The Primary Risks of Performance Enhancing Drugs

The Primary Risks of Performance Enhancing Drugs

Most people who play sports at a professional level experience a desire to win. Each of them has their dream. Some do everything possible to perform on the best sports collectives. Others want to get medals at regional or world championships. This desire to win leads some athletes to consume medicines that will give them some advantage over their competitors. They are called performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). The consumption of such chemicals is usually called doping. Simultaneously, doping is connected with some risks. This blog post will discuss the critical types of PEDs, their impact on our organisms, and ethical concerns about their consumption.

Definition of PEDs

Sportsmen and others need PEDs to raise strength, endurance, recovery, and other physical abilities beyond what is considered standard for humans. Their consumption primarily aims to gain competitive advantages or improve appearance.

Anabolic steroids are considered one of the most sought-after performance enhancing drugs. Compounds of this type, which include testosterone, androstenediol, and stanozolol, can boost lean body mass and provide additional strength. However, even the most primitive drug testing will show traces of narcotics in the organism.

Therefore, in the 80s and ’90s, multiple modifications of doping emerged. Today, you may find various performance enhancing drugs that are not classified as steroids.

Their effects are diverse; some chemicals can only benefit sportsmen in specific disciplines. The diversity makes it a challenge for worldwide organizations, e.g., the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), to be abreast of the times and ensure all sportsmen are in the same conditions. Today, WADA bans about 200 titles to one degree or another. Experts from anti-doping agencies regularly adopt new detection methods.

The Primary Risks of Performance Enhancing Drugs
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Why Do Sportsmen Consume PEDs?

Sportsmen face significant stress to succeed in the competition. They understand victory will give them more than a gold medal or cup. Famous football players and other athletes earn colossal amounts of prize money and have great fame, yet they have little time to demonstrate their talents.

Sportsmen understand hard training is required to achieve outcomes. Still, they also realize that particular medicines may speed up their abilities and create a shortcut to the podium, even if they risk professional achievements and lives.

Sportspeople have many reasons to dope. Perhaps the sportsman wants:

  • Build muscle or become stronger;
  • Raise oxygen circulation to individual organs and tissues;
  • Get rid of painful sensations;
  • Stimulate the organism;
  • Recover quickly after exercise;
  • Get rid of excess weight;
  • Hide the consumption of other narcotics, etc.

Most medicines utilized for these aims are strictly prohibited. However, some compounds, including cortisone and local anesthetics, are allowed in specific quantities even at the Olympics because they are legal.

Popular PEDs and Their Risks to Our Organism

Performance enhancing drugs are any compounds sportsmen consume to improve their athletic results. Most drugs are either illegal or prohibited, and their consumption is dangerous and unethical. Below, we will examine the key kinds of narcotics and their impact on our organism.

Anabolic steroids (androgens)

Anabolic steroids are elements extracted from testosterone, a hormone made in male systems and smaller quantities in female ovaries. Testosterone activates many processes connected with puberty. The compounds also accumulate and break vital biochemical elements of tissues, including muscularity.

There are a few groups of androgens:

  • Exogenous androgens are artificially developed options of testosterone. The organism is not capable of producing such compounds.
  • Endogenous androgens are compounds present in our organism and participate in metabolism.

Since muscle growth depends on testosterone, raising its levels in the organism allows sportsmen to build lean body mass and become stronger. Androgens are taken in pill form or injected directly into the muscularity. Some well-known drugs are boldenone, trenbolone, and nandrolone.

Sportsmen who have consumed compounds say they boost lean body mass, decrease body fat, and allow for rapid recovery after significant physical activity. However, do not forget about the downsides of medications, including jaundice, troubles with the liver (where they are broken down), mood swings, depressed state, and aggressive reactions.

  • In men, excessive concentrations can impair sexual function and cause decreased sperm count and gynecomastia (breast development).
  • In women, a high concentration develops masculine qualities and disrupts standard female functions. The medicine activates, thickens your vocal cords, disrupts your menses, and causes an abnormal rise of the clitoris.

To combat negative phenomena, scientists have created materials that keep their anabolic signs but do not have a strong androgenic effect.

Described compounds are prohibited in most countries and leagues because it is regarded as illegal drug use. Never purchase androgens from dealers on the Internet, as they may be tainted or incorrectly labeled.

