Performance enhancing drugs, as the name suggests, are typical drugs that can be taken for increasing one’s performance. These drugs are basically steroids taken by athletes and sportsperson who are genuine professionals. Also, certain other hormonal drugs, including human growth hormone stimulants might also be regarded as performance enhancing drugs.
These enhancers were first used by the Greeks in the ancient past and were ingested by participants of sporting events. But these drugs have however been recognized as a threat and since the 20th century, certain technologies have been developed for testing and screening athletes on a regular basis to find the presence of such drugs in their blood stream. These enhancers have been banned since then.
Performance enhancing drugs- the phrase, is just used to refer to certain anabolic steroids or their relevant precursors in general, but the world of anti-doping organizations have a broader description for these drugs. These typical enhancers have distinct classes as well-
Stimulants: These drugs are used by athletes to enhance their performance in their particular fields and also stimulate the bodies to give their best performance. Stimulants can also help in increasing awareness, alertness and aggressiveness and decreasing fatigue. Some of the commonly used stimulants are Amphetamines and Caffeine.
Lean Mass Builders: These typical performance enhancers are used to amplify or as well drive the growth and development of lean body mass and muscle. These can also help in reducing body fat. These belong to the category of anabolic steroids and the commonly used ones are beta-2 agonists and several other human hormones, such as human growth hormones.
Sedatives: These enhancers are also used by athletes engaged in sports such as archery that demands a steady hand and also a precise aim. Sedatives help in coping up with nervousness and distress. Marijuana, Beta Blockers and alcohol are some of the common examples.
Painkillers: These drugs are very common and are used on a regular basis by the common mass as well. Athletes prefer using these drugs to mask their pain in order to maintain their performance and ability to compete in unfavorable conditions. These drugs allow the blood pressure levels to soar up, thus supplying the body with ample quantity of vital oxygen to relief pain. Painkillers can be purchased over-the-counter and includes medicines such as NSAIDS (acetaminophen and ibuprofen) and also certain prescribed narcotics.
Masking Drugs: These are rare drugs and are taken in order to prevent other classes of drugs from being detected. These drugs can evolve really quickly almost similar to the methods of testing. Epitestosterone is the most commonly recognized making drug.
Diuretics: These drugs are used for expelling water out of athlete’s bodies. Wrestlers have been using these drugs for long in order to meet the weight restrictions. Some of the stimulants are believed to have secondary diuretic effects.
Performance enhancers are usually taken as oral pills, though some injections are also available to be intravenously injected.
With the improved technologies and development skills, the detection of performance enhancing drugs in an athlete’s blood stream has become almost impossible. But preventive measures are still being taken and hopefully someday the World Anti-Doping Agency will be able to bring this issue to an end.