PA. area the station is “sponsored” by the mainstream “health” care insurers. Because of this their programming
      is completely focused on the allopathic medical system. I have never heard a program from them about “alternative” health
      choices, they are always pushing “vaccinations”, and relying on your doctor. Years ago NPR was truly alternative
      and Gary Null had his own radio program. namaste’, rachel

      1. I can’t say that I follow the logic here.

        Health care insurers have a strong vested interest in ensuring that their clients stay healthy. After all, that way they don’t make any claims and the profits of health care insurers also stay healthy.

        That is presumably why the insurers promote vaccinations. Vaccinations save lives and reduce sickness. it is truly saddening to think how many people have died or had their lives blighted because of anti-vaccine advocates.

        Ditto with most ‘alternative health choices’. In cancer treatment for exmple, people who choose alternative care over conventional ‘allopathic’ cancer treatment have a much higher risk of dying. in this study, patients who chose alternative medicine over ‘allopathic’ medicine were more than twice as likely to die.
        https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/110/1/121/4064136

        Yeah, Gary Null. The guy’s made millions promoting pseudoscience and his own branded products but apparently people are totally unconcerned about any finacial conflicts of interest that may be influencing him and other alternative health gurus.

        1. Tom,

          I am not going to disagree with quite a bit of what you have said here, but death by doctor is also a genuine phenomenon. Over-prescription is a serious problem. Lack of being open to nutritional changes like WFPB at all is what I will say is more common.

          I agree that alternative health is its own industry and has its own money trail, and they don’t always back their protocols up with science.

          My coworker and my family would agree with you. My coworker just said that the biggest problem is that people look on the Internet and try to look their own information up rather than just go to a doctor and do whatever he says.

          I look at my dog and my relatives and coworker feel the same about the vet and can’t understand why I think I am smart enough to do things my own way. I think that I don’t think that I am smart enough or educated enough, I just have had results so much better than the experts have said every time I don’t just listen to them and the results usually come doing opposite what they say.

          The vet said to take my dog home and feed him hamburgers and don’t let him exercise and put him on increasing doses of steroids and give him something so he won’t stop eating and I wster fasted him and fed him vegan and took him off steroids and think exercise helps Cancer patients and my dog is walking into the neighbors yard because he wants to explore six months after his diagnosis.

          1. Tom,

            I don’t go to a doctor but I do listen to doctors all day long and half the night.

            I listen from every direction and they dong even agree with each other.

            That is the sentence my cousin says.

            He finally just yelled at all of them and said, “none of you are on the same page and he told them that he wouldn’t do the process anymore unless they talked to each other and contacted him after they figured things out.

          2. Deb

            I am not trying to say that conventional medicine is perfect – because it isn’t. As you note, it kills many people each year. My point is that it is overall less bad than alternative medicine, and by-and-large does more harm than good. Aso, because it is based on evidence, thorough investigation and testing, it tends to be self-correcting. I don’t think that the same things can be said about alternative medicine

            What is more, modern guidelines (at least for chronic diseases) all emphasise that the first line of treatment is diet and exercise. For example, the UK guidelines for vcardiovascular disease preventiom but US guidelines and guidelines for other chronic diseases do the same sort of thing
            .https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg181/chapter/1-Recommendations#lifestyle-modifications-for-the-primary-and-secondary-prevention-of-cvd

            The problem is that medical practitioners are human and they make mistakes from time to time and they don’t always follow the guidelines. That’s no reason though to ignore conventional medicine and uncritically believe the claims of glib alternative medicine gurus. Doing so is likely to be bad for our health and our wealth. That said, I accept that in the US in particular conventional medicine can be a rapacious devourer of people’s wealth.

            Bottom line, the best medicine is a healthy lifestyle but sometimes we need professional assistance and here like everywhere else it pays to be an infromed consumer.

            As you will probably have gathered, I tend to think that most alternative health advice is snake oil and that many alternative health gurus are motivated by money (and fame)

            1. Wow, I got tht the wrong way around ‘and by-and-large does more harm than good.’ It should of course have been’ more good than harm’.

