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Avoid supplements, Dr. Paul Wright warns Jamaican athletes

Published:Thursday | March 26, 2015 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott
Dr. Paul Wright makes a point at The Gleaner's Editors' Forum.

Former Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) board member, Dr Paul Wright, told The Gleaner Editors' Forum last Friday that it is very easy to refuel the body after competition, and coaches should educate themselves with this information, as it is readily available.

He also warned against the dangers of taking supplements, saying they should never be taken by athletes.

The outspoken and highly respected physician said expertise on how to refuel the body after competition and how to fuel the body before, now exists.

"People who are involved in sports have to refuel the body, especially at Champs, you have to refuel the body for the following day," he said.

"Now it is proven that, within 30 minutes of competing in any event, 50 grams of carbohydrate and 20 grams of protein will refuel the body," he revealed.

"When you tell people things like that, they start to think of steak and all types of things (foods), but 50 grams of carbohydrate and 20 grams of protein is a glass of orange juice and a peanut butter sandwich, so we don't have to go into a lot of things," he explained.

However, he noted that athletes who may lack certain vitamins, minerals or nutrients in their diet may need supplements to replenish the body.

"You have people who a patty is their dinner, and these are the people who need help with supplementation. But get the expertise," he advised.

"There are some people who put out a letter this week complaining to JADCO about drug testing at Champs, and they said they have all the answers to refuelling and pre-competition fuelling, so these things (information) are available," he insisted.

Dr Wright pointed out that the use of supplements continues to be a key reason why some Jamaican athletes test positive for drugs and advises athletes and coaches to find alternate solutions.

"Don't take these things (supplements), you have no idea what they put in it, because it is classified as food and they'll put anything in it because they want to sell their products," he urged.

Top coaches Maurice Wilson (who led Holmwood Technical to 10 Girls' Champs titles) and Corey Bennett (sporting director and new sensation Hydel High) were also at the Forum. Both expressed similar sentiments to Wright and noted that they don't give their athletes supplements.