Home run hitter Barry Bonds, renowned cyclist Lance Armstrong and Olympic sprinter Ben Johnson are just a few of the world class athletes who have recently been cited for use of performance enhancing drugs or PEDs. Often, the mention of PEDs brings up the use of what are typically referred to as “steroids”. Some of the more commonly used steroids are Anavar, Winstrol and Testosterone supplements.
Anavar was developed to treat conditions of muscle wasting and rapid weight loss the common use of prescribed anabolic steroids. Anavar is the commercial name for Oxandrolone. The greatest benefits associated with this particular steroid are fat reduction and muscle preservation. It is commonly used by body builders during their competition preparation, as well as by common gym rats who simply want to look leaner and tighter at the beach.One of the side effects, as with all steroids, is testosterone suppression. Anavar, however is noted as producing only a minimal effect on testosterone, compared with other similar drugs.Other possible side effects are acne, hair loss, and prostate enlargement. For women, one effect noted is virilization: the development of masculine characteristics. This may include development of a deepened voice, an increase in body and facial hair, a decrease in breast size and "male-pattern" baldness.
Winstrol is the commercial name for stanozolol and is typically used by body builders working on “cutting cycles”. It is known to be risky as it is rather toxic to your liver. It is not recommended for “strength or speed” athletes as it has a negative effect on your joints.
Testosterone supplements are products that increase the male sex hormone testosterone, which governs muscle mass, aggression and secondary sexual characteristics in men. Prohormones, testosterone boosters and estrogen blockers are all different types of testosterone supplements. Each has its own list of potential side effects.
A major risk factor with use of these drugs is that there are many “underground” labs producing and marketing these substances. These labs operate without oversight from the FDA and risk of side effects from these less than quality products is increased.
Professional cyclists such as Armstrong, Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton have used different types of PEDs known as “blood boosters”. The effects of blood boosters and the overall effects of PEDs on sports will be discussed in the next installment in this series.