          3. What I remember was that they did start saying eat canned fruit and I think they subtracted a lot of plant food and said that jelly beans were okay or something like that

        2. I am a believer in alternative medicine including that vitamins and minerals (in food form) are healing,
          that chiropractic, acupuncture, reiki, energy healing, and reflexology (which I practice) help many people. I do not believe in any
          vaccinations or that they have helped keep people healthy or save lives, they have side effects and there is a vaccine lawsuit fund that most people are unaware exists. We have an immune system for a reason. The vast majority of drugs have multiple side effects and most “work” because the patient believes they will; its’ the placebo effect. Drug companies hide the fact that the placebo effect works as well as their drugs do. Studies show that cancer drugs/poisons only really ‘work’ in about 4% of cancers. Alternative treatments adhere
          to what Hippocrates preached “do no harm”, and at least do not destroy the immune system. If someone wants to see an allopathic doctor and use
          the unnatural treatments they use,, that deal with symptoms and not the root cause, that is their choice. namaste’, rachel

            1. Thank you cool kitty. Many people all over the world are waking up to the health problems associated with vaccines of all kinds, including flu shots, and are refusing to get them.
              Vaccines do NOT make people healthy. We have an immune system, none of us suffer from a shortage of vaccines (or drugs, chemotherapy or other toxic treatments).
              Mercy Hospital in St. Louis is firing any hospital staff who refuse to get a flu vaccine, including those who object because of religion, staff people are protesting because they know the truth about vaccines and choose to say no.
              I have a relative who got regular flu vaccines every year for years, and I noticed every time she got her vaccine she got sick within a week or so of receiving it. Many children have died right after receiving vaccines, or become paralyzed in some way. Say NO to vaccines by doing your homework and judge for yourself. Boost your immune system by consuming a high raw plant rich dietary regimen and avoid animal products if you can. http://www.vaclib.org is one group telling the truth.

    5. Hello Kristen, thanks for your comments.

      That’s true indeed, elderly need more protein per Kg of weight, this is on order to prevent loss of muscle mass and strength which is a phenomenon known as sarcopenia.

      According to Nutrients. 2016 Jun; 8(6): 359, and many other scientific studies, protein intake in this stage of life should be around 30% of the caloric intake, however, they also conclude that “Unfortunately, long-term studies assessing the effect of this level of dietary protein consumption on functional outcomes in elderly adults have not been performed.”

      In any case, a higher amount of protein doesn’t mean that has to be from animal sources. It can be achieved with plant sources or vegan protein supplements with a good level of leucine, which is the main amino acid responsible for protein and muscle synthesis.

  3. All the studies mentioned were of endurance athletes. I eat WFPB, so there’s that. But it would be interesting to see comparison by diet of strength athletes i.e. Olympic weight and power lifters. Also of combat athletes like MMA fighters. Different forms of fitness may peak w/ different nutrient intake though likely with a price.

  4. The studies on Athletic performance with respect to a Plant based diet vs. Animal based diet need to be done on Strength/power based athletic sports such as Power Lifting, Body building, Football lineman, etc, activities that require muscle growth and strength instead of just endurance ( like distance running).

    1. William Adamo, I had a good laugh when I read your comment: “Animal based diet need to be done on Strength/power based athletic sports…” when my immediate reaction was Why? I am never going to participate in those sports, and neither are most people. So are your proposed studies really necessary for such a tiny proportion of the overall population?

      But if such studies are done, I hope that they include the wear-and-tear on the athlete’s body, both short term and long term of these extreme sports, and their effect on longevity and disability.

      1. Huge numbers of people participate regularly in strength based sports, Cross Fit, martial arts, weight lifting, etc. Many of those sports combine endurance with strength. If you want to reach those people, research or some form of demonstrable proof is needed. They certainly won’t take the word of a scrawny pencil neck….like me.

