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Nutrition works for Olympic athletes

Posted Sep 22 2008 11:03am
Nutrition and alternative medicine This year's Olympic games in Beijing could be described as the 'good nutrition games' as 90% of athletes used nutritional dietary supplements of some kind.

Supplements have been under scrutiny by athletics governing bodies due to the occasional contamination that has resulted in athletes being banned from their respective sports.

The supplements industry has suffered from these allegations with negative comments about under regulation and poor quality products.

However, the Beijing event has boosted the public image of dietary supplements after a 'clean' Olympic games performance.

Some athletes were sent home from the Games for doping offences but these were unrelated to supplement use. Previously, athletes used the excuse that supplements were contaminated and they were unaware but the World Anti-Doping Agency places all the onus on athletes to ensure everything they take is safe.

This stance has led to sporting bodies advising athletes not to take any dietary supplements for fear of contamination but opinions are changing and this year's Olympic games will only help to validate that change.

Dr Adam Carey of the European Specialist Sports Nutrition (ESSN) has said that if there are safe products on the market that benefit performance and overall health it is almost negligence to advise against their use.

Supplements that are of particular interest to athletes include Creatine, peptides, sports drinks and green tea.

UK Sport, who look after the interest of UK elite athletes, have recently advised athletes that supplements can be used safely if they've been tested in WADA-certified labs.

WADA have a 4,000-strong banned substances list and conducted around 5,000 doping tests at the Olympic games. The industry believes that if products that come under this scrutiny at an event like the Olympics it shows that they have their house in order.

Nutritional supplements used by alternative medicine practitioners can be beneficial to health. Consider seeing a therapist involved with: Nutrition, Chinese Herbal Medicine or Ayurvedic Medicine

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