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Performance-Inhancing Drugs: Impact to your body | Healthiy B |

 What Do Performance-Enhancing Drugs Do To Your Body?

Performance-Inhancing Drugs


Would you take performance-enhancing drugs 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 doesn't stop some athletes from taking them. So what do they do and how do they work?

1. Anabolic Steroids

Let's 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 you'll 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 male pattern baldness in both men and women. They can cause men's testicles to shrink and decrease sperm count and increase your risk for prostate cancer. And women using these steroids can develop facial hair, and a deepend voice, and their periods may change or even completely stop. So seriously, don't use these. But what if an athlete isn't 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 oxygen-carrying 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,

Performance-Inhancing Drugs


2. 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 body's muscles, the more endurance you will have. So, does it work? Well, in one study, blood doping increased an athlete's endurance by 34% and in another, an athlete was able to run 8km 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 performance-enhancing drugs include human growth hormone, which helps increase athlete's sprinting capacity by up to 4% and increases muscle growth as well. But trust me when I say that if you are an athlete, it's probably better to just train the old-fashioned way, with a lot of hard work and sweat. Excluding any of the negative health effects, using these drugs means that you're cheating. And in the professional world, that definitely shouldn't be taken lightly.

So do you think the Olympics should allow doping? Will it push the human limit forward?

Between one to 3% of elite athletes test positive for the presence of at least one banned substance..