    2. as a former power lifter with 35+ years of lifting experience, i can tell you that i am in better shape at 52 than at any time of my life and a major factor is my vegan diet of over 11 years.

      for evidence, you need to check out the aforementioned upcoming documentary “Game Changers” along with the following websites including that of David Carter the former pro football player and 300lb vegan:

      http://gamechangersmovie.com/

      https://www.300poundvegan.com/about/

      https://www.greatveganathletes.com/all-strength-sports

    3. MANY professional athletes including weightlifters, bodybuilders and Olympic athletes have become vegan and state their stamina,
      strength and recovery time has vastly improved. David Carter, the 300 pound vegan, had to stop playing pro football because his
      body had so much inflammation and pain–he became vegan and went back to playing pro football. Patrick Baboumian is the strongest
      man in the world and has been vegan for over 8 years. Over 10 members of the Tn. Titans pro football team have become vegan.
      The list keeps growing and growing as more athletes discover the aging and deterioration that happens in the body from eating animals.
      namaste’, rachel.

  5. As a cyclist who regularly rides 200-500kms per week I can attest to just how much going vegan has improved my endurance. I also workout at gym 3-4 times per week (whole body workouts all of them). You don’t fatigue anywhere near as quickly on vegan/WPFB diet, you recover MUCh faster. I tell all my cycling mates to go vegan. I get the vast majority of my calories from beans/lentils, fruit, oats, potatoes/sweet potatoes, rice, buckwheat, nuts and bulgur wheat. Throw in at least 0.5kgs of Kale/Spinach/Broccoli per day and you can’t go wrong. Also i find this way of eating just way more satisfying. I can eat as much as I want.

  6. There’s a reason why NBA players are turning to veganism. It’s been a game changer for me at 37, I’m still keeping up with most 20-somethings :)

  7. Hey, I am “suffering” from tremor. Means my hands are always shaking a bit. This gets worse when I am under pressure. It mostly affects me when I do present something in school or when I need to carry stuff like a really full cup, I will spill it.
    This is a property of me since I can think and my dad has it too. My dad recently came up with a doctor named “Michael Spitzbart” who says that most illnesses are caused by a lack of nutrition like Vitamins or amino acids. He now gave me the advice to eat dietary supplements of this nutrition. Since I read Dr. Greger’s book I do not think that overfilling my body with those supplements will help me because I would just eat pills of like 5 supplements without even knowing if that is the reason for my tremor. And even if it was, I don´t know if supplements would help to fill this lack.
    We do research for quite some time now, without getting any kind of success. It seems like the shaking appearance we experience is just not popular or has no known treatment. Beta-Blockers are no option for me, also because it does not harm me that much.
    If there is anyone who is familiar with this please let me know.

    Thanks for reading

    1. Jan,

      Have you had lab tests for your nutrition to see if you have any deficiencies? That might be a good place to start.

      Magnesium is one.

      Blood sugar is another.

      Caffeine and alcohol would be other potential causes.

      Is it a hand tremor?

      They have devices, which passed FDA Clearance called the Cala One, which caused a 27% improvement.

      https://calahealth.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/2018/04/CalaHealth-PressRelease-FDAClearance-2018Apr26.pdf

      If it gets really bad, they have deep brain stimulators. Brain pacemakers.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2WCw4oUju4

      There are people who believe that you can stimulate the brain without the surgical procedure and are trying to get a patent.

      https://patents.google.com/patent/US7228178B2/en

      If that is true, you might be able to do electric acupuncture or other types of brain stimulation, but I am coming from a self-hacker perspective.

      Basically, I already am someone who uses the concept of stimulating the nerves to the brain because the stroke community uses that to get back function.

      1. In the PBS Mayo Clinic Documentary a violinist developed tremors and he did the brain surgery and kept being able to play and he could turn his tremors on or off using a remote control.

