The Gladiator Diet How Vegetarian Athletes Stack Up

Comparing the diets of the Roman gladiator “barley men” and army troopers to the modern Spartans of today. Subscribe to Dr. Greger’s free nutrition newsletter …


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  • I hear a lot about how a diet of mostly grains, low fat is best for endurance. But personally I find this simply is not the case for me. I was strictly loyal to McDougall’s starch based diet for a year. I am a runner. It worked well. But I had issues. For one. When I started upping my running program to train for my first marathon I had come to a serious stagnation as far as performance. Seems I could run great up to about 8 miles then I just would bonk. Even if I ate while running (bananas). After mile 8 and beyond the run became excruciating no matter how much I slowed down. And I could not overcome that hurdle. I have ADHD and also found the very low fat McDougall diet was effecting other areas too. Such as concentrating, focus and anxiety. Out of desperation, and a firm belief that a vegan diet is the best. I decided to switch to the thrive diet by Brendan Brazier. Huge difference!!!! I couldn’t believe when I ran 14 miles easily!!! And still felt as if I could run more! I have improved focus and less anxiety. The thrive diet derived most of its calories from nuts and seeds. (Despite what the book says, I still avoid oil). I’ve cut way back in starch. Not completely though. I still eat sweet potatoes and grains. But a lot of nuts and seeds. So. I’m not sure why my experience is so different then what they say. I just think the starch masses low fat diet is best for those who are not endurance athletes. Sprinters. Weightlifters. And those who don’t exercise do great on the Mcdougall diet. But endurance athletes I think need more fat from nuts and seeds.

  • Its amazing how this pro plant based diet doctor manipulates the evidence.
    Gladiators were infact fed mainly with barley because it helped to make them Fat,having Fat on their body actually protected them from dying from wounds unless it was a fatel wound.
    If you look at ancient drawings of gladiators you will see they are indeed fat.
    Its also quite interesting that if you look at people’s bodies from the 1950,s in films you will see a perfectly natural body(they are not impressive)by today’s standards and actually women were fat compared to today’s standard.
    Having fat on you’re body in days gone by actually helped you survive either as a fighter or a woman giving birth.
    The bodies we see today in films and the media are not natural bodies and did not exist in history.
    The most healthy native people eat a diet of plants and meat,infact all tribes eat such a diet.
    There are no true 100 per cent plant based natives.
    The indian tribe that he speaks of do infact supplement their diet with meat.
    The only part that is true is that use plant based nutrition due to its high strore of sugars ie glycogen as they need it for such long runs.

  • After looking at the specific Ethiopian distance runner's diet in the study referenced, there is no mention of eating ANY leafy greens. This reduces my fear of not getting enough. Adds credence to the Dr. McDougall diet.

  • If i eat a vegan diet, i become lifethreating sick due to ulcerative collitis. If i eat a ketogenic diet, alsmost a carnivorus diet, i am more healthy then i could ever expect from my life. I have no symptoms at all. Maybe some people can eat a vegiterian diet without getting sick, but i tell you this, we have genetic markers that dictates what we should eat. Scandinavian people thrive mostly on fatty foods and small ammounts of veggies, and people south usually thrive on more veggies. There is entire papers on this subject so if it interests you you should check it out. And id like to add that what was a vegiterian diet in egypt then is not the same as a vegiterian diet today. We have almost all gmo plants, and nothing is the same as it was 3000 years ago.

  • I personally would not follow any diet that was used by a guy that got speared in the head with a trident… I want to see what the guy throwing the spear ate. Probably steak and eggs.

  • Food and diets do not give you Superior physical abilities this comes from within part of your soul your genetic makeup what makes you you all of the work that you have put into yourself training within the elements and struggling eating food whether it be a piece of meat or a berry does not affect this only shallow arrogant narcissistic and inferior type of beings seek this type of information out to feel better about themselves

  • I have trained MMA before and after going vegan and I can say once I turned vegan I felt a surge of energy, strength and conditioning that was unbelievable, I'm in the shape of my life because of plants, you couldn't pay me to go back to eating meat.

  • Well.. I think mcdougall got it right from the beginning…
    Starch based diet for the win (build around the daily dozen for recent history cause of the nutrionnal deficneies our soil and produces have encountered)
    oh mcdougall you son of a gladiator !

  • Look at the animal world
    Herbivores can run faster and longer then their carnivore hunters. Most of the carnivore hunters have to hunt in packs. In flat out runs the herbivores can out last the carnivores.

  • Unfortunately for the animals enslaved and tortured by the meat and dairy industry:
    a) Way too many people have success living on keto.
    b) Not enough vegans care about their fitness and physique.

  • lol i changed to ketogenic diet and i feel i can go longer on the treadmill and lift heavier. Not only I get leaner and burn more fat, my heart rate goes down drastically. Carbs just real bad for the body, at least for me.

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