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Is Arnold Schwarzenegger Vegan?
What You Can Learn from His Diet

Last Updated on

With athletes like David Haye, Venus Williams, and Patrik Baboumian, the myth that you need to eat meat gain strength has already been busted.

Yet the announcement that Hollywood star and ex-Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger is eating less meat and dairy has still shocked the global media.

So has the Governator made the switch to completely plant-based food? And if so, why?

Read on to find out more.

Is Arnold Schwarzenegger vegan? 

If you want to talk about things in black or white, no, Arnold Schwarzenegger is not strictly vegan. He has chosen to get the majority of his nutrition from a plant-based diet and is only eating meat occasionally. On top of that, he has cut out beef and cow's milk completely.

People will buy in to stop eating meat one or two days a week – you have to start slowly. It's a very big challenge but it doesn't mean it shouldn't be done. - Arnold Schwarzenegger

Schwarzenegger said in a YouTube video that he doesn't think he will ever be all the way vegan. But for now, he is feeling much healthier, happier, and his impact on the planet is much less.

So is he a vegan if he still eats a little chicken and fish? No. Not really. But he's bringing the ethical food discussion to the table, and in my experience, even a step in the right direction is massively important.

Why did Arnold Schwarzenegger stop eating meat? 

Arnold stopped eating meat

Just as some are happy to sling arrows at the strongman for adopting a label that isn't really his, some others are not happy with his reasoning behind making the switch.

Many believe that Arnold has made the switch for health reasons under the advisement of his doctors having eaten a diet high in red meat for many years.

Those same commenters don't think he would be speaking out about veganism as passionately as he is or making the real changes that he has if it wasn't for health reasons, and again, they might be right. 

The other side of the argument though, is that he is paying more attention to his food and what he eats. 

He is sharing important science both about the effect of his diet on the planet and his own body.

In a country practically owned by the meat industry, any voice sharing a different message should be a welcome one.

Is meat bad for you? 

Yes and no, meat is a broad term. If you are eating a lot of red meat or processed meat, then yes, it's definitely bad with proven links to bowel cancer.

Meat is also incredibly high in saturated fats, which leads to raised cholesterol levels in the blood. This can dramatically raise your risk of heart disease.

There are certain nutrients and minerals that can be derived from consuming meat. Though, all of which can be found through
vegan supplements or on a plant-based diet. It can be part of a balanced diet if you're very careful about your intake and practice moderation. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a co-producer of The Game Changers

The reason behind the actor's adoption and advocation for a plant-based diet is very likely to do with his involvement in the new Netflix documentary "The Game Changers".

Arnold Schwarzenegger is an executive producer on the film alongside longtime friend and "The Terminator" director James Cameron. 

The documentary follows James Wilks as he travels the world talking to professional athletes and those following a plant-based diet to achieve great things.

Jackie Chan, Novak Djokovic, and Lewis Hamilton are all listed as fellow executive producers as well as being interviewed themselves. 

The Game Changers Programme by Arnold

Being a vegan professional athlete 

In the documentary, Schwarzenegger talks very candidly about his diet as a younger man in his bodybuilding days and how unnecessary it was.

Looking at athletes like Patrik Baboumian, it's clear to see that most of what we are taught about what it means to be a big, strong man is clearly marketing, and proteins are easily found elsewhere.

The Game Changers goes into scientific analysis about what the body needs to build muscle and perform at its best. It features an impressive roster of talent that does exactly that, many of whom are literally at the top of the respective sports. 

Eating less meat is good for the environment 

Plant in hands

As The Governor of California (or the Governator), Arnold Schwarzenegger was a fierce proponent of policies addressing climate change, building a greener future, and tackling greenhouse gasses. 

Proposition 23, which would have annulled Schwarzeneggers AB 32 commitments, was funded by Texan oil companies but was rejected by Californian voters due in large part to campaigning done by The Governator himself. 

When it comes to meat and its effect on pollution and climate change, he has clearly done his research, and this passion is another primary proponent behind him making the switch himself.

He has spoken out against cattle farming and the dairy industry. 

His green legacy and legislation to cut emissions by 25% by 2020 were challenged and defended even after his term was up.


Schwarzenegger’s Practical Health Tips

  • 1
    Know your body - Know what your body needs and set your fitness goals right.
  • 2
    Focus on protein - Whether you’re a lifter or a marathoner, you need protein to support muscle growth and recovery.
  • 3
    Ditch the sugar - Reduce sugar intake as much as you can and make sure that your carb intake is focused on fiber.
  • 4
    Portion is key - Tracking your portion gears you towards taking in what your body actually needs instead of empty calories.
  • 5

    Supplement your diet - Supplement your diet with a good multivitamin, protein powder, and mass gainer especially if you’re serious about bulking up.


Arnold Schwarzenegger's Supplements

Transparent-Labs-Organic-Vegan 150

Vegan Protein

Supports muscle recovery after an intense workout session. Made from high quality plant-based protein made from pea and rice sources.

Performance-Lab-Multi

Multivitamin

Contains the recommended amounts of vitamins B, D, A, and C, as well as calcium, iron and iodine to supplement Schwarzenegger's predominantly plant-based diet.

transparentlabs Creatine 150x150

Creatine

Speeds up muscle growth and recovery and provides a boost in energy to enhance physical performance during his sessions in the gym.

Mind Lab Pro

Natural Nootropic

Improves mental focus and attention. It also supports the overall brain health, keeping Schwarzenegger sharp and slick despite his age.

CBDPure Hemp Oil 300

CBD

Reduces anxiety and improves mood while also supporting nerve and brain health. Schwarzenegger also uses CBD oil to relieve muscle pain post-workout.

4 Gauge

Pre-workout

Enhances physical performance by allowing better and quicker protein synthesis, thus preventing premature muscle fatigue.

Performance Lab Sleep

Natural Sleep Supplement

Schwarzenegger uses a natural sleep supplement to support muscle recovery through recuperative down time and restful sleep. 

organifi product

Greens powder

Keeps you energized without the unnecessary calories. A superfood greens powder is filled with nutrients and could be a great workout drink.

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Conclusion 

Calling Arnold Schwarzenegger a full vegan would be a lie, but if he wants to call himself 99% vegan, I think that's still positive change, and it's going to spread the message to a lot of new people. 

To borrow the viral quote on zero waste - "we don't need 1 vegan doing it perfectly, we need 100 doing it as best they can."

What's your take on Arnold's stance on veganism?

Let us know in the comments below.

Rafid Nassir is a health and fitness fanatic, with the main aim of maximising muscle mass and minimising body fat, with as little time investment as possible.