      2. Thanks for your reply. I have already tried Magnesium in different dosages without any effects. I can also except alcohol and caffeine because I rarely consume them. In fact, after drinking alcohol it actually gets better. But obviously its no solution. Your article sounds very interesting. I guess it will take some time before it becomes affordable and commonly used. But it might be worth the patience. Thanks a lot

    2. Jan, some artificial ingredients such as msg, (now hidden under many names), artificial flavors, food coloring and artificial sweeteners can cause tremors in some people. Eliminate them from your diet and see if this helps.
      Also, some people genetically need higher amounts of magnesium and B vitamins. Sugar uses B vitamins to be metabolized, so eliminating sweets can be very helpful. Also particularly B12 is deficient in some.
      For magnesium, upping your intake of vegetables and whole grains helps, especially if there is little magnesium in your water.
      If you take calcium supplements as many do, you need to also supplement with the same number of milligrams of magnesium. Magnesium oxide is useless, needs to be malate, citrate, or theonate.
      Btw, I don’t think it’s necessary to take calcium if you are vegetarian with an alkaline diet. High animal protein intake causes the body to lose calcium.

    1. Yes, of course you should be suspiciois. This whole site is pretty obviously part of a vegan conspiracy to distort the evidence.

      The alternative explanation, that he can only discuss the studies and evidence that is actually available, is just too convenient. Right?

    2. Hi Craig
      In research they often time use the generic term “vegetarian”. So if more interested you need to pull the actual article and see what they were eating. Eggs, diary, none etc.

  8. Sadly most people who eat vegetarian or vegan stop at the limits of what they do not eat, but pay little to no attention to what they actually NEED to be eating. This is why there are countless people who profess a ‘good’ diet that have nutrient deficiencies. The average vegan is missing too many nutrients they need daily to be a great athlete. Most do not even get the minimum amount of daily macro-nutrients let alone micro-nutrients because they do not even KNOW their personal requirements which are affected by activity levels such as sports participation.

    1. ‘……..missing too many nutrients they need daily to be a great athlete.’

      That entire argument applies to everybody not just ‘vegans’. Not that everybody in interested in being a great athlete anyway. Far more important to my mind than eating ‘to be a great athlete’, is what is eating for healthy longevity. The amount and type of nutrients needed to be a great athlete may actually worjk against our chances of achieving healthy longevity.

      That said, every credible nutritional and health authority from the US dietary guidelines downwards has concluded, after studying the evidence, that well-planned ‘vegetarian’ and ‘vegan’ diets are nutritionally complete. In fact, if you look at US dietary guidelines for example you will find that the average US omnivore needs to make signifiant changes in eating patterns to achieve a healthy eating pattern
      https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/chapter-2/current-eating-patterns-in-the-united-states/

  9. There are many examples from years ago of athletes performing well on raw food vegan diets. Notably Steve Arlen (David Wolfe’s early partner) wrote a book on raw food weight lifting. Doug Graham (an athlete) pioneered the 80/10/10 diet essentially fruit based. This first video is really not helpful. If the Roman Gladiators were eating 80% veg-what is the importance of the other 20%? There are no scientific studies using an essentially vegan baseline that then study the effects of adding animal products selectively as “supplements”. There is a big difference between eating 8oz. meat daily and eating 2 oz grass fed, no hormone beef once a week. And no studies comparing effects of eating cooked meat with raw meet (optimum quality assumed). With vague science and poor parameters virtually ANY conclusion can be supported. It’s time we start to examine best health practices without bias-starting with freshly prepared organic foods for all studies. There is a big difference between eggs from foraging poultry on an organic farm and commercial eggs. There is a big difference between Amish aged raw, unsalted goat cheese and salted commercial cheese. There is a big nutritional difference between food raised with natural farming (permaculture) including raw, wild edible foods with any commercial produce sold at e.g. Whole Foods. There is significant difference between eating dead ripe fruit off your own trees and ANY store bought fruit. Humans can survive eating almost anything. Elite athletes in their twenties training daily can eat pizza without affecting their performance. Marathon runners will carbo load the night before-eating the kind of junk that contributes to epidemic diabetic obesity. So using high performance athletes as an example of what to eat isn’t really helpful. Using sick people as a study group is much more powerful. Because here food choices are critical and their effects immediately obvious. I hope this stirs the pot.

