The days when sports was just about fun and thrill are gone. Today, it has become a competition where winning is more overpowering than the game. To win has become a status symbol, a question of ego that every sportsmen wants to be satisfied with. Caught up with the shadowing struggle of competition frenzy, the use of drug in sports has increased to a dramatic percentage with more and more involvement of adolescent athletes in it.
Performance enhancing drugs are generally divided into four categories: creatine, androstenedione, ephedra alkaloids and anabolic steroids. Mostly, except anabolic steroid, all of the drugs are easily available. FDA since 1994 has no control over the distribution of these supplements. Most of these drugs are sold as “natural” and “safe” without any authority being involved in checking through the purity and efficacy of the supplements.
Androstendedione are prohormones which convert to testosterone in the liver and are available in the form of pills. The amount of recommended use varies from product to product, which makes the young sportsmen even more vulnerable to the scientifically recommended use. Most studies provide that the drugs are ineffective in raising the levels of testosterone whereas some suggest that they in fact raise the levels if consumed in a high dose. Andro is also reported to increase the estrogen levels in the body.
Adverse effects of Andro on the other hand include gynocomastia which is the premature closure of plates; hair loss, and acne, changes in behavior, testicular atrophy and aggressive mood are the other adverse effects. The behavior change also results in steroid rage which is intense anger when the drug is not made available to the addict. The worst of all side effects is the addiction to the drug caused by using it in high dosages.
Creatine is basically a protein that is available in the form of fine powder. Creatine is synthesized at 1-2% grams per day in liver. Also found in fish and red meat, creatine is recommended 2 grams a day. A heavy dosage of this supplement is used to enhance performance of the muscles. Creatine, throughout the world is the most commonly abused supplement in sports. Young and mature athletes strongly believe that it significantly enhances their workouts and decreases sore muscles.
Adverse effects of the supplement include water retention and weight gain. Stress and muscle tears follows when it is consumed for a long period in combination with muscle exertion. The worst of all is renal, as the supplement being a protein which raises the levels of creatinine, if consumed for long it results in renal dysfunction.
The use of drug in sports has become increasingly popular at athletes of college level. This is mostly a result of college admissions on sports basis, highly increasing the stake of seat retention. Good performance is no longer based on one’s own potential and ability. Artificially increasing stamina and potential is the new cool. It however eventually leads to physical ailments that deprive a person of their natural ability to perform well in sports.