Steroids in sports: bodybuilding

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The first in our series of articles on the use of steroids in sports will focus on the world of bodybuilding. The sporting universe is dominated by bodybuilding, American football and professional wrestling, all with their herculean-like competitors. But the use of steroids has grown, with more and more athletes striving to become bigger and better than their competitors.

If we take a simple look at the encyclopaedia entry for steroids we see this:

“Steroids are important chemical compounds and they play a key role in bodily processes. They are produced naturally in animals as well as articfially in labs. Each steroid type has a slightly different arangement of atoms”

“Steroids influence bodily metabolism and help form certain vitamins and other important substances. Anabolic steroids are produced in labs from the male hormone testosterone. Some atheltes use this drug as well as others to increase strength and body weight.”

“Use of steroids may lead to liver damage, high blood pressure, aggressive behaviour and the appearence of male physical characteristics in females and vice-versa.”

What are steroids and what do they do?

Steroids help in producing proteins and preventing the effects of the cortisol that is present in your muscle tissues. This can result, on some occasions, in improved muscle mass. Your muscles can swell to become six times bigger than they were, which is a bodybuilder’s dream. The bigger the better as they say.

Steroids can be taken either orally or via an injection. Some of the most common strains that are sold are: andro, clenbuterol, clen, primobolan and decadurobolin. The reason why they have grown in popularity is due to them being not that expensive to buy.

Using steroids can have a number of side effects on your body. They can have many dangerous side effects including infertility. They can also damage your liver and kidneys and could also cause swelling in your brain. Steroids also cause problems to your heart such as high blood pressures, enlargement of the heart and high cholesterol. Steroids can also lead to the formation of acne and pimples, make you overly aggressive and can also give you suicidal tendancies.

Why do bodybuilders use them?

Steroids and other muscle enhancing drugs turn regular people into larger than life muscle masses. Their size and density is massively increased.  The athletes who use them look out of this world without even relying on photoshop to enhance their muscles. So there is no surprise when it is discovered that they rely on grammes of artificial testosterone each week. The average amount that is produced by a male each week is anywhere between 30 to 70mg, so many bodybuilders have around 100x more than the average man.

Muscle size and density are the heart of bodybuilders, but there is more to it than simply having an impressive physique. When someone is creating such a large amount of mass building they naturally run into issues with their diet. The body has a harder time maintaining muscle size. When you lose body fat it becomes harder to maintain muscle size due to the body being programmed to survive and not satisfy the large intake of testosterone that is required to create the perfect bodybuilder physique. Since steroids damage your muscle catabolism, they are used by competitors to preserve their size during the down period between competitions.

Is it just steroids that are used

Besides the steroids that are used for building their body so it is ready for competitions, athletes also favour using substances that are meant to reduce body fat and help the individuals using them reach their optimal athletic build. The drugs they choose to use often lead to them losing a substantial amount of body fat in very short periods of time. The drugs that are used are highly dangerous and often lead to significant damage to the competitor’s heart and thyroid gland.

Before a competition, athletes also look to reduce the water weight that is present in their bodies in order to increase their muscular definition. If you can’t see the muscle it does not matter how many you have or how large they are. Water weight can mask the muscles and their details. Athletes can use diuretics to promote the expulsion of liquids. Dehydration is not a healthy process and the usage of diuretics can cause a lot of medical conditions and even can lead to death.

 

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