    1. Laurence, thanks for sharing!

      I have been thinking an awful lot about this sentence recently: “Humans can survive eating almost anything.”

      The human body, by design, can survive for a very long time on calories alone.

      I have been thinking about it because of my dog. He has Cancer and I didn’t want to give him animal products anymore but struggle to get him to eat the healthiest alternatives.

      Water fasting really has turned things around for him, and it has changed it so that if he rejects my food for a day, he is just going to get water for 2 days. He is feeling so well now that he has started wandering into the neighbor’s yard. In fact, I had to yell at him and that has only happened a few times in his 14 years.

      I think about natural disasters and winter storms where people are separated from food supplies. I started pondering Katrina after the flooding or Haiti after the quake or other events. I wonder if it might be better for people who don’t have a medical reason not to water fast do it and rebuild their immune systems and produce less waste for that first week. They might be stronger to avoid the diseases that came next.

      1. They probably couldn’t give those instructions because people don’t know their own medical conditions.

        Well, I would think if I were in that situation. Water fasting with electrolytes seems like wisdom for a few days to try to boost the immune system, maybe followed by vegetable broth.

        When I was in 7th grade, we had a class on natural disasters and had to write what we would do to survive a tsunami and earthquake and flood and things like that. I think it is still part of my mental process to think about things like that and try to figure out what I would do. Well, if the plague ever comes back, maybe a week on water to rebuild my immune system.

        1. During the time when my brain was seriously broken, I invented a disaster bed. LOL! I could never explain how broken my brain was. Nobody will ever understand.

      2. Please look into RAW FOOD FOR DOGS. I fed my doggies this way and there is a lot of information on the internet about it, plus
        lots of books as well. Commercial dog food is sadly polluted by the diseased/drugged farm animals that go into it, plus the cereal and
        grains that are mostly GMO and added to it. Raw meat, eggs, organs, bones are a big part of the RAW diet for dogs but raw vegetables
        and even fruit, sprouts are additions. I would suggest organic everything. There are people who do feed their dogs a vegan diet but
        from what I have read they do not do well on soy or heavy amounts of grains. Another option is to hire a good animal intuitive and
        have her/him communicate with your dog and see if they can tell you anything energetically as well. Sometimes with our animals
        what they are showing is a reflection of US, so try working on yourself–hope that helps.namaste’, rachel

  10. “This year, U.S. News ranked two new diets: the Keto Diet and Nutritarian Diet. The popular Keto Diet – a low-carb, high-fat regimen – ties for last on the Best Diet Overall list. The Nutritarian Diet, created by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, president of the Nutritional Research Foundation, and designed to promote health and longevity, ties for No. 15 for Best Diet Overall.”

    https://www.usnews.com/info/blogs/press-room/articles/2018-01-03/us-news-reveals-best-diets-rankings-for-2018

  11. What a tease! Can’t wait for the next video. Of course I’m already well convinced that a plant based diet is optimal for overall health (as evidence proves) and naturally athletic performance along with that. I’d be surprised and suspicious to hear otherwise, but we shall see what the next video has to show us.

    Off topic… I was just reading this bit on nori and while I normally don’t pay attention to “6 benefits of” type blogs, this one actually references studies and I’ve read about the B12 in purple nori/laver on pubmed. So after reading this, I was curious and checked on cronometer and found that two sheets of nori had almost 50% DV of B12 according to their website. And according to the article (posted below) it contains a large variety of types of B12.
    I would be curious to learn more about nori and other sea vegetables. Apparently there’s also EPA in nori which is pretty cool.

    https://superfooddrinks.org/6-health-benefits-of-nori-seaweed/

    1. I have some nori at home waiting for me to make Miso.

      I don’t make it as often as I used to because I haven’t figured out how they will taste with Dr. Greger’s umami ice cubes.

