Today i recieved an email asking me to give my opinion about "performance enhancers". this was for a magazine at my university. The very nature of it seemed biased, but here is what was asked, and here is how i responded:
1) First off, please state your major and what grade you are in
(whether you would like to add your name or not is optional, but I
need some background info such as your grade and major if I am to
quote you). Also, if you would like, please put any sport or sports
club you are involved in at UB.
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Clubs/Sports (optional): Wrestling
2) Do you yourself use any form of performance enhancers for a sport
you?re involved in or weight-lifting of any kind, or do you know
anyone who uses them? What do you (or they) use? What do they use
them for? Where was it purchased?
What do you define as a performance enhancer? Are you referring to supplements? I have used creatine and pro-hormones (when they were legal) in the past, but now just multivitamins and protein powder. I hope you are not considering protein a performance enhancer since it is just a macronutrient like fat or carbs. if protein powders are performance enhancers, then so is chicken breasts, see what im getting at? there is a difference between supplements and performance enhancers. A full night of sleep is a performance enhancer.
3) How effective is the performance enhancer(s) you?re taking? Do you
notice any difference when not taking it while you are competing in a
sport or during weight-training?
Creatine was not effective for me, probably since i eat a lot of foods with it naturally (meats) and was not defficient in it. Pro hormones were amazing but they have become outlawed in recent years. The one i took (1-AD, 4-AD stack) increased my bench press 30 pounds, my squat and deadlift went up about 60 pounds too. I gained about 10 pounds of lean muscle in around 3 weeks. This was not durring a competitive season, and was not in violation of any rules, but i could see why someone would break the rules and use that kind of product.
As far as wrestling, it is a sport with weight classes, so products that induce weight gain are not optimal. Technique and conditioning always beat strength on the mat.
4) Did you research the performance enhancer(s) before using them?
Were there any health risks or adverse effects that resulted from
taking the performance enhancer(s)?
Yes, i researched all that I could before taking any supplement. There was a huge list of adverse side effects as a warning on the bottle of pro-hormones. They were mainly about prostate enlargement and that women should not take that product. That supplement was non-aromatizing (did not turn into estrogen or its metabolites) so i felt that was the safest product with the best benefits in its category. I learned a lot of biochem from my research.
5) Have you yourself or anyone you know ever experimented with illegal
steroids? How effective were they? Did you noticed any physical
differences in the person?s build and how they performed?
I have never used illegal steroids or anything of that nature. the risks involed are too high. However, my high school football team thought that it would be a good idea. Several guys gained weight really fast and stood out from the crowd. there was not much that changed performance wise though. The guys who were good at what they did got a better, the other guys just got bigger arms.
6) What is your stance on the use of illegal steroids in professional
sports today, especially in Major League Baseball? What do you agree
or disagree with? Right or wrong? Should it be more regulated or
less regulated? Does it affect society?
I feel that the whole "level playing field" argument is faulty since natural tallent makes the playing field uneven. However, there is a stigma that goes with these drugs and that taints the sport in the eyes of the public. If i could summarize my stance, i would say that player's health should be the focus of these regulations. Any drugs, whether they be over the counter, illegal narcotics, or anabolic steroids, have the potential to hurt the athlete. It seems that there is a lot of focus on the steroid issue, and that is good because it can shed light on the topic. I would prefer doctors to administer the drugs in a controlled setting with medical supervision over taking steroids of unknown purity, concentration, and contamination.
Please let me know what you think. should i add anything to open this guys eyes up a little bit? is there anything i should leave out??
Ill check back and then reply to his email.