All-Ireland-winning Donegal football captain Michael Murphy has revealed that the only supplement he takes is a simple protein shake after gym sessions.
The amount of supplements being consumed by top GAA players has come under a microscope following Kerry footballer Brendan O’Sullivan’s anti-doping violation after last year’s league final.
O’Sullivan was initially informed of a four-year ban by Sport Ireland, though he served just 21 weeks in total after it was accepted by authorities that he unwittingly consumed a contaminated product.
The Valentia player, who appeared as a substitute in that league final defeat to Dublin, also declared that he had taken eight different supplements in the 14 days prior to the game.
Aside from Augmentin medication, he listed the following supplements: Whey protein, Pharmaton, pre-fuel, caffeine tablets, caffeine gel, vitamin C, krill oil, and magnesium.
Murphy, one of the most physically powerful figures in Gaelic games, said the only supplement he takes is a protein shake to aid recovery.
“Personally, I try to keep it to a balanced diet and, for me, a protein shake after a gym session is about the height of it,” said the Donegal captain.
“I didn’t see the exact list (declared by O’Sullivan), and that could well be the case for him, but speaking for the teams that I’ve been involved in, I don’t think the list is as substantial as eight or nine anyway. Protein after a game or training is about it.
“It’s a conversation around a table at the moment between players, chatting at dinner after a training session, it’s definitely under the spotlight. You’re saying, ‘Is that supplement all right?’
“But, again, speaking for ourselves, it’s not a list of eight or nine. The only thing I take now is after I do two gym sessions, I take whey protein, from Kinetica. I’m told that’s batch tested and that’s OK and that’s all I take.”
Asked if he felt the list of supplements taken by O’Sullivan seemed excessive, Murphy shrugged.
“For me, looking in, it seems a bit, but whatever works for individuals and, if it’s all above board, by all means.”
Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice defended the amount of supplements being used in the O’Sullivan case and claimed it would be difficult for players to eat the large amounts of food required to give the same benefits.
“Speaking for myself, on what I tend to use and not use, we’ve a nutritionist in with us at the moment and he’s very, very good and basically puts the whole emphasis back on diet and eating well,” said Murphy.
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