The Primary Risks of Performance Enhancing Drugs


They limit the activity of adrenaline, a hormone that activates blood circulation. People who take medicines slow down their heart rate and relax their blood vessels, which helps lower blood pressure.

The leading purpose of the medicines is to hide anxiety and decrease trembling and sweating. Therefore, some sportsmen, e.g., shooters, are drawn to these pills; they can demonstrate better results if they don’t have tremors in their hands.

The psychological effects of medicines are the next:

  • low blood pressure,
  • slow pulse,
  • sleep troubles,
  • spasms of the respiratory tract.

Because such performance enhancing drugs improve concentration, they are prohibited in many disciplines, including shooting and fencing.


These are medicines that impact kidney function by raising urine output. They are actively utilized to hide steroid consumption.

For people with a variety of troubles, including heart disease, diuretics help control blood pressure. However, sportsmen who take androgens consume them to dilute their urine, which reduces the concentration of androgens and makes them harder to detect during testing.

Boxers and weightlifters take pills to remove as much fluid as possible so they can compete in a lower weight class. Before the fight, they stop consuming the medicine to return to a higher weight and obtain an advantage over their opponent. Let’s consider the primary physiological effects of pills:

  • dehydration,
  • muscle spasms,
  • fainting and dizziness,
  • drop in blood pressure,
  • coordination and balance disorders.

Diuretics may cause death if a sportsman consumes them for doping.


Stimulants are medicines whose action is aimed at the nervous system (CNS). They intensify activities in the brain, body, and heart, as well as the formation of metabolites and raise temperature. Sportsmen consume stimulants to decrease fatigue and boost concentration, competitiveness, and aggression.

The most famous reps of the group are amphetamines, coke, etc. The effect of narcotics varies depending on the narcotics and manner of use. Compounds inhaled or injected offer faster outcomes than those taken in pill form. Side effects vary depending on the kinds of narcotics:

  • Cocaine causes anxiety, psychosis, frequent nosebleeds, and seizures.
  • Amphetamine can cause memory loss, mood swings, hallucinations, and cardiac disorders.

Coffee and cigarettes are also consumed as such compounds, but these are legal options.

Human Growth Hormone (HGH)

HGH is a standard hormone created by our organism. It ensures full physical development and bone growth in adolescents. The compound produces collagen, strengthening bones, cartilage, ligaments, etc.

For adults, growth hormones improve heart function, raise the volume of red blood cells, release energy, and break down fats. This compound is believed to boost strength and restore tissue. Because HGH is often taken with other medicines, it has not been shown to be directly related to these changes.

Manufacturers of such hormones claim they eliminate wrinkles, stop aging, restore vitality, and ensure better sleep. But it’s essential to realize all the downsides, including:

  • Development of gigantism during puberty.
  • The risk of acromegaly is a disease characterized by excessive head, leg, and arm size.
  • Pain in bones and joints.
  • Increased signs of cardiovascular disease.

Due to the considerable price of the compound, it was often counterfeited. If you are not getting HGH from your medical specialist, you may be dealing with an unapproved drug.


Muscles need creatine to generate energy. It allows you to boost lean body mass and gain additional strength. Although the material is naturally occurring, it is also manufactured in a research facility and sold as a supplement. Many sportsmen take such substances to boost their lean body mass. The consumption of creatine is also connected with some side effects:

  • Such substance may cause weight gain, muscle spasms, and stomach cramps.
  • The liver and kidneys are filters for creatine. Consuming too much of the compounds can put more strain on these systems, potentially impairing their functioning.

Personal outcomes may vary for supplements. Before taking them, you should consult your doctor.

The Primary Risks of Performance Enhancing Drugs
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Final Words

Athletes, players, coaches, and doctors must unite to prevent drug use in sports, regardless of the level of competition. Sportsmen should feel comfortable and permanently consult with medical professionals about consuming multiple compounds. Doctors should carefully explain the benefits, health risks, and alternatives to their patients’ drugs. Sportsmen should never consume compounds to improve their performance unless prescribed by a doctor.

Because performance enhancing drugs are addictive, just like any other drug, people who consume them regularly need to get treatment. To achieve life-long recovery, we recommend moving to the Eco Sober Houses after completing therapy. Our clients live in a community based on inclusion, not judgment. Here, you can make lifelong connections, grow, and give back to the community. Living drug-free may be challenging, but our experts will do everything to make your journey easier!



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