Are You Using PEDs? - FIT Human Performance

Are You Using PEDs?


September 8, 2013

PEDsThe media has distorted public opinion when it comes to the real world of sports, fitness, and health.  We do not always get the entire truth about athletes or the boundaries they must stay within to be ‘equal and fair’ as defined by rules of sport.  Chances are that many of you reading this article may not be aware you could be guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs.

The classifications of substances as ‘performance-enhancing’ drugs (PED’s) are not entirely clear-cut and objective. As in other types of categorization, certainprototype performance enhancers are universally classified as PED’s (like anabolic steroids), whereas other substances (like vitamins and protein supplements) are virtually never classified as PED’s despite their effects on athletes’ performance. This is because athletes can get the correct amount of protein and supplements their body needs by having a proper diet. As is usual with categorization, there are borderline cases; caffeine, for example, is considered a performance enhancer by some athletic authorities, but not others. I guess I will not be entering into the professional arena any time soon.

As an example, here are some PED’s that are frowned upon:

  • Lean mass builders drive or amplify the growth of muscle and leanbody mass; sometimes they’re used to reduce body fat. They can also reduce the time it takes an athlete to recover from an injury. This class of drugs includes anabolic steroids,xenoandrogensbeta-2 agonistsselective androgen receptor modulators (SARMs), and various human hormones, most notably human growth hormone, as well as some of their precursors.  Performance-enhancing drugs are also found in animals as synthetic growth hormone.
  • Stimulants stimulate the body and mind to perform optimally by enhancing focus, energy, and aggression. Some examples are caffeineamphetamine, andmethamphetamine.
  • Painkillers mask athletes’ pain so they can continue to compete and perform beyond their usual pain thresholds. Blood pressure is increased causing the cells in the muscles to be better supplied with vital oxygen. Painkillers used by athletes range from commonover-the-counter medicines such as NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen) to powerful prescription narcotics.
  • Sedatives are sometimes used by athletes in sports like archery, which require steady hands and accurate aim, and also by athletes attempting to overcome excessive nervousness or discomfort. Alcoholdiazepampropranolol, and marijuana are examples.
  • Diuretics expel water from athletes’ bodies. They are often used by athletes such aswrestlers, who need to meet weight restrictions. Many stimulants also have secondarydiuretic effect. (Also used as a masking drug)
  • Blood boosters increase the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood beyond the individual’s natural capacity. Their misuse is centered on endurance sports like cycling and nordic skiing.
  • Masking drugs are used to prevent the detection of other classes of     drugs. These evolve as quickly as do testing methods – which is very quick indeed – although a time-tested classic example is the useof epitestosterone, a drug with no performance-enhancing effects,to restore the testosterone/epitestosterone ratio (a common criterion in steroid testing) to normal levels after anabolic steroid supplementation.

Much of this information is never mentioned by the media when it comes to athletic programs or sports teams, although frequently we are made aware of it when an athlete or sports team has a situation with a “controlled” substance or Performance Enhancing Drug … the media thrives on such news.  Sometimes that individual was banned due to an over the counter ibuprofen.  And this is to keep the field equal?  Like most sports, the boundaries of fair play are designed to stay within the lines … and so must their PED’s.

So, are you one of those individuals?  I won’t tell.

In good health,


Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be. 

– Khalil Gibran