Warning over unnecessary fitness supplements as Gloucester runners prepare for marathon
AS runners across Gloucester enter the final weeks of London Marathon training, the dangers of some fitness supplements are being highlighted by a health and nutrition expert.
The warning comes a year after Claire Squires, 30, of Leicestershire, collapsed and died on the final stretch of the 26.2-mile course last April.
An inquest heard the drug DMAA, found in some health supplements and not banned at the time, was in her system.
A coroner said she died of cardiac failure caused by extreme exertion, complicated by DMAA toxicity. It was banned for sale in the UK four months after she died but is still available legally from overseas websites.
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Dan Crisp runs the CrossFit Glevum Gym at Waterwells, and puts together specialist fitness programmes and diet advice.
He said DMAA was easily found in some off-the-shelf fitness products and energy drinks like the now banned Jack3D.
"When you are exercising at maximum cardiac output and your heart rate is already high, another stimulant like DMAA is the last thing you need – it can be extremely dangerous," he said. "Before Claire Squires died, DMAA was widely available, even in some supermarkets. "Thankfully that isn't the case now. Some people think they need something extra to get them through endurance events like the marathon, but that isn't the case if a healthy balanced diet is followed.
"Supplements are exactly that, designed to complement a good balanced diet.
"The last thing people want to do is introduce anything new to their diet before an event."
CrossFit programmes include a mix of cardiovascular exercise, weight resistance work, gymnastics and calisthenics.
Dan runs the strength and conditioning centre in Gloucester, and also general fitness classes for children aged six to 16.
He advocates the Paleo diet to his clients, focusing on natural food, supplemented by additional omega 3, vitamin D3, magnesium and zinc.