Is going vegan really game-changing for cyclists?

Netflix film The Game Changers stirred up a furore around going ‘plant-based’ to get fitter, stronger and faster, but does the reality match the hype? David Bradford investigates

(Image credit: chris catchpole)

In the opening sequence of The Game Changers documentary, presenter James Wilks – a former mixed martial arts champion – explains that his interest in veganism started when he got injured and began genning up on recovery.

He claims to have spent 1,000 hours researching recovery-boosting nutrition. One thousand hours? Assuming he studied 9am to 5pm without lunch breaks, that’s a full four months of solid reading. Anyway, amid these mountains of paperwork, he stumbled upon an article purporting to prove that Roman gladiators (“the original professional fighters”) ate a mostly plant-based diet.

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David Bradford
Features editor

David Bradford is features editor of Cycling Weekly (print edition). He has been writing and editing professionally for more than 15 years, and has published work in national newspapers and magazines including the Independent, the Guardian, the Times, the Irish Times, and Runner’s World. Alongside his love of cycling, David is a long-distance runner with a marathon PB of two hours 28 minutes. Having been diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) in 2006, he also writes about sight loss and hosts the podcast Ways of Not Seeing.