Athletics Federation of India’s high-performance director Volker Herrman has said that Indian athletes take more supplements compared to world-class athletes of other countries.

Herrman is of the opinion that taking supplements is not always helpful and there is a need for a better diet at training centres of the Sports Authority of India.

“We want to reduce the number of supplements our athletes are taking because it is a bit of an issue right now,” Herrman was quoted as saying by Indian Express. “In comparison to most of the world- class athletes, I have to say that our athletes are relying too much on supplements, which in most cases are not even helpful.”

The 34-year-old said that natural food is always better and AFI should persuade athletes from relying on supplements. He called the benefits of supplements a ‘misconception’.

“Athletes must rely less on supplements and develop an understanding of the food they need,” he said. “We are in discussions with SAI because we have to improve the food at the training centres. I think it’s a problem which SAI has realised and now they have announced a couple of job opportunities for chefs. SAI is willing to listen and adjust a few things.”

The change in diet at SAI centres has already been requested and Herrman said that soon there will new food for athletes.

“We are going to introduce fresh fruit juices at the [training] camps and we [will] get organic eggs,” he said. “In general, the world diet is based on proper levels of carbohydrates and proteins, and we need to educate the athletes as well about what is the healthy stuff and what is the stuff they better avoid.”