Effects of Performance Enhancing Drugs

Introduction[edit | edit source]

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Numerous ergogenic aids that claim to enhance sports performance are used by amateur and professional athletes. Approximately 50 percent of the general population have reported taking some form of dietary supplements, while 76 to 100 percent of athletes in some sports are reported to use them.

Performance- Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) are pharmacologic agents that athletes and nonathlete weightlifters use to enhance performance [1]

Physicians can evaluate these products by examining four factors (method of action, available research, adverse effects, legality) that will help them counsel patients.

Common ergogenic aids include

  • Anabolic steroids, which increase muscle mass. These illegal supplements are associated with a number of serious adverse effects, some irreversible. They represent one of the oldest classes of drugs of abuse and, accordingly, their effects have been most extensively investigated. When combined with exercise training, AASs increase muscle mass and strength and reduce fat [2] .
  • Creatine modestly improves athletic performance and appears to be relatively safe.
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone and androstenedione do not improve athletic performance but apparently have similar adverse effects as testosterone and are also banned by some sports organizations.
  • Caffeine has mild benefits and side effects and is banned above certain levels. Products that combine caffeine with other stimulants (e.g., ephedrine) have been linked to fatal events.
  • Protein and carbohydrate supplementation provides modest benefits with no major adverse effects[3].

Below there are additional links to pages (see also those above) regarding the influence certain drugs and performance enhancers can have on an individual and the exercise process.[4]

Side effects of PEDs[edit | edit source]

  1. Direct Effects: Hypertension, Dyslidipemia, Myocyte Hypertrophy, Interstitial Fibrosis [2]
  2. Indirect Effects: Extreme cardiac remodelling, Exercise-Induded cardiac injuy, Interstitial fibrosis [2]

Clinical Consequences[edit | edit source]

The influence of human growth hormone (HGH) on physiologic processes and exercise[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Pope Jr HG, Wood RI, Rogol A, Nyberg F, Bowers L, Bhasin S. Adverse health consequences of performance-enhancing drugs: an Endocrine Society scientific statement. Endocrine reviews. 2014 Jun 1;35(3):341-75.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 La Gerche A, Brosnan MJ. Cardiovascular effects of performance-enhancing drugs. Circulation. 2017 Jan 3;135(1):89-99.
  3. Ahrendt DM. Ergogenic aids: counseling the athlete. American Family Physician. 2001 Mar 1;63(5):913.
  4. Burke LM, Castell LM, Stear SJ. BJSM reviews: A–Z of supplements: dietary supplements, sports nutrition foods and ergogenic aids for health and performance Part 1.