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Thursday 25, Apr 2013

  Athletes Often Misuse Protein Supplements

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Athletes Often Misuse Protein Supplements

According to a recent study, protein supplements don’t improve performance or recovery time and such supplements are inefficient for most athletes.

Martin Fréchette, a researcher and graduate of the Université de Montréal Department of Nutrition, said these supplements are often poorly used or unnecessary by both high-level athletes and amateurs.

Fréchette submitted questionnaires to 42 athletes as part of his thesis for the Masters degree. In the questionnaire, sportsmen were asked about their use of supplements while keeping a journal of their eating habits for three days and came from a variety of disciplines including biathlon, cycling, long-distance running, swimming, judo, skating, and volleyball. Nine out of 10 athletes reported food supplements on a regular basis and they consumed an average of 335 products: energy drinks, multi-vitamins, minerals, and powdered protein supplements. Fréchette found their knowledge of food supplements to be weak and remarked the role of proteins is particularly misunderstood and said only one out of four consumers could associate a valid reason, backed by scientific literature, for taking the product according.

Seventy percent of athletes in Fréchette’s study didn’t feel their performance would suffer if they stopped such consumption despite the widespread use of protein supplements and Fréchette said more than 66 percent of those who believed to have bad eating habits took supplements. For those who claimed to have ‘good’ or ‘very good’ eating habits that number climbs to 90 percent. He further stressed that supplements come with certain risks and contended that their purity and preparation aren’t as controlled as prescription medication and sports supplements often contain other ingredients than those listed on the label and some athletes consume prohibited drugs without knowing.

No less than 81 percent of athletes taking supplements already had sufficient protein from their diet, Fréchette said and added that the use of multivitamins and minerals can make up for an insufficient intake of calcium, folate yet not for lack of potassium. Other studies have shown that 12 to 20 percent of products that are regularly used by athletes include prohibited substances and a particular interest by the athletes on the efficiency, legality, and safety of those drugs was observed by Fréchette. The researcher and graduate of the Université de Montréal Department of Nutrition also remarked that consumers of supplements had levels of sodium, magnesium, niacin, folate, vitamin A and iron that exceeded the acceptable norms, which makes them susceptible to health problems such as nausea, vision trouble, fatigue and liver anomalies.

In another study, Tim Byers, MD, MPH, professor of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health and associate director for prevention and control at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, disclosed that Beta-carotene, selenium and folic acid have now been shown to increase the risk of developing a host of cancers. Byers added that we need to do a better job as a society in ensuring that the messages people get about value versus risk is accurate for nutritional supplements and also added that his conclusion is that taking high doses of any particular nutrient is more likely to be a bad thing than a good thing.

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Monday 16, Jul 2012

  China panics over meat-free diet

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Performances in the lead-up to the London Games are getting hampered because of meat-free diets imposed on Olympic athletes outside their training camps, according to Chinese coaches and officials.

Athletes of the country have been ordered to reduce the risk of accidental doping from clenbuterol-tainted meat by steering clear of pork, lamb, and beef.

The ban on meat products came from the sports ministry of China this year after a warning from the World Anti-Doping Agency about contaminated meat in China and Mexico. The state news agency Xinhua reported that all 196 athletes had not eaten pork, which is a staple food for Chinese, for 40 days.

A patriotic pig farmer in Jiangsu province donated three tonnes of untainted pork to his country’s athletes after hearing about the ban earlier this year saying that pork offered by him is free from clenbuterol as he feeds his pigs with corn, soybeans, and wheat brans.

Sunday 03, Apr 2011

  Odenwald resigns as UIL director of athletics

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Odenwald resigns as UIL director of athleticsDr. Mark Cousins was recently named as interim director of athletics for the UIL and will be replacing outgoing director Cliff Odenwald, who resigned Dec. 31.

Odenwald worked in the North Texas area as a coach and administrator for 19 years before joining the UIL.

Dr. Charles Breithaupt, executive director of the UIL, said the process for finding a replacement for Odenwald will be initiated in mid-March.

Friday 15, Aug 2008

  Another steroid-related buzz at the Beijing Olympics? Aye, aye Captain!

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Beijing-2008-Summer-Olympics-SteroidsThe captain of Bulgaria’s volleyball team has been temporarily removed after a doping test, according to reports.

Plamen Konstantinov’s screening showed “substances that were in the upper range of the permissible levels,” said Bulgarian Volleyball Federation chief Dancho Lazarov said in an interview with Darik Radio, a Bulgarian radio station.

Lazarov, however, did not identify the substance.

“Plamen himself wanted to get retested and that is why he left for Bulgaria. If the new results are negative, he may return to Beijing,” Lazarov said.

The volleyball’s team doctor, Zahariev Dinko, provided an evasive answer when asked if the Konstantinev was clean.

“That’s what his statement is,” stated Dinko.

Bulgaria coach Martin Stoev likewise would not shed light on the issue. He said he and his players would not comment on the case.

The chairman of Bulgaria’s anti-doping commission said Konstantinov had not failed any doping test.

“His blood showed high levels of testosterone and, although they were below the maximum admissible levels, the volleyball federation decided to take an extra precaution and remove him from the match,” Kamen Plochev told National TV. “In their panic, the federation made a hasty decision.”

Bulgaria defeated Japan 3-1 (29-17, 23-25, 25-21, 25-19) in Tuesday’s preliminary pool match.

Incidentally, the inclusion of volleyball in the Olympics actually started in Bulgaria. Here’s a bit of interesting history for volleyball buffs.

In 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, the sport of volleyball was played as part of an American demonstration event. In 1947, Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) was founded in Paris, France. Both of these events called for the official inclusion of volleyball in the international games.

In 1957, a special tournament was played at the 53rd International Olympic Committee session in Sofia, Bulgaria to push for its inclusion. The competition was considered a triumph and thus volleyball was officially included in the program for the 1964 Summer Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan. The USSR men’s volleyball team won the gold while Japan took the gold in women’s division.