Performance Enhancing Drugs: are they worth it?

by Syeda Khan


Any athlete will be the first to tell you, the competitiveness of competition is extremely challenging. They want to pursue their dreams for personal accomplishment and their own goals, as well as winning medals and making their name, while helping their team. These pressures can lead many young athletes to engage in the use of performance enhancing drugs.

From anabolic steroids, androstenedione, and human growth hormones; to diuretics, creatine and stimulants, there are many different performance enhancing drugs both on and off the market. Each drug has its own side effects, risks and potential dangers. For many of these drugs, side effects include psychiatric disorders, abnormal tumor growth, increase in cholesterol, heart attack, stroke, and pulmonary edema. On top of all of these side dangerous effects, the use of these drugs does not guarantee results, nor increased muscle growth. It is an extremely dangerous game, which is not worth playing. And it’s a high price to pay for results that are not always consistent.

It is understandable to want to gain muscle and lose fat, and be the best at your game. We all want that. Therefore, there are many healthy alternatives to achieving your goals. First of all, you should eat foods that are high sources of protein and carbohydrates. Foods like beef, chicken breast, eggs, and whole grain bread, provide a good amount of your nutrients. Also, you must hydrate your muscles by drinking at least 64 ounces of water daily. Sugary drinks like soda, and sweetened coffee and teas, should be avoided as much as possible, because they are diuretics, which only dehydrate your body further. Small meals can be eaten throughout the day, in order to keep a constant supply of nutrients to the muscles. These meals should be balanced with complex carbohydrates and proteins.

While exercising, perform compound exercises. These workouts should involve both joints, as well as muscles. They can include bench press, squats, and military press. After working out, consume a post workout protein shake, which will deliver nutrients to torn muscle fibers, and promote fast recovery. Finally, you need a good night’s sleep. During sleep, key muscle-building hormones are released, and the body will go into full recovery mode, in which you can rebuild and gain your muscles by relaxing them.

Jeff Sam, a pre-med student, here at Benedictine said, “it’s really useless, to take muscle enhancing drugs. Nothing beats the athletes that made it to the top naturally. Those who use those products aren’t only cheating the game, and their team, they’re depriving themselves and their own bodies.”

Although muscle enhancing drugs can sometimes increase muscle growth quickly, they can also lead to irreversible lifelong side effects. Athletes will also lose credibility and their reputation for themselves, as well as their team, because they cheated their way to the top. If you honestly want to be the best athlete you can, the best thing to do is to train hard, and do it fairly like all of the athletes who made the hall of fame the natural way. There are healthier alternatives that will help you look and feel a lot better.