Performance enhancing supplements or drugs – commonly referred to as steroids – are often used for a specific reason: gain an advantage in the sport over the competitor.
Athletes in professional sports have many factors to consider in the world of professional sports, such as maintaining a level of fitness or endurance, becoming a strong asset to the team and even reducing recovery time in order to participate for a salary.
Which athletes are known to have used steroids and what are the most commonly abused compounds for gaining muscle mass or improving conditioning?
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Steroid use has become increasingly more common in the world of professional sports.
In each organization every year, a number of athletes are caught with varying performance enhancement supplements or tools in order to obtain that advantage.
Athletes on steroids also affects the general population – are athletes really that good or do they have help?
Is it possible to achieve those goals with proper health and nutrition?
The use of steroids in a fitness or bodybuilding settings also gives out the message to young adults that steroid use is acceptable and even safe, when in fact it is not and could have some potentially harmful side effects.
Performance enhancement supplements come in a variety of names, including human growth hormone, creatine, anabolic steroids.
If you are planning to try any of these, it is important you do ample research on the risks and potential benefits before taking them.
When it comes to athletes on anabolic steroids, the form is often known as an anabolic steroid.
Anabolic steroids are used to increase endurance levels and boost muscle mass – according to the National Institutes of Health, anabolic steroids are related to male sex hormones, such as testosterone.
There are a number of side effects that occur through the use of anabolic steroids, such as kidney damage, high blood pressure, gynecomastia, heart attack and liver disease.
Unless prescribed by a doctor for a specific medical condition, the use of anabolic steroids is illegal and generally risky.
The amount used is often far more than recommended and using injections could pose additional risk of HIV or hepatitis due to unsanitary application procedures.
Athletes on steroids also experience different risks and benefits.
The use of performance enhancing supplements or drugs are banned by many national and international sports organizations, but that sometimes does not stop athletes from trying to gain a competitive advantage.
Studies showing whether or not they offer a benefit are varied – for example, one study stated that most laboratory studies have not investigated the actual dosages used on the field, so results did not reflect the adverse effects of steroids.
The study also stated that fat mass reduction does not seem to occur, but that hostility and aggression was increased.
While some athletes opt for natural or pure testosterone, athletes on steroids often use a synthetic modification of that testosterone and may come in topical, oral or injectable substances.
It is important to note that while the use of testosterone and hormones is beneficial in some medical related situations, it has not been approved for athletic performance.
So, if steroids are illegal on the field or court, why are athletes still taking them? Steroids in professional sports are found in nearly every country today.
Nearly 50 different types of AAS steroids are on the market today, along with over two dozen stimulants often ‘stacked’ with them for greater effect.
Such synthetic anabolic steroids are also referred to as designer drugs because they are specially created for athletes, but have not been approved or tested by the Food and Drug Administration.
For this reason, designer steroids are especially dangerous to use and come with many unknown and known health risks.
The use of steroids is dangerous enough, but athletes are often known for taking far more of the substance that is deemed acceptable.
Due to the lack of studies and testing of athletes and steroids, much of what is known about a particular performance enhancing substance is solely based on observations.
Nevertheless, steroids and steroid precursors have been banned by numerous international sporting organizations.
In addition to anabolic steroids, androstenedione – commonly referred to as andro – is another controlled hormone substance that is available only by prescription, but used in fitness or athletic settings.
Use of any kind of steroids in professional sports is frowned upon as cheating, but steroids are still touted – and popular – for their effects on endurance training and increased recovery time.
Human growth hormone is also a substance that provides steroid-like effects, though studies that prove it helps boost endurance or strength are lacking.
In professional sports, athletes on steroids try to obtain a competitive advantage over opponents, but at the risk of the professional on both a carrier and health level.
Numerous athletes, such as Lance Armstrong and Marion Jones , have been stripped of athletic achievements after admitting asteroid use.