Sports are becoming more competitive every year, and every year athletes seem to be getting bigger, stronger, and faster. Driving factors behind this evolution in sports include more advanced training methods as well as increased nutrition. Then there are anabolic steroids, which have tainted the recordbooks in several sports recently, most notably baseball.
Steroids can be tempting for athletes who want to compete at a top level, especially if they see their competitors using them to gain a competitive advantage. While it is true that steroids can make an athlete bigger, stronger, and faster, there are also a host of dangers that should dissuade anyone from succumbing to the urge to seek performance enhancement from a vial, particularly teenagers.
Anabolic steroids are derived from synthesized testosterone, the male hormone largely reponsible for strength, muscle size, and aggression. By increasing the amount of testosterone in the body, it becomes easier to put on lean muscle mass, shed fat, and perform longer and harder in sports. However, that is where the benefits of artificially throwing off hormone levels end and the serious risks begin.
For men, supplementing with exogenous testosterone causes the body to shut down its own production, which can result in testicular atrophy, infertility, and sexual dysfunction. Also, it is possible for the excess testosterone to convert to the female hormone estrongen, resulting in a condition called gynocomastia, or puffy, enlarged breasts.
In women, elevated testosterone levels can result in irregular menstrual cycles, increased body hair, and the deepening of the voice.
Steroid side-effects affecting both genders include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Steroids are especially dangerous for teenagers because they signal that the body is already fully developed which causes growth plates to close prematurely, stunting growth.
Steroids can increase speed and strength resulting in temporary glory on the field or track, but is it worth the permanent health damage that follows? It makes much more sense to gain that edge the natural way, with smart eating and lots of hard work!
Oschmann Employee Screening Services of Tucson is here to help you make your business and workplace as safe and reliable as they can be. Call us at (520) 745-1029 to learn more about drug and alcohol testing for your workplace.