Ergogenic Aids and Anabolic Steroids

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The evolution of human beings and the deep ergs for competitions has always been one of the important purposes of nature. From the beginning of time, the battle for work, shelter, food, and status to show their worthy or how vital they may be to society. Competition to this day is still a big part of society from people competing with one another, themselves, or team/groups. There is no doubt that we are going to see this instinctual trait show it self at its greatest potential within athletes. These individuals spend most of their lives trains and working toward the same common goal of winning. We raise our kids in this environment of competition were if you do not win you're not successful. The push from the home side all the way through school and now social media will drive some to great length in order to win or be successful. Due to genetic not everyone will have that god given talent and this is where supplements and science come in. This is where athletes have found the use of anabolic steroids and ergogenic aids to enhance their performance. While not all supplements are bad or band, the one ones that do give a competitive edge do come with consequences. Now there is a difference between human growth hormone and steroid and their affect on the performance of an athlete.

Ergogenic Aids and Anabolic Steroids

Ergogenic aids is composed of foods, substances, and or methods of training used by athletes with the hopes that it will enhanced their recovery, use, and energy production to help in their quest for an advantage in competition (Laberge, 2013). The amount of ergogenic aids found on the market is massive especially with new one arriving in shelf on a weekly basis. When looking for ergogenic aids they can be easily found, due to the fact that most of them are sold under dietary supplements at your local grocery store, GNC and gyms everywhere. Were most of the product clam that they can enhance an individual's performance or their recovery, but there is very little studied or science to stand by these claims. Although we have the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) who is the agency which regulate foods and the sale of supplements established under the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and education Act (DSHEA). Now between DSHEA and the USDA is how supplements can be sold with no proof of ingredient or actual effect are arcuate. Supplements like protein and vitamin C can be sold in stores legally under the statement that they are to supplement your daily diet. Another form of ergogenic aids are anabolic steroids. Which are a large collection of chemically derived substances, that are classified by a particular carbon structure (Maravelias, 2005). The original use for steroids was to treat swelling or inflammation for example prednisone or cortisone, but hormones like estradiol and testosterone are also included. For a long time now we most often see steroid being used be individual that are trying to get an edge on the completion in their respect sport. Commonly known as anabolic steroid that are taken via injection or orally to help the production of extra hormone which will increase over muscle mass, strength and endurance.

Effects of Steroid Use on Athletic Performance

Rafael Palmeiro, Tyson Gay, Marion Jones, Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Lance Armstrong, Mark McGwire, Anderson Silva, Roy Jones Jr.; these are all professional athletes that have been accused, or tested positive for performance enhancing drugs (PED). In today world of sports there is a much larger spot light on PED usage by athletes, they are criticized and accused of cheating for using PED to increase their performance. Although PED are believed to date back as far as the Greek empire were they used opium juice doping while the competed (Historical Timeline - Drug Use in Sports, 2013). In more recent time PEds like cocaine, heroin, strychnine, and caffeine were used in the Olympic. That was till the International Association of Athletics Federation (IIAF), first band doping in 1928. Like always this did not stop other from still using amphetamines like the one used by the military during WWII in order to enhance their performance. Today we still see the use of anabolic steroid for the same purposes. In some case we even see combination of different compounds to increase the affect on performance, which is known more commonly as stacking (Kutscher, 2002). The stacking of drugs or PED is to have the ability of combining drugs that each serve different purposes to work together covering all basis as strength size and endurance all at once versus splitting them into separate cycle. Even though some may doubt the effect of steroids the accomplishment of many tell other wise. Like Alex Rodriguez 3,000 hits during his career and reached 600 homeruns, Marion Jones track star won two bronze medals and three gold medals at the 2000 Olympic games, and Lance Armstrong achieved seven titles of La Tour de France (Historical Timeline - Drug Use in Sports, 2013).

Steroids vs. the Human Growth Hormone

Most might think that Steroids and Human Growth Hormone (HGH) are the same thing. That assumption is not correct, there are actually a couple differences confirm they are different. Yes they are both PED that can change body composition, build muscle, and increase strength. However when we look at the break down of each compound. Steroid like testosterone are composed of a synthetic chemical that grow muscle by obtaining protein. When it comes to HGH they are hormones which occur naturally in your body. This causes a boost in metabolism, reduces body fat, builds muscle, and increase endurance (Human Growth Hormone, 2017).

Additional benefits to human growth hormone is the improvement in sleep, mood, skin tone, sex drive, and a decreased in erectile dysfunction. This all fall well with in the natural function of the HGH the is produced in your body. HGH level naturally peak during puberty as it play a major role in growth and development. Another way HGH is is proven beneficial due to it production in the pituitary gland and it play a major role in the regeneration of cell and growth. HGH is even used in actual medical treatments for adults as well as children and was approved by the FDA for medical use (Human Growth Hormone, 2017). Although there seems to be many benefits, neither HGH or steroids come without their risk. Some studies have show side affect such as size increase in your face, hands, feet, and internal organs. Any athletes that is considering the use of any substance of this sort should be very careful and conduct their research on all affect both positive and negative. Then way the option and think were it is worth the risk.

Medical Risks of Steroid Use

The side affect of steroids is normally learned the hard way from lack of research and over use of the substance, which can apply to any medication that is sold today when used in excess it can be deadly. When cyclists Tommy Simpson and Knut Jensen died in the 60's from the use of amphetamine during a competition. After these deaths in 1967, a medical committee was established by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to protect the athletes and their health. This was to provide a respect for medical and sport ethics as well as an equal playing field for all athletes (Historical Timeline - Drug Use in Sports, 2013). Just like all other medication produced by pharmaceutical campany steroids have adverse side affect such as peliosis hepatis, impotence, elevated levels of liver enzymes, testicular and breast atrophy in men and women respectively, decreased reproductive hormones, depression, mood swings, aggressive behavior, and even psychosis (Maravelias, 2005). Rules, testing, as well as severe consequences that have come about for those who choose to cheat there will always be the one that is willing to test the boundary.

Conc lusion

As long as we know, no matter how far back we go ingrained in our DNA is the ambition to be the best to compete and win it is in our nature. This only means that there will always be an individual willing to go to great length to become the very best at their individual sport and go down in the history book. To some it is all they know it it should be not surprise that knowing the risk involved with PED they will still risk it all to win. Even though studies show the positive affect of PED in athletes, it is very important that the understand and differences between HGH and anabolic steroids is understood. Never the less the understand of the risk and consequence involved when using or get caught using PED.

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Ergogenic Aids and Anabolic Steroids. (2019, Dec 04). Retrieved November 28, 2023 , from

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