Sunday 25 February 2018

Range of products 'distract athletes'

Fiona Dillon

Fiona Dillon

ATHLETES are becoming increasingly distracted by the mind-boggling range of sports nutrition products on the market, experts have warned.

It is not just young people that are relying on supplements -- but many adult sportspeople are also forsaking the traditional rules of good training.

Without basic elements like good eating and drinking practices along with talent and training, "no amount of sports supplements will turn you into a champion", says dietitian Dara Morgan.

"There is a perception out there that you can 'out-supplement' a poor diet. It's like it's a magic pill. It's like the whole weight loss idea, that a magic pill can fix it," she said.

However, Ms Morgan said that people should not underestimate the importance of getting the basics right.

She said she has always found when working with teams there is lots of scope to work with, in terms of just general diet, "looking at meal patterns, at their protein intake, their carbohydrate intake, strategic timing of protein, before and after a training session and making sure they get enough energy, and fruit and vegetables".

"I have always had so much scope within that to make improvements, to make a difference," she said.

Ms Morgan pointed out that the Irish Sports Council recommends that it is inappropriate for any junior athlete or player to be taking supplements that could have an impact on their physical development.

However, in relation to adults "there is very good sound scientific evidence around a small number of supplements".


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