As long as there have been sports there have been athletes in search of an advantage and of all of the ways to get a leg up these days professionals often turn to performanceenhancing drugs. You hear about them in just about every sport. In the U.S. some of the best baseball players of all time have been accused of using PEDs. American football players are regularly suspended for failing drug tests.
And of course lance armstrong famously, finally came clean about blood doping in 2012 vacating his seven Tour de France victories in the process. And then there’s the whole deer antler spray thing. There’s no shortage of ways athletes tried to enhance their performance. Some of them work.
But at high cost to their health, their wealth and others just don’t work at all. So which are which and how do they work and not work? Give me a few minutes and I’ll give you a few lessons in the science of why cheaters never win.
We refer to them as drugs but most performance enhancers are really just versions of the chemicals that you already have in your body. These are the compounds that your body uses to build and heal itself and keep itself healthy. But by ramping up the levels that these compounds in the hopes of getting more out of your body.
You could end up putting yourself in a world of hurt. hgh or human growth hormone is a good place to start. Even though we all have it a lot of people have no idea what it is. Your body produces HGH from the pituitary gland at the base of your brain. It stimulates growth and cell development and works with another hormone called.
Insulinlike growth factor1 also known as igf1. HGH is converted into IGF1 in the liver and it has several effects throughout the body including increasing bone and muscle growth. The natural production of HGH peaks during teenage years, starts to steadily decreased about the time you hit 30 and declines through the rest of your life. Growth hormone does help regulate.
Metabolism in adults but its main purpose is really to spur growth during childhood. Since 1985 an injectable form of HGH has been produced synthetically and the US Food and Drug Administration approved it to treat children with growth issues, genetic disorders, and kidney problems. For adults HGH might be prescribed for conditions like bone loss or high cholesterol or very rare pituitary.
Tumors. Despite its high cost; a month supply HGH can cost up to five thousand dollars. Human growth hormone has become popular among athletes looking for an edge. A big reason for this is that it is really hard to detect since everyone’s body produces it. Also HGH starts to break down within 30 minutes injection so even the best test can only detect it like through abnormally high.
What Do PerformanceEnhancing Drugs Do To Your Body
Hey there and welcome to life noggin. Would you take a performanceenhancing drug that could help you become an Olympic champion? What if that drug had some serious negative side effects? These drugs are banned in sports, but that doesnt stop some athletes from taking them. So what do they do and how do they work? Lets start off with the most famous of these drugs: anabolic steroids.
When these are taken, the body breaks them down into smaller molecules that can enter cells and bind to a structure called an androgen receptor. Normally, testosterone binds to this, but anabolic steroids can too. And from here, the real magic begins. See, once the androgen receptor is activated, your body starts to produce more proteins during the process of anabolism.
The cells in your skeletal muscles start to replicate, and this means that your muscles will start to grow and youll become stronger. In fact, in men, exercise and steroids could lead to a 38% increase in strength, and potentially even more for women. And not only that, but anabolic steroids can also help athletes train harder and recover faster by shortening catabolism the process in which proteins are broken down into amino.
Acids. But, of course, not all the effects of anabolic steroids are positive. It can cause acne, high blood pressure, and malepattern baldness in both men and women. They can cause mens testicles to shrink, decrease sperm count, and increase your risk for prostate cancer. And women using these steroids can develop facial hair, a deepened voice, and their periods.
May change or even completely stop. So, seriously, dont use these. But what if an athlete isnt really concerned with muscle strength, but rather wants to improve their endurance? This is where blood doping comes in handy, but again, this is a bad move. So bad, in fact, that Lance Armstrong was stripped of all seven of his Tour de France.
Victories and was banned from the sport for life. The goal of blood doping is to increase the amount of the oxygencarrying red blood cells in the blood. And this is usually done with either blood transfusions, using your own blood, or by injecting yourself with erythropoietin, a molecule that stimulates the production of more red blood cells.
And the basic idea is that the more oxygen that can get to your bodys muscles, the more endurance you will have. So does it work? Well, in one study, blood doping increased an athletes endurance by 34%, and in another, an athlete was able to run 8 kilometers on a treadmill 44 seconds faster than before. That might not sound like a lot, but when these athletes are competing with the best.
Of the best, every second counts. Now, these are just the tip of the iceberg. Other performanceenhancing drugs include human growth hormone, which helps increase athletes sprinting capacity by up to 4% and increases muscle growth as well. But trust me when I say that, if you are an athlete, its probably better to just train the oldfashioned way with a lot of hard work and sweat.