Despite this, that still does not keep some athletes from using them to boost endurance, reduce recovery time or help build lean muscle mass.
Steroid use in sports has been around for the last few decades, and though it still sometimes comes as a surprise to some, many notable names in sports have been caught using some form of performance enhancing supplements.
It seems for many athletes, the benefits that steroids can offer may be worth the risk of getting caught.
But how widespread is steroid use in professional sports like Baseball and Football?
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Steroid use isn’t just limited to the professional aspect, either.
Even young adults are trying these drugs in order to achieve goals such as getting into a college football program or making national or international teams for competitions.
According to the FDA, it is estimated that approximately 4.9% of high school males have used anabolic steroids at least once.
It may be surprising to learn that and roughly 2.4% of high school females have tried steroids like Winstrol and Anavar as well.
In the USA, steroids are classified as Schedule III Controlled Substances – defined as those that have a high potential for abuse that contributes to physiological or psychological dependence.
What causes some young adults to use steroids in professional sports like baseball or football?
Seeing iconic and well-known athletes from the NFL and MLB using them makes it seem acceptable.
This is even more dangerous considering taking a hormone supplement such as an anabolic steroid or testosterone is especially risky for anyone under the age of 25.
Since the body is still in the development stage with fluctuating hormones, incorporating even more hormones could lead to major side effects.
Health complications such as mood swings, aggressive behavior and high blood pressure can occur if used improperly.
Another thing to consider with steroids in sports statistics is that athletes who do use them often take far more than is recommended, leading to even more dangers and potential organ failure.
Numerous documented sources highlight the risks of these supplements, which include:
Due to the increased dosage used by athletes, specific studies regarding the exact effects of steroid use in sports is lacking.
In some cases, athletes use ‘stacked’ products or customized steroids in order to avoid detection from drug testing through the national organization to which they belong.
The extreme doses of steroids in comparison with amateur use is also cause for concern.
The creation of designer drugs adds even more work to the United States (and international) Anti-Doping Agencies.
Studying and sharing information between organizations helps officials become more aware of designers steroids, such as THG, in order to catch and reprimand steroid use in sports.
THG, also known as ‘the clear,’ is a tetrahydroestrinone and an anabolic-androgenic steroid (referred to as AAS).
This steroid had been purposely altered in a laboratory setting in order to go undetected by anti-doping agencies.
But through cooperation with organizations, officials became aware of the substance and a test was created in 2003 to test athletes for this particular steroid.
THG is touted as being a steroid that increases muscle mass, encourages faster recovery times, increases strength and reduces the breakdown of muscle during the recovery process.
As with all steroids, there are a number of considerable health risks to using THG including:
While injections are the most commonly known way to take steroids, there are other forms as well – including oral and topical applications.
Oral steroids are fast-acting, while injections offer long and short term effects.
All forms feature a number of side effects to be aware of – for example, topical applications could increase the risk of skin irritation or even fat loss in a certain area.
When it comes to steroid use in sports, it’s not always limited to just men.
Women are equally as likely to take steroids in a professional setting and anabolic steroids are designed to mimic testosterone, offering the hormone to anyone who takes it.
The average human male body creates less than 10 milligrams of testosterone naturally each day, a female body even less than that.
However, testosterone use through steroids increases to hundreds of milligrams daily, which is above and beyond even the prescribed and legal amount needed for various medical conditions.
The higher the dosage and the longer steroids are taken, the worse symptoms can become. Some effects are permanent in nature.
Though steroid use in sports is prevalent, there are limited studies that show the benefits on the human body – thus making them more of a risk than an advantage.
Steroids in sports continues to be a prevalent problem. Case in point: demands for re-testing of Olympians participating in the Sochi Olympics.