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    Ergogenic Aids: Counseling the Athlete Essay

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    1 . An ergogenic aid is any external influences that can positively affect physical or mental performance. 2. In 1968 the international Olympic committee began Olympic drug testing for stimulants because of the many deaths that have occurred among athletes due to drug use. 3. U. S physician John Ziegler developed the anabolic steroid “Dianabol” as an alternative to testosterone and to also level the playing field for western athletes. 4. Both men and women put themselves at high risk of heart attack, stroke, liver tumor, and depression when using steroids.

    Possible side effects for men ho use steroids are accelerated male-pattern baldness, decreased sex drive, reduced sperm counts, breast development and testicle shrinking. Possible side effects for women who use steroids are clitoris enlargement, menstrual cycle changes, Deepened voice, Breast reduction, Male-pattern baldness and Facial hair. 5. Anabolic steroids are ergogenic because they are used to have similar effects as testosterone in the body to increase muscle mass and strength therefore enhancing performance. 6. Caffeine is ergogenic because it has been shown to increase endurance.

    Caffeine increases plasma free fatty acid levels and muscle triglyceride se, while sparing muscle glycogen use early in exercise caffeine improves focus and technical skill during and after strenuous activity or fatigue Caffeine is believed to enhance fat utilization in the body and has also been shown to effectively increase time to exhaustion during endurance activities, as well as sprint, power and strength performance. 7. Yes creatine is an ergogenic aid because it is an external substance that improves physical performance.

    By increasing resting levels of creatine phosphate it is to regenerate more ATP and sustain a high power output, thus delaying fatigue and improving performance 8. Other ergogenic substances are: Avena sativa has been shown to increase testosterone levels by enhancing LH levels. A study show men experienced increased sex drive, enhanced erections and more pleasure during sex when taking avena sativa. It can also be found in many body building formulas. Geranium extract is a notably powerful stimulant with the ability to increase energy, and suppress appetite leading to its widespread introduction into a lot of different fat loss products.

    Cocaine is a narcotic that stimulates the central nervous system and, delays fatigue. Phenyl ethylamine is a powerful central nervous timulant used widely as an aid to suppress appetite and increase energy before workouts. Tyrosine is an amino acid which is of particular interest to those using other sports supplements designed to enhance energy. The use of Tyrosine with stimulants such as caffeine, is a cheap and effective way to increase exercise performance in short duration, anaerobic activities such as weightlifting.

    In the context of sport, an ergogenic aid can be broadly defined as a technique or substance used for the purpose of enhancing performance. Ergogenic aids have from use of accepted techniques such as carbohydrate loading to illegal and unsafe pproaches such as anabolic-androgenic steroid use. The efficacy of many of these techniques is controversial, whereas the harmful side effects are clear. The most commonly recognized form of ergogenic aids are dietary supplements, which is a multi-billion dollar industry that targets a wide range of populations.

    Some surveys have indicated that approximately 50% of the general population, 76% of college athletes, and 100% of bodybuilders take supplements to enhance performance. Most nutritional aids can be categorized as a potential energy source, an anabolic enhancer, a cellular component, or a recovery aid. Studies have consistently shown that carbohydrates, proteins and other nutritional aids consumed immediately before or after exercise enhance performance by increasing glycogen storage and delaying fatigue.

    However some of the products on the market generally have very little scientific evidence supporting the validity of claims and they do not have to prove a supplement’s safety, effectiveness, or potency before placing a product on the market. Pharmacological aids include performance enhancing drugs, both illegal and legal including but not limited to Erythropoietin, beta blockers, antihistamines, rowth hormones, anabolic-androgenic steroids, caffeine and amphetamines.

    Pharmacological aids are potentially beneficial to athletes, although some of them may also have harmful side-effects or be potentially dangerous or life threatening if abused. Caffeine is the most highly consumed pharmacological aid in North America and Europe. Physiological aids may include acupuncture, blood doping, herbal medicines, homeopathy, Physiotherapy, sports massages, saunas and more. The physiological aid of blood doping involved athletes taking a certain amount of blood ut of their systems, and then later injected back into their systems.

    This practice would increase red blood cell count allowing blood doping to improve performance in sports requiring high levels of aerobic activity. It is a dangerous practice it is banned from most major sport organizations. However, there are less harmful aids like psychological and mechanical aids. Psychological aids can be done in the form of cheering, meditation, music, relaxation, and psychology. A few examples of mechanical aids are weights, sports clothing and footwear, or nasal strips etc. In onclusion, several substances are banned by most major sporting organizations and are illegal.

    These may include anabolic steroids, blood doping, DHEA, and ephedrine. In addition to allowing the user an unfair advantage, these methods may be unsafe for the athlete. Many aids have negative repercussions which have led to regularly screening athletes for illegal methods in professional sports and the Olympics. Organizations such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) have also initiated extensive public outreach campaigns to educate and dissuade athletes from using steroids or blood doping.

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