For many years people have wrestled with the issue of performance enhancing drugs.
Even though many tests and studies have been done to show the affects of these drugs,
athletes still choose to use them. A typical college athlete will spend many long hours
working out and some of them believe that that is not enough and they make the choice to
use drugs to help them get bigger and stronger. Eventually something will happen to
each athlete who uses these drugs and they will learn that using these drugs is wrong.
When people think of performance enhancing drugs, steroids come to mind.
Steroids are chemicals that act very similar to hormones. The main type of steroid is an
anabolic steroid. These steroids are used mainly to build muscle mass and help you
prolong your workout. Although many athletes use anabolic steroids and do not think
anything of it, the question comes up, is it ethical? For example, if I were a college athlete
and I worked out everyday, I would feel better about myself than if I worked out everyday
and took a performance enhancing drug as well. I would get more self satisfaction out of
knowing that I have worked hard to get my body in the position it is in. If you are taking
drugs you are in a sense cheating, and you should not feel as good about yourself.
Some performance enhancing drugs are very easily accessible. Two that come to
mind are creatine and androstendione. Creatine is used to give your body some extra
energy. Another main characteristic is that creatine adds mass to your muscles. So if you
start to take creatine you will notice an increase in your muscle size, however if you stop
using creatine, the mass will go away and you could gain weight. Androstendione is a
performance enhancing drug that is legal and can be bought over the counter. This is
taken because it will help your body feel refreshed after you are done working out.
Androstendione became very well known a few years ago when Mark McGwire, a
professional baseball player, set a new record for most home runs in a season. During the
season it became known that McGwire was using Andro during his workouts. The
question came up if Mark McGwire really deserved the record for most home runs in a
season. The fact that he used Andro made many people frown upon his great
achievement. Although many professional athletes use this drug it was put in the
spotlight because of the circumstance. Andro has currently been banned by the N.C.A.A.
which prohibits college athletes from taking the drug.
Although many athletes use performance enhancing drugs and do not think about
the consequences to them, they are out there. A visible consequences is acne. Some
changes that take place in the body are heart disease, high blood pressure and liver
disease. Men and women can have different affects as well. In men their sperm count
could go down and women could have a reduction in their breast size. Physical problems
are not the only problems that come from steroid use. There are many psychological
problems as well. Mood swings are a common side effect from taking steroids. One
moment you could be in a good mood and then the next moment you could explode on the
first person you see.
Although many athletes use steroids to help them while they are performing, the
negative affects greatly outweigh the positive affects. You could look good for a while
and people could be impressed, but later on in life it will catch up to you. People often
look down on those who use steroids as well. If someone meets a goal, but they are
taking performance enhancing drugs, it may not be looked at the same by others as
someone who reaches a goal without using steroids. In my opinion, all performance
enhancing drugs should be made illegal because of the harm they cause to your body.
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