There’s just one problem. Not all fitness supplements are safe. Because the supplements industry is largely unregulated, the testimonials, marketing, advertising and claims can fulfill whatever fantasies the manufacturer can concoct.
There’s also danger attached to taking something that will allegedly enhance performance. Substances like anabolic steroids, androstenedione, erythropoietin, diuretics, creatine, human growth hormone and stimulants all have medical uses. But taking them outside of a controlled environment for non-medical purposes can have long-term negative health consequences.
Here are a few performance-enhancing drugs and their uses.
Getting an Edge with Steroids
One of the most popular athletic performance enhancers, steroids come in two types: anabolic steroids, used for muscle building, and androgenic-androgen steroids, which help to increase muscle mass and strength. The main anabolic steroid hormone is testosterone, the same substance that boosts such male traits as a deeper voice or facial hair growth.
Athletes who take steroids are usually looking for an edge in strength, endurance and recovery times. Some take natural testosterone, while others use its synthetic cousins. The hormones are usually available as pills, creams or are injected directly into the bloodstream.