        1. Deb, have you tried it before? I never heard of it so I looked it up. If it’s good, it would be great to have something WFPB to replace soy sauce. I use Bragg’s liquid aminos but there’s still a lot of salt in it for use as an actual sauce.

    2. Jack Norris is cautious about relying on Nori as a source of B1 and remarks

      “The results indicate that B12 in raw nori can be changed into harmful inactive B12 analogues by drying, and that dried nori decreases B12 status. Yamada et al. said that although dried nori cannot be used as a B12 source, in small amounts it is not harmful. However, they believe that raw nori is an excellent source of genuine B12.

      I disagree with their conclusion that raw nori is an excellent source of active B12. While eating raw nori, the subjects’ uMMA levels increased 5%. While this was not enough of an increase to be statistically significant, it indicates that the raw nori did not improve B12 status (which would have required MMA levels to drop, rather than increase). This study showed that this batch of raw nori did not have enough inactive B12 versus active B12 analogue to be considerably detrimental, but it did not prove any benefit.”
      https://veganhealth.org/vitamin-b12-plant-foods/

      1. Thanks for the info and article, Tom. It had a lot of great insight.

        I just got some raw nori that was dried at low temperatures, I wonder if that would still qualify as raw. I never imagined it would be a reliable source to ensure our B12 intake, but I like the idea of having naturally occurring B12 from a plant in addition to supplementation especially from something like a sea vegetable with lots of other benefits and the B12 just being an added bonus. I do hope they do more research on nori and other foods for naturally occurring B12 content, where it comes from, and its activity when ingested.

  12. The milk industry is pushing chocolate milk as a recovery drink for athletes. Can’t think of anything I’d want less than milk after a workout. But my question is, are there any legitimate studies showing that milk prevents stress fractures in athletes or increases bone density at all?

    1. Going by memory, in other videos by Dr. Greger it’s actually talked about how animal milk consumption is actually associated with greater risk of hip fractures. I would check out Dr. Greger’s videos on dairy. On the other hand, evidence shows that SOY consumption increases bone density. There’s a great podcast here on soy and I believe that is where I learned that, I highly recommend listening to it.

  13. jamescknight,

    There actually a few studies, let’s look at 2 : Start with this one: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1934148210003400 but note the conclusion with the emphasis on the potassium intake (read veggies).

    “Conclusions
    In young female runners, low-fat dairy products and the major nutrients in milk (calcium, vitamin D, and protein) were associated with greater bone gains and a lower stress fracture rate. Potassium intake was also associated with greater gains in hip and whole-body BMD.”

    Add to this the: Dietary and Training Predictors of Stress Fractures in Female Runners https://journals.humankinetics.com/doi/abs/10.1123/ijsnem.22.5.374

    “Conclusions:
    Servings of milk during middle-school years were positively correlated with hip BMD, although current calcium intake, low BMD, irregular menstrual history, hard training surface, and long history of training duration were the most important predictors of stress fractures.

    Contrast those studies with this one; With 6712 adolescent girls assessed for 7 years…..Vitamin D, Calcium, and Dairy Intakes and Stress Fractures Among Female Adolescents at; https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/1149502.

    “Conclusions: Vitamin D intake is associated with lower stress fracture risk among adolescent girls who engage in high levels of high-impact activity. Neither calcium intake nor dairy intake was prospectively associated with stress fracture risk”

    Which of course brings into question the earlier studies as they used commercial vitamin d fortified products…..So one might ask is it the vitamin d or the other constituents or the combination.

    And yes there is a publication, Vegan diets: practical advice for athletes and exercisers which is suggestive of the need for supplementation,(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5598028/) not unlike that suggested by Dr. Greger and others. Interesting in this article they still suggest a low protein intake by vegans and issues that do not appear to be typical or usual for most vegans following a WFPB diet.

    Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com

  14. Thanks for the reply Dr. Kadish. Interesting that the latest study refutes the “calcium builds strong bones” mantra that the dairy industry pushes. It’s a shame they’re now pushing their products on young athletes as something to improve performance with little science behind their claims.

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