Lately, every time you turn on the T.V. you have heard about Alex Rodriguez and his use of PED’S. Well this week we are going to hopefully answer some questions you may have about them. PED’S or Performance Enhancing Drugs are often used by athletes to improve their performance. However, athletes are not the only ones that use them. The military may also be using these drugs in order to boost performance in the field.

There are many types of PED’s out there. Lean mass builders increase your muscle growth and sometimes reduce body fat. These can also be used to reduce the time it takes for an athlete to recover from an injury. Some of the drugs included in this class are anabolic steroids, xenoandrogens, beta-2 agonists and most notably human growth hormone.

Stimulants are also used as PED’s. A stimulant makes the mind and body perform optimally by enhancing focus, energy and aggression. Examples of simulants are caffeine, amphetamine and methamphetamine. These types of drugs cause resistance to fatigue, loss of appetite and an elevation of mood. Don’t worry if you are drinking coffee while reading this blog, you are ok!!

Another form of PED’s needs no introduction, Painkillers. Painkillers do just what their name suggests. This will mask pain so the athlete can still compete beyond their normal pain tolerance. Painkillers will increase the blood pressure causing cells in muscles to be better supplied with oxygen. There are many types of painkillers that are being used today. They range from your over the counter painkillers (ibuprofen) to powerful prescribed and non-prescribed narcotics.

Sedatives are another popular PED of choice. Sedatives are used to reduce irritability, excitement or nervousness. However, if too high of a dose is taken it can cause slurred speech, staggering gait, poor judgment and slow, uncertain reflexes. Misused sedatives can produce and overly-calming effect. If someone overdoses or decides to mix different sedatives they can become unconscious or even die. Some commonly used sedatives are alcohol, diazepam and marijuana. You may see someone that preforms in the sport of archery use a PED of this nature.

The final PED we are going to talk about today is masking drugs. These are used in conjunction with another PED to prevent the detection of another drug. These types of drugs are constantly changing due to the ever changing drug testing procedures. The highest used masking drug used is epiestosterone.

Hopefully you feel more informed about the ever changing use of Performance Enhancing Drugs. If you have any questions or concerns that someone you know may be using these types of drugs please contact the Y.