Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Evidence Supports HGH Supplementation Increases Performance

I have touched on the use of performance enhancing drugs and their dangers in the past, but have talked little about how the drugs actually enhance performance. While I do believe use of the illegal substances can increase certain aspects of physiological performance (as the study I am about to share demonstrates), I still don't buy into the idea this stuff makes better sports players. The use of steroids and PED's may improve physique, strength and certain physiological capacities to some degree, but it will never give someone the mental or motor function required to be a great athlete. Just because you're juiced out of your mind doesn't mean you will be able to properly swing a bat, recognize defensive schemes, throw an accurate pass, shoot a basketball or hit an accurate slap shot. Those skills transcend what putting some extra meat on the bones can do to an athlete. A recent study that can be found in the Annals of Internal Medicine takes a look into the use of HGH and sports performance:

At eight weeks, the researchers found that HGH injections increased the athletes' ability to sprint on a bicycle but had no effects on fitness or their ability to pull a weight or jump. The effect on sprint capacity was nearly doubled in men who also received testosterone injections.
"We found the enhancement in sprint capacity would correlate to a 0.4 second improvement over 10 seconds in a 100-meter dash." said Dr. Ken Ho, Head of the Department of Endocrinology at St. Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, and lead author of the study. "This improvement could turn the last place finisher in the Olympic finals into a gold medal winner." - Science Daily
Given the results of this study, some of you may be realizing why skinny, seemingly harmless endurance athletes would take some of this stuff even though they aren't mashing their bodies into one another like football players. It's because the use of PED's alters your natural biochemistry in all sorts of ways! Regardless of my thoughts on the actual skill and function required to be a successful athlete, I still believe using this stuff is cheating. PED's are simply a shortcut for weak people trying to achieve something that takes years of hard work and dedication. Why sleep well, eat well, train hard and actually WORK towards something when you can do a quarter of the work and get triple the results? In my opinion, steroids are for people who's best isn't good enough so they go to whatever extent they can to feel like they mean something to the world.

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