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Muscle Diet

Mark Gilbert BSc (Nutrition)
Mark is an expert in sports nutrition and dietary supplements. He has over 20 years of experience working with the biggest names in the bodybuilding industry.
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Supplement Use In The Olympics

QUESTION: I know you work with some of the top names in the U.K. so I ask you the honest truth: Do Olympic athletes really take supplements?

ANSWER: The IOC (International Olympic Committee) has stated that "food supplements can enhance athletic performance" – ya, I know, these guys are on the cutting edge! Wow…just give me a minute to catch my breath…there’s more. They also believe that protein can boost muscle gains and repair and that you should stick to "quality" proteins! They didn’t go into any other specific supplements like creatine. But then again, there are only several hundred positive studies on creatine, so maybe they’re waiting for more evidence before they go out on a limb and endorse its use! Seriously though, the reason it has taken the IOC so long is that the doping authorities (especially in the USA) know that by endorsing supplements they put themselves in a difficult position. Some supplements (if made without proper manufacturing practices) can have tiny (or in very rare cases significant) amounts of banned substances in them and athletes are responsible for what’s in their body regardless of how it got there. So by admitting that they are effective, they potentially make themselves partially responsible for the use of supplements that have been known to result in positive drug tests! Then again simple vitamins and even food can cause positive tests in certain cases but the IOC washes their hands of these unfortunate athletes with their "no excuses" policy! But the IOC took the realistic position that athletes know that if they don’t take certain supplements, with the tiny margins between the gold medallists and the "also rans", they simply can’t win in international competition. They did give one good piece of advice – that athletes should get competent advisement on their supplement and dietary intake. But as those who read this column know, there are a lot more people who "think" that they are competent "experts" on sports nutrition and supplements than there are qualified, experienced experts!

To read more of Mark Gilbert’s work, click HERE! If you want to check out his personal website, please visitt: www.MuscleDiet.net. If you have a question you want answered, email us at: questions@muscle-insider.com