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Performance Enhancing Drugs

For many athletes, the temptation using performance enhancing drugs can be unbearable. After all, who wants to be left behind when it comes to athletic performance? Every athlete aspires to excellence, and it just seems like the path to excellence requires that a few shortcuts be taken along the way.


The recent doping scandals involving professional athletes certainly do little to alter the perception that cheating is the way to go. These days, it is not only the big-name players who are taking performance enhancing drugs. Even high school and college students take them at a regular basis in an effort to improve their performance in the athletic arena. 

While there are some legitimate performance enhancing drugs, most are quite questionable when it comes to their effects on human health. Performance enhancing drugs can have beneficial effects on the body, such as alleviating fatigue and enhancing musculature. However, taken indiscriminately, they can cause serious harm. 

Examples of Performance Enhancing Drugs


Creatine is an over-the-counter supplement that is believed to help improve muscle performance and appearance. Athletes involved in sports that require of high-intensity burst over short periods of time are more likely to use this supplement. However, creatine is linked to numerous side effects, including muscle cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and stomach pains. When it comes to children and teenagers, the effects of creatine have not been extensively studied, which raises some concern over its long-term impact on a child’s health. 


Containing the active ingredient ephedrine, ephedra is a stimulant akin to amphetamines. Athletes take this performance enhancing drug in order to lose weight, reduce fatigue, and even improve mental performance. Because ephedra has been linked to serious side effects such as strokes and heart attacks, it has been banned by the US Food and Drug Administration. Beware: ephedra is also quite addictive after a period of long-term use.

Disclaimer: Cliff Schaffer does not personally endorse or support any of the comments made within the writings of this article.

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