WEEK OF THE DIETITIAN: DAY 3
This week is the week of the dietitian. The next 3 days we will post an interesting article about the work of our dieticians Jonas Melis and Lander Van Genechten in the sports world. The last article will be about supplements.
Now that we already know what the players’ diet looks like and what they get at training and competitions, can we perhaps go a little deeper into supplements?
Certainly, within the sports world the use of supplements is very common. Pills, powders, drinks or drops, everyone has come into contact with them. Much is written and claimed about them, but as with regular nutrition, it is important here to create a clear picture for the athlete. Although the story starts with basic nutrition, supplements are something we immediately discuss during a first consultation with a player. We do this because irresponsible use of supplements can lead to serious side effects or loss of performance. With supplements, it is not the case that more is always better. A surplus is not always easy to excrete.
So how do you go about it?
First, we determine the profile of the player; there are a number of factors that influence the decision to administer a supplement. Age, position, weight, compliance, time of year, possible side effects, personal preferences and injury status are some examples. There is also consultation with the doctors, they give us the blood results of the players and based on that we determine who needs which doses. We also try to administer as much as possible ourselves, that way we have the most control over the quantities and frequency. Based on the intensity and the type of effort, we also administer a certain supplement. It would be nice to use GPS data of players in the future to determine supplements.
Aren’t all those supplements very expensive?
Before our arrival, the club already had a wide range of supplements on offer. We have removed some and added others. For example, there were three different supplements available with a high dose of magnesium. By selecting and advising on this, we were able to order a number of supplements less. In addition, too much magnesium causes symptoms such as nausea, stomach cramps and diarrhoea. Something we definitely want to avoid. Furthermore, we only use supplements that are supported by hard scientific evidence. If a product can make a player perform better without serious side effects and is of course legal, then as a professional club you should want to invest in it. There are also sponsorship agreements that reduce the costs.
What do you think is the next step in the right direction?
First of all, the elaboration of what we have already started this season step by step. The things that have been discussed over the past three days are a good start in our opinion. In the future, periodisation is also an interesting avenue to explore. Periodisation has proven its worth in training and has been the standard for a number of years. The tuning of nutrition and training in order to create even more training gains is a relatively new development. It certainly seems worthwhile to us to look at this in the future with the rest of the staff.