When you are involved in sports activities, you may consider the use of performance enhancing drugs. Although it seems tempting to use substances to improve personal results, you must consider the downsides of the drugs before you try any unnatural approach to improving your physical abilities.
Short-Term Improvements in Physical Abilities (Pros)
Taking steroids or other performance enhancing substances can have a short-term impact on physical abilities. It increases muscle mass, and generally provides a greater amount of physical stamina to improve workout results or maintain stamina on the field during sports activities.
The short-term improvements to physical abilities are the primary reason that athletes consider the use of these drugs. It is assumed that the drug will have a long-term positive impact on physical abilities, but ultimately the primary gain is shortly after the drug is used and in the system.
Positive Health Effects
Although performance enhancing drugs are considered a negative part of athletic performance, the substances were originally designed for health purposes. The drugs can have a positive health effect in certain situations, but only when it is used appropriately and according to the directions of a doctor. For example, steroid drugs can help reduce swelling from inflammation during a sickness or as the result of certain allergies.
The positive health effects are usually only provided in specific situations. It provides short-term relief from certain symptoms, which can help if swelling is located in an uncomfortable or dangerous area of the body.
Negative Health Effects of PED’s (Cons)
While performance enhancing drugs are often used for legitimate medical purposes, the substances can have negative health effects when used consistently or when the drugs are abused. Depending on the specific substance, the exact risks to health will vary.
Negative health effects from PED’s Include:
- Liver damage
- High cholesterol levels
- Aggressive behavior or mood swings
- Severe depression
- Heart health problems, such as irregular heartbeats
The exact risks of the drugs will vary based on the specific substance and individual situations before the drugs are abused. For example, teenagers may stop growing after using steroids while adults may face changes like baldness or tissue growth in unnatural areas.
The health risks of the substance increase with the amount of time the drug is abused. Regular abuse can result in physical dependence and addiction to the drug. For substances that are used via a needle, the risk of infectious diseases and hepatitis are also considerations to make.
Reduced Athletic Abilities
Although the short-term impact of the drug use is increased stamina or muscle building abilities, a con that many individuals face years after taking the substance is the reduced ability to perform athletic tasks. Depending on the substance, the exact reason for the reduced ability will vary. For example, steroids can cause depression, which results in lost motivation and a lack of interest in the sport. Stimulants used for increased stamina might cause cramping or dizziness, which reduces athletic performance during the game.
The reduced athletic abilities are a clear downside of the substance abuse since it is the opposite of the expected result. Athletes abuse performance enhancing substances to gain a competitive edge, but do not expect the possibility of negative side effects reducing natural abilities on the field.
Get Educated on PED’s
Using performance enhancing drugs can have its pros and cons. Although the drugs are primarily used for the positive effects, it is important to recognize the downsides before making any decisions about the use of certain drugs. In most cases, it is better to avoid the drugs and use natural means to improve abilities because the drugs have severe side effects and long-